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Campus News

January 4th, 2022

"GC is a great stepping stone to further your education"

GC's STEM student Alexandra Schofield will complete two-year degree within one year of high school graduation


Ms. Alexandra Schofield

Garrett County resident Alexandra Schofield is on track to complete her two-year associate degree within one year of graduating high school.

Schofield, a Southern Garrett High School graduate, is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree with a mathematics and science concentration. She has a strong interest in pursuing higher education in the science, technology, engineering and math – known as STEM – field. She first began taking college credits in high school as a dual-enrolled student, in addition to taking AP courses in high school.

"I was able to make great progress on my degree during high school, which will allow me to finish at Garrett in just one year," she noted. "I chose Garrett College because I was able to explore exactly where in the STEM field I wanted to work – all while completing my basic degree requirements at no cost thanks to the Garrett County Scholarship Program."

Schofield was recently recognized for receiving the Girl Scouts of America Gold Award for a project she developed focusing on the many barriers and challenges young women face in pursuing a STEM education. As part of her project, she created and taught a curriculum on women in STEM who were outstanding in their field.

"While this topic applies to many women, I selected 10 women I felt I should have learned about in school, or ones those around me look up to," Schofield explained. "The lesson for each woman consisted of a biography, a worksheet with questions that followed the lesson, an activity, and for some a video or two from YouTube."

While teaching these lessons at an elementary school in Garrett County, she was amazed at how easily the children picked up on the unfair barriers each of the women faced.

"Not only did the students look forward to learning about these women, they were completely invested in why there were barriers in the first place," Schofield remarked. "Almost every lesson included an engaging discussion from the students about how unfair it was that these women had to endure the things they did."

She continued, "The students were not only educated in the STEM field, but also in the barriers that many women still face today. These students gave me hope that one day these barriers will be no more."

As for Schofield, she has enjoyed being able to further her studies at GC with other students who are as interested in STEM as she is. She plans to further her education in mathematics at Frostburg State University after graduating in the spring.

"Garrett College is a great stepping stone to furthering your education. Whether you intend to go on to a four-year college or not, Garrett is a wonderful place to start advancing your knowledge," added Schofield. "I was unsure about where I wanted to attend and what I wanted to study. Garrett was able to allow me to continue making progress towards my degree while figuring it all out."

Schofield credits the amount of support and encouragement she's received from staff and faculty with her successful college journey.

"Everyone in the learning commons has been incredibly supportive of my studies and constantly check in to make sure my classes are going well and that I am not overwhelmed," she stated. "Additionally, a few of my professors have been very encouraging about my future beyond Garrett, including my desire to further advance my education in the STEM field."

This past semester, Schofield was enrolled in Finley Richmond's physics 111 class.

"Alexandra is a very responsible student, quiet, enthusiastic, and studious in her learning of physic concepts and their terminology. She is always to the point and accomplishes her tasks prior to all other students in my class," remarked Richmond, GC's associate professor of science and STEM faculty. "I see potential in the life of this young lady in the accomplishment of her career path."

As such, Richmond recommended Schofield as a STEM peer tutor in the College's tutoring center on campus.

"Alexandra is very talented and I have full confidence that she will use her talent to help other students, not only in my physic class but in other topics," stated Richmond.

According to Ashley Ruby, GC's director of advising and academic success, STEM tutors are traditionally difficult to find; however, Schofield swiftly filled that need.

"As a tutor, Alexandra became an approachable academic resource to her peers," noted Ruby, who also oversees the College's tutoring center. "Her effervescent personality and helping nature suited her well in this role and I am thankful for the impactful work she has performed over the last few months."

Ruby added, "The peer tutor position also allowed her to put her STEM knowledge into action and build some important resume-worthy experience. I look forward to continuing to watch Alexandra flourish as a tutor in the spring semester, her final semester, leading up to her well-earned degree completion!"

At Garrett, Schofield is also involved as a student officer with the Campus Advisory & Activities Board (CAAB).

"Some of my best memories at Garrett have been associated with being a CAAB officer. I love putting on programs for the students and getting to interact with so many people," Schofield stated. "My favorite program so far has been our Pumpkin Everything Day we hosted in October. Brandon Jackson (assistant director of student development and CAAB advisor) and the rest of the CAAB officers have been an excellent group to get to know and surround myself with!"

Schofield was a 2021 recipient of the Kalie Hostutler Ashby Academic Achievement Scholarship Fund. The fund – which provides textbook scholarships to students who attended Ashby's alma mater, Southern Garrett High School, and were part of the College's dual enrollment program, or students who previously attended Crellin Elementary School – honors the late Kalie Hostutler Ashby and the value she placed on higher learning.