July 23, 2024

January 2023 Scholarship Roundup

Joshua Euhus
Joshua Euhus of Scottsville, Virginia, has received a CSU Learning Partner Scholarship with Albemarle County Fire Rescue. A Navy veteran, Euhus is looking to pursue a master’s degree in emergency services management to take a more active role in the leadership of emergency situations in his community.

“I have now worked in all the public safety disciplines and seen the common thread of emergency management throughout,” he said. “This structure is often taken for granted, but it separates a functioning society from anarchy. With a Master of Science in Emergency Services Management, I will synthesize my years of experience in public service with academic instruction to better serve my community.”

Avrey Wilson
Avrey Wilson of Miami, Florida, was awarded the 2022 NAEMT Scholarship. Wilson, an NAEMT member and trained emergency medical technician, plans to use the scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from CSU. She hopes to use the degree to help her launch a health care business.

“After completing the degree, I hope to open a facility in the Bahamas that will provide care for patients who have suffered an incapacitating illness,” she said.

The idea came to her after serving as her grandmother’s caretaker.

“I had recently returned to the Bahamas in 2016 after living abroad and saw how my family was struggling to find someone to fulfill the role as care giver for my grandmother,” she said. “My initial goal is to begin with a small team of trained clinical staff who would go into homes and provide whatever level of care is required for incapacitated patients. As the team grows and finances allow, I would like to expand to a brick-and-mortar facility.”

Reed Tisdale
Reed Tisdale of Kingstree, South Carolina, was awarded the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship. Tisdale says ever since he can remember, it has always been his dream to become a firefighter.

“From following my dad to fire calls, listening to the action on his radio and wearing his bunker gear around the yard, firefighting and serving others have been my goals,” he said.

Tisdale joined the Williamsburg County and Town of Kingstree Fire Departments as a volunteer and plans to apply with the fire department as he pursues his bachelor’s degree in fire administration at CSU.

“Earning a bachelor’s degree in fire administration is crucial to reaching my goal,” he said. “The goal is to complete the 54 hours within the next two to three years. During that time, I plan to be working as a firefighter gaining experience. My goal is to become a full-time firefighter, climbing the ranks to ultimately becoming a fire chief.”

Janet Neita
Janet Neita of Coral Springs, Florida, is the recipient of the Women in Fire Scholarship. Neita is currently the lieutenant for the Coral Springs Parkland Fire Department.

“The Coral Springs Fire Department currently has less than five members with a master’s degree, and not one of those five is a woman,” she said. “My overall goal is to become a chief, and I believe that my chosen degree of study will help me become an effective leader.”

With this scholarship, Neita plans to pursue a master’s degree in fire executive leadership.

“A great leader is someone who inspires confidence in other people and moves them to action. I believe that communication is an important factor of leadership and I understand the necessity of communication and organization,” she said. “My goal is to take on the challenge of women in leadership in first responder fields and continue to develop my own leadership style but also work to make a difference for those who follow in my footsteps.”

Caitlyn Hodges
Caitlyn Hodges of Tucson, Arizona, was named the recipient of the CSU Knight Scholarship. With this scholarship, Hodges is looking to pursue her bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“I look to finish my degree despite my disabilities, both advocating for myself in educational and work environments, while also encouraging other disabled individuals to do the same.”

Hodges says her inspiration for completing her degree is her husband, a full-time service member, who is also pursuing his degree.

“His love and support in my educational future have pushed me to resume my collegiate journey, and I look forward to continuing that journey by attending Columbia Southern University,” she said. “Overall, my goal is to live life to the fullest extent I possibly can, not taking a single moment for granted and to champion the rights of others. My goal is one of self-improvement and to also be a voice for those who aren’t usually heard.”

Kimberly Zook
Kimberly Zook of Salinas, California, has been named the recipient of the Criminal Justice Scholarship. Zook, a police officer and former detective, says it was the events of 9/11 that introduced her to a what would be her future purpose.

“Here we are, 20 plus years since the attack on American soil, and the realities that my 18-year-old brain could not comprehend have become the realities that my 30-something brain have decided to make my life’s purpose,” she said. “I am nearly 17 years into a career in law enforcement, and obtaining a master’s degree allows me to broaden my career goals to the protection of, not just the community I police, but to a nation.”

With this scholarship, Zook plans to pursue her master’s degree in homeland security at CSU.

“Library Fee: $135. Course Fee: $35. Tuition Fee: $1005. Showing my daughter at an early age financial responsibility and the importance of continuing education—priceless. There are some things that money can’t buy.”

Dwayne Castellarin
Dwayne Castellarin of Las Vegas, Nevada, is the recipient of the 2022 Safety Scholarship. He has spent over 25 years working in Canada’s oil and gas industry.

“My life experience of working for over 25 years in the oil and gas industry as a second-generation union boilermaker in Alberta’s oil sands provided a comprehensive foundation for my safety degree,” he said.

Castellarin plans to be a first-generation college graduation in his family as he pursues his bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health.

“Obtaining my bachelor’s and master’s degree in safety will help me to have the academic foundation paired with my 25 years of real life experience working on oil projects to help not only ensure all employees go home safely to their families each day after the job, but it will give me the skills to be able to help craft the regulations of the future to make sure no employee’s safety risks are still haunting them long into their 80s and 90s in retirement,” he said. “I am passionate about keeping people safe on the job and applying the academic best practices that I have learned from CSU.”

To learn more about Columbia Southern University’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.