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Emily Holbrook - World of Science

Like many high school graduates, Emily Holbrook was preparing to enter college with only a vague notion of what she wanted to study.

The Grove City native stepped onto the Columbus State campus to pursue her Associate of Science degree, a general-purpose degree that fulfills the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. She didn’t know that two years later she would be making remarks to the graduating 2014 class as a summa cum laude graduate

“It definitely made a difference in how I looked at myself professionally. Going up there and speaking at graduation – it’s definitely something I’ll never forget,” Holbrook said.

However, that award, earned by graduating with a 3.949 grade point average, was only part of the reason Holbrook values the time she spent at Columbus State.

“I feel I got a great education and a great start to my future career,” she said.

Initially, Holbrook set her eye on Ohio State University and, despite quickly receiving a letter of acceptance, she continued searching for the route that would provide the most robust education.

Since Holbrook was intending to study in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, it was not long before she encountered the Summer Bridge Program for STEM students.

The program is a tuition-free workshop preparing incoming science majors for Columbus State by providing them contact with peers and professors as well as early exposure to lab and research experience.

Holbrook said the program got her immediately oriented and laid the groundwork for many important relationships she formed at Columbus State.

“I had an awesome relationship with my teachers. Most of them knew me by name,” she said. “Most of them probably knew more about my personal life than they wanted to know, but I could email them on a constant basis or just go up to talk to them.”

And how well did her professors prepare her to move on to a four-year institution?

“Very well,” she said. “I learned my core foundation in such small classes and with personal attention from my professors – I feel like I got a good grasp on it, which I might not have gotten if I were in a lecture hall of 600 students.”

Holbrook also advises incoming students, especially science majors, to get engaged in campus activities for the experience and networking opportunities. Holbrook says she maintains those relationships even after moving on to Ohio State in pursuit of a degree in Medical Dietetics.

“Get involved in something like the STEM club, because you never really know how big STEM is. It’s so vast and provides so many opportunities. You can go in so many different directions. You can’t imagine the many opportunities for STEM careers until you really explore the possibilities.”