April 18, 2024

West, Mallory, Kazmir Awarded Scholarships

Each year, Columbia Southern University awards scholarships to many Knights, making their dreams of earning their college degree possible. Here are the stories of three of our most recent recipients.

Brandon Mallory is the recipient of the CSU Learning Partner scholarship. Mallory works for the Panama City Fire Department in Panama City, Florida. In 2018, Hurricane Michael almost completed destroyed Mallory’s home. During this time, he and his wife also had a newborn daughter to care for. Because of this, he had to put his plans of finishing his degree on hold.

“After the hurricane, I couldn’t make it work financially to start school back and this scholarship would be an amazing opportunity,” he said. “One of my main obstacles that has kept me from continuing my education past my A.S. degree has been coming up with the money to pay for classes. To be able to finish my bachelor’s degree and not have to worry about how we’re going to pay for it would be such a weight off my shoulders.”

Mallory, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fire administration, has worked as a firefighter for 10 years.

“I consider it a great honor to be able to do what I do every time I come into work. I don’t like to brag on myself but I will brag on my crew,” he said. “Being able to help make a difference in my community means the world to me and my crew members.”

Rodney West is the recipient of the Forever a Hero scholarship. West, an Army veteran and employee with the Houston (Texas) Fire Department, is pursuing an associate degree in fire science.

“This scholarship will provide relief of the financial pressure of paying for the classes as I work and study to succeed in school,” he said. “I would be able to focus on career advancement once I have completed my degree with less pressure of paying off student loan debt.”

In the next five years, West’s goal is to play a more significant role in the community risk reduction department.

“One thing I believe will help me is to become aware of some of the root causes of risk in our communities,” he said. “Formal education has always included case studies and a look a current trends in society.”

Candice Kazmir of Wichita, Kansas, is the recipient of the Family Focused scholarship. Kazmir hopes to re-enter the professional healthcare system while still supporting her husband’s career as a senior master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. She previously worked as an EKG technician and pharmacy technician, but put her career on hold to care for her family.

“I received personal satisfaction in serving others in [the healthcare] field,” she said. “I am very blessed to have made sure my kids and husband have all sought after their goals and dreams. With this scholarship, I finally would be able to follow my dreams without being limited to finances as our family plans for life after the military.”

To learn more about CSU’s scholarships, visit

Disclaimer: These testimonials may not reflect the experience of all CSU students.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes.
CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.