Student Spotlight: Jaime Bryant
When Jaime Bryant began taking physics as a senior at Wheaton North High School, she immediately found it fascinating.
“I was already was into earth science, but I found things that most people take for granted interesting, like the science behind sound waves and how you hear sound or how gravity affects objects,” she said. "I always knew I wanted to teach, and I realized I wanted to teach high school physics."
Bryant and her mom agreed that College of DuPage was the right choice. In addition to being affordable, Bryant took the time to work her way through the math curriculum to calculus while finishing her general education requirements. During her first year, she applied to the Student Ambassador program, which opened her eyes to everything COD had to offer.
"When I gave tours and worked at the college and career fairs, I would tell people that a community college is more than just a place for students to get to the next step," she said. "The college experience is what you make of it, whether you’re at a community college or a big school. And College of DuPage is at a different level with its size, proximity to the city and programs such as the 3+1s."
In 2013, Bryant attended the Conference on Undergraduate Women in Physics held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was one of only two community college students among the more than 170 attendees at the annual event. Activities included a career panel, a graduate student panel and an undergraduate research panel, and Bryant enjoyed speaking with the other conference participants and learning about their research.
“It was so much fun being there. One student had an internship where she built an electron gun!” she said. “I enjoyed learning what steps to take to apply for undergraduate research, and the advice was to apply for everything.”
Bryant also worked in the COD Admissions and Outreach office. She is transferring to DePaul University and, while planning on a high school teaching career, will keep her options open.
“After going to conference, I want to test the waters of research, because I won’t know how I feel about it until I try,” she said. “Everyone in the field loves what they are doing and has so much enthusiasm.
“Attending a community college is more than just a way for students to get to their next destination. The class sizes are smaller, and I’ve had the chance to build relationships with the faculty, especially in physics.”
2014 College of DuPage