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Impact : Meet Our Students

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Jermaine Clark

Jermaine Clark was offered a full scholarship to the University of Toledo. But he chose to attend Cleveland State. While scholarships covered his textbooks for the first two years, tuition was a struggle.

Now a junior, Jermaine is enrolled in CSU’s Honors Program and receives a full scholarship. A finance and business economics major in the Monte Ahuja College of Business, the Cleveland resident plans to attend law school at CSU when he graduates. Recently, he represented CSU at the International Fulbright Summer Institute in Bulgaria, where he studied that country’s economy and culture.

Natasha Hamad

Natasha Hamad spends one night each week on a third-shirt ride-along with the Westlake police. It’s independent research she’s doing as a sociology/criminology major. She’s also worked on research projects with several faculty members.

Natasha will graduate in December 2011 and then pursue a master’s degree at CSU. In fact, she’s already taking a graduate course. Eventually, she hopes to earn a Ph.D., teach at the college level, and do research on the death penalty and violent crime.

The former president of CSU’s Criminology/Sociology Club works in the CLASS advising office and the CLASS mentoring program.

Elizabeth Camus

Elizabeth Camus took her first CSU class in 1968. She’ll graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in December 2011. Career demands may have slowed her educational timeline, but they never diminished her determination.

The second oboist with the Cleveland Orchestra from 1979 to this year, Elizabeth works full time as a teacher and coordinator of woodwind chamber music for the Cleveland Institute of Music. She also gives private music lessons.

She has been a member of the San Antonio and Atlanta symphonies, as well as the Akron, Canton and Erie symphonies. She also has performed as a freelance oboist. After graduating, the Cleveland Heights resident will begin studying for another bachelor’s degree at CSU -– this one in the natural sciences.

Maria Hatzigeorgiou

Maria Hatzigeorgiou is passionate about getting youngsters, particularly young women, interested in engineering. Yet she spent three years studying pharmacy at the University of Toledo. Realizing she was not following her dream, the Strongsville resident enrolled in the Fenn College of Engineering.

Maria has helped build a school in Belize with Engineers Without Borders. She works for the Airports Group of C&S Companies, doing transportation and pavement design -- a job that began as an internship secured through CSU’s Career Fair during her first semester.

The two-year president of CSU’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers will graduate in May 2012.

Priscila Rocha

After two summers as an associate with Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, Priscila Rocha accepted the firm’s full-time job offer. But first she has to graduate and pass the bar exam.

The third-year law student holds several scholarships from law organizations and has been honored for her volunteerism which includes pro bono work for two Legal Aid Society clinics. Her note on human sex trafficking legislation has been selected for publication in the Journal of Law and Health.

A native of Brazil who now lives in Tremont, Priscila earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from CSU in 2006. She will graduate in May 2012.

Wanfang Chen

Wanfang Chen’s family came to Cleveland from China nearly four years ago for the educational opportunities available here. Now the sophomore in CSU’s School of Nursing is working hard to take full advantage of those opportunities.

The only person in her family to speak English, Wanfang says that language is her biggest challenge in the classroom and in studying. Still, her grades are good and she was among the first group of students to receive a scholarship through Radiance, CSU's annual major scholarship fundraising event.

The Cleveland resident hopes to graduate in 2015 and pursue a career as a pediatric nurse.

Justina Alvis

A Native American from Alaska, Justina Alvis is the beneficiary of that state’s progressive attitude toward higher education. She holds three scholarships funded by state organizations. The early childhood education major also holds a Dean’s List scholarship from CSU.

A transfer student from Ohio Wesleyan University, Justina took all her CSU classes online while expecting her son Mathias, now eight months old. After graduating in 2013, the Lakewood resident hopes to teach kindergarten and attend graduate school.

Her long-term plans include returning to Alaska to share her education with other Native Americans.

Demetrius Smith

Demetrius Smith spent eight years in the Army Reserves and worked in the telecommunications, information technology and mortgage industries to earn money for college. But skipped classes and poor grades doomed his first attempts.

Now an “A” student, he’ll graduate from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs in December 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. He’ll then pursue a master’s degree in psychology and diversity management at CSU.

The Shaker Heights resident hopes to use his skills and knowledge to help companies become more diverse.