Columbia Southern University (CSU), an online school, is proud to announce the winner of the CSU/Arizona Fire Chiefs Association scholarship: Frank Ricci of the Casa Grande Fire Department in Arizona.
Ricci, a battalion chief with the department, won the scholarship based on his entry in an essay contest sponsored by CSU and the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA), an organization that provides professional opportunities for fire chiefs.
"I was extremely excited to be chosen for this scholarship. I have been trying for many scholarships because of the cost of higher education," he said.
The annual scholarship covers tuition for up to 24 months for one specific online degree program with CSU. The online school features many degree programs including business administration, occupational safety and health, fire science and human resource management.
Ricci, who has worked in the fire service since 1992, said his decision to be a firefighter was influenced by his familyâs service in the field and "as a youth, I lived down the street from a fire station where my uncle was a volunteer and I would hang out at the fire station. I remember the positive impact they had on me and although I toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher or a lawyer, I was always drawn back to the fire service."
A CSU alumnus, Ricci said he wants to return to CSU to complete an online masterâs degree in organizational leadership.
"A masterâs degree in organizational leadership is designed to prepare me to assume a leadership role in my organization," Ricci said in his essay. "Because this program places an emphasis on strategic planning and the strategic use of resources to create an optimum work environment, I will be encouraged and challenged to develop individual and interpersonal skills for achieving success. I am not looking for this degree for myself, but rather for my organization. I have a strong desire to be a better person, a better manger, a better leader, and an asset to my organization and my city."
Ricci added, "CSU, based on my past attendance and experiences, has always been my first choice to come back to earn my master's degree and I was excited when I learned they became a partner with the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association." CSU forms learning partnerships with organizations and companies which gives members/employees a 10 percent discount on tuition toward an online degree program.
To learn more about CSU online associate, bachelorâs, masterâs and doctoral degree programs and scholarships, please visit http://www.ColumbiaSouthern.edu.