Student Spotlight: Ivan Ishkov
Major: Engineering and Physics
Ivan Ishkov was set on completing his degree in electrical engineering and nothing more.
Then he took Physics III with College of DuPage Professor David Fazzini.
"That course really stirred my interest in physics, mainly because it introduced many more areas of the field that I was not familiar with but I found very interesting and wanted to know more about," he said.
Ishkov had selected College of DuPage for financial reasons. Being named a Presidential Scholar -- an impressive award that includes a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in the Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society -- made the decision easy. What he discovered at COD makes only reinforces the decision he made.
"The scholarship allowed me to focus on school rather than finding a job," he said. "This helped me to do well academically. COD is the main reason I choose to pursue physics. The course was not required in my major but I decided to take it anyway. In addition to the basic gen ed classes, I took most of the classes that COD provided for both Physics and Engineering."
Ishkov transferred to the University of Minnesota, where he is pursuing a double major in Electrical Engineering and Physics. While there, he was selected to participate in the McNair Scholars program in 2013, where he will conduct research as part of a team under a professor or mentor.
"The program is geared toward students who intend to go into grad school, so the program is structured to be similar to that of the work and load similar to grad students," he said. "The program will also teach me how to prepare for grad school and how to take the GRE."
After earning his bachelor's degree, Ishkov will either find a job temporarily or go directly into graduate school.
"In the long run, I want to become involved in research and current developments in order to be part of a new discovery that can become crucial at some point in our future," he said. "It may be a stretch, but with the way that our technology is advancing in this day and age, anything seems possible.
"COD has been great and taught me much within my major. The Physics program is fantastic as well. My advice to students is to not throw out any option right off the bat just because COD is a community college. The calculus-based Physics I and II are very similar to the courses taught at the University of Illinois, which make the courses very transferable. The biggest advice I would give, however, is to get to know your professors and advisors. They may help in a lot of ways and point you to the right direction. Familiarize yourself with the curriculum of the college you plan to transfer to in order to make sure it will be a smooth transition."
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