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Scholarship Recipients Say Support Provides Tools for Academic Greatness

After serving her country for 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, biology major Catherine Isaak will retire her military career in 2023 when she graduates from Boise State.

“I’m pursuing a degree in biology because ultimately I would like to be a veterinarian, specializing in cattle and large animals,” Isaak said. “I’m a planner, with multiple plans, and I figured I’d rather just have a degree, to begin with before I go into any master’s or doctorate’s program.”

She credits her reserve career in preparing her for this phase of her education, and life.

“Being in the Army Reserve prepared me for being a student,” she said. “I learned time management skills, anticipating short deadlines and being able to overcome difficulty in the face of a lot of adversity.”

According to Isaak, Boise State faculty, particularly female researchers, inspire her in her academic career.

“Boise State has met my academic expectations greatly,” she said. “I have been able to find true women leaders in science — Ph.D.’s that just give me the aspiration to know that I can be a part of a future where there are a lot more women in science.”

As a recipient of the D.J. Obee Biology Scholarship, she was able to use these funds to purchase a printer and other needed supplies while taking classes remotely due to pandemic protocols.

“Donors who support students with their financial scholarship donations make a huge impact — without you, my educational dreams couldn’t have happened,” she said. “Even a small amount of $150 goes a long way. It settles those anxieties and worries that students have, not only in achieving academic greatness, but being able to afford the tools to do that.”

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