2021 CCAA Scholar Recipients

Congratulations to this year's CCAA scholarship recipients. Based on their academic merit and notable affinity for Columbia College, the selection committee of the CCAA Advisory Council awarded nine students with a scholarship of $1,000 each for the 2021-22 academic year. The CCAA Scholars Program is made possible through the generous support of our alumni.

Heather Black

Columbia, Missouri
CC Location: Day Program
Major: Nursing
Heather Black wants to build a stronger future for her daughter, a plan that inspired her to apply to Columbia College’s nursing program at the age of 44. “Without the advice of my advisor, input from financial services and encouragement from my professors, I would never have been able to start this journey,” she says. Black finished her first year with a 3.667 GPA.

Lan’Tania Briggs

Orlando, Florida
CC Location: Orlando
Major: Human Services
Lan’Tania Briggs didn’t understand the importance of a college education early in her life, but today, the mother of three and grandmother of two is working toward a bachelor's degree in human services. After graduating from high school in 1987, Briggs was focused on getting a good job, and she did. She has worked for the Orlando Housing Authority for more than two decades and is using what she has learned at Columbia College to open her own nonprofit organization. “I have now learned how to help myself, and with this knowledge I will be helping others,” she says.

Katelynn Case

Ashland, Missouri
CC Location: Online Program
Major: Psychology and Sociology
Since starting her academic journey at Columbia College, Katelynn Case has transitioned from evening classes at the college’s location in Jefferson City to primarily online studies. “Columbia College has been a central structure of how I will become the kind of woman my daughter can look up to,” Case noted. She has received “gracious support in unexpected large life events, such as when I lost my home in a fire and lost my job due to COVID-19.” Case is a student worker in the Grossnickle Career Services Center while she works toward bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology. “Already I am actively living my dream of helping others by assisting my peers in achieving their career dreams.”

Mozelle Caswell

Chula Vista, California
CC Location: Online Program/NAS Jacksonville
Major: Cybersecurity
Mozelle Caswell utilized educational benefits for military spouses while her family was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, to complete her associate degree. She is enrolled in the Online Program to finish a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity in December 2021. “My husband [Stuart Caswell ’19] is the original Columbia grad and since I've joined too, we have become competitive with our grades and supportive with one another's learning,” she says. Caswell has a bachelor’s degree from another university but truly associates her CC experience with “a happier time” in her life. “Columbia College helped me discover that I am capable of being a good student and achieving high marks while engaging in meaningful discussion in my classes,” she says.

Maria Garito

Croghan, New York
CC Location: Online Program
Major: Human Services
Maria Garito returned to college later in life and strives to finish her degree not just for herself, but for her daughter. She has balanced a full-time job and “fuller-time” motherhood with online courses leading toward a degree in human services. “Columbia College is giving me a chance to be a role model,” Garito says. “I couldn't be more proud to say I am doing it … slowly but surely with the help of an amazing kaleidoscope of support, assistance and encouragement from Columbia College.”

Darren Johnson

Jacksonville, Florida
CC Location: NAS Jacksonville
Major: Business
Darren Johnson balances work, a young family and part-time studies while on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. After completing his associate degree in 2019, Johnson advanced his rank to E-5 and will finish his bachelor’s degree in 2022. Through his positive experiences, he has encouraged colleagues to also study at his alma mater. “Columbia College has made a positive impact on a lot of us and has been very helpful in assisting active duty personnel in preparing to transition out of the services. I am truly grateful,” he says.

Fallon Lloyd

Columbia, Missouri
CC Location: Day Program
Major: Human Services
When she needed to take an active role in her mother’s health care, first-generation college student Fallon Lloyd was met with full support by the faculty and staff at the college’s main campus. In fact, Lloyd is on track to graduate early in May 2022. “The support that I have received during my time on campus has allowed me to continue to pursue my education, graduate early, and continue to make great strides towards my future,” she says. “Columbia College has been the perfect place for me.”

Luis Rodriguez Diaz

Newport News, Virginia
CC Location: Online Program
Major: Psychology and Criminal Justice
Luis Rodriguez Diaz started his educational journey at Columbia College in 2010. Through many ups and downs in his personal and professional life, he found his college work to be the one constant he could rely on. “I remember searching for Wi-Fi spots to complete my school work,” he says. “At the time, being a student of Columbia College was the only thing that made sense to me.” Rodriguez Diaz is set to complete dual bachelor’s degrees in 2021.

Elizabeth Sherrill

Fort Worth, Texas
CC Location: NASJRB Fort Worth
Major: General Education
Elizabeth Sherrill credits the instructors and coursework at Columbia College’s location in Fort Worth for motivating her studies one semester after another. “I never knew that I could enjoy learning so much new and invaluable knowledge through an institution as I have with Columbia College,” she says. Sherrill recently earned her associate degree with a 3.9 GPA and is well on her way to a bachelor’s degree in general education.