John Jatczak – Fire Scholarship
John Jatczak of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, is the recipient of the CSU Fire Scholarship. He will pursue his bachelor’s degree in fire administration with a concentration in fire investigation.
“This scholarship would provide me the ability to continue my focus on supporting my family and work, while simultaneously obtaining my bachelor’s degree,” he said. “My family will always come first, followed by the continued growth and success of the Beaver Dam Fire Department. Obtaining my bachelor’s degree will allow me to continue my two main focuses in life.”
Jatczak serves as fire inspector, fire investigator and paramedic for the Beaver Dam Fire Department. In the next five years, his goal is to pursue the role of fire captain and create a unified fire investigation task force.
“Working in the fire service, I firmly believe that there are two items that directly correlate to your success: experience and formal education. The education that I will receive in my bachelor’s degree at Columbia Southern University will not just prepare me for this position, but, coupled with my experience, will make me a much stronger candidate,” he said. “The second goal I would like to achieve is creating a unified Dodge County Fire Investigation task force. As part of my bachelor’s degree, my attention will focus on fire investigation, as this degree will assist in giving me the additional tools in completing this task.”
Joshua Uecker –Learning Partner Scholarship
Joshua Uecker of Janesville, Wisconsin, is the recipient of the CSU Learning Partner Scholarship. He is planning to use his scholarship to earn his bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership.
“My wife is a stay-at-home mother who also homeschools our daughter, so living on one income limits how many classes I am able to take every year,” he said. “I want to demonstrate to my 11-year-old daughter the importance of continually furthering your education. I want to show her that you can make your future better with hard work and a desire to learn.”
Uecker previously completed his associate degree in fire science with CSU. He works as a firefighter and paramedic for the Janesville Fire Department.
“As a firefighter, I have gained leadership insights from every one of my superiors. My leadership abilities are what allowed me to promote to lieutenant at a young age. Being humble and approachable has helped me to win the respect of my coworkers and has given me credibility even though I am younger,” he said.
Uecker knows the risks that firefighters and EMS personnel face every day, risks that he says are increasingly more dangerous.
“Fires of today consume oil-based synthetic and plastic products that burn much faster and give off more cancer-producing gasses than the fires of 20 years ago,” he said. “The fire service needs to adapt to current trends and to identify the specific needs of each fire department. We need leaders who can identify organizational priorities and assess how to capitalize on the strengths of their people. We need leaders who train their crews and develop them to be resilient, skilled and proficient in today’s changing environment.”
You may learn more about the many scholarships offered at ColumbiaSouthern.edu.