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PROFILE: Math Scholarship Adds Up
to Education for CAS Freshman

Date: Dec. 4, 2000
By: Mary Bridget Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

"The scholarship lifted a 50-ton weight off my shoulders. Now, I know I can do it."

Like a lot of UC students who work and go to school, West Chester resident and UC freshman Andrea Tackett worried about paying for college. Past surveys have shown that UC is a university that works. About 49 percent of UC's first-year students work part-time to fund their education compared with 39 percent nationally.

Happily for Tackett who works part-time at Meijer, she participated in a voluntary math exam during summer orientation, scoring so well on the test that she won a one-year scholarship. It covers her tuition and fees for her first year as an architectural engineering technology major in UC's College of Applied Science.

Andrea Tackett

"It was a happy accident for me," said Tackett, who graduated in June 2000 from Lakota West High School. "I was at orientation with my dad, and someone asked if I wanted to take an optional math exam that would allow me to test out of classes or possibly win a scholarship. If I didn't take the test, I was just going to stand around for two hours while others took it. I didn't want to stand around, so I took it. I've always been good at math, science and drawing, but I'm still amazed I won."

With her first-year financial worries allayed, Tackett is eager to get their her courses and to advance into her co-op quarters. (Co-op, which was founded at UC in 1906, allows students in a variety of degree programs to alternate their academic quarter with work quarters related to their major.) Co-op interested Tackett because it will allow her to gain real-world, work experience that will also help with paying for school.

"I'm looking forward to co-opping and getting the experience I need. It'll be a taste of what's to come later in life," she said, adding that she already had an interview with a potential co-op employer.

Tackett has known since 8th grade that she wanted to pursue an architectural career. "In 8th grade, my teacher - Mr. Cadillac - had us do an exercise where we had to draw a house within certain parameters. It had to have so many feet and two bedrooms. He said I used my space very efficiently. I got an A+. I really liked doing that project, and I drew houses all the following summer. Ever since, I knew this is what I wanted to do."

Unlike some of her peers who might be a bit apprehensive about being in a new environment, Tackett is looking forward to starting a new phase of her life. Part of her confidence stems from the fact that she moved from Pittsburgh to West Chester in the middle of her high school years.

"When I moved from Pittsburgh, I was paranoid that no one would like me," Tackett looks back and laughs. However, everything worked out. She quickly made good friends by participating in track, cross country, Peer Counseling and French Club. "I've been new before, so that doesn't worry me much," she said.

Accordingly, Tackett has jumped eagerly into her freshman year, already joining the National Association of Homebuilders and Student Women in Construction. "I really think I am going to have a whole lot of fun my first year, and I am meeting a whole bunch of new people. If this keeps up, I will hopefully have a lot of really good co-op opportunities too."

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