Natasha Allen refuses to settle for less. Competitive by nature, she always strives to be her best. This year, she became the first in her family to earn a college education. After serving as president of the Black Student Union and promoting campus diversity, she graduated May 3 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
In fall 2014, Ana Cortez left her Lakeland home to attend FSU Panama City to study Business Administration. Faced with meeting new people and becoming familiar with a new city, she has turned her passion into a student organization: Project Runway.
As a home schooled student, Justice Wobser began regularly attending classes at Gulf Coast State College when he was 16. Catapulted into adulthood, Wobser found the key to academic success through hard work, self-discipline and responsibility. He now is an Electrical Engineering major at FSU Panama City.
Jake Hamilton is a first-generation college student who made it to college against all odds. Coming from a family with no higher education background, he still pursued his dreams of going to college with their support. He graduated high school in Sebring, Fla., and moved to Panama City to study business administration.
Taylor Dorrough thought she wanted the typical college experience at a major university, but she ultimately discovered a smaller campus was right for her. After attending the University of Kentucky for two years, she found the right fit with the Business Administration program at FSU Panama City.
Coming from the two-light town of Samson, Ala., Emily Crews is used to small. Now a sophomore electrical engineering major at FSU Panama City, she feels right at home in less than 400 square feet of living space.
Stephany Bittar made history twice in her first year of college. She came to FSU Panama City as a member of the inaugural freshman class and now has become the first underclassman president of the campus’ Student Government Council.
Adam Wendt and his family moved to Panama City because he wanted to learn from the best. Already a professional diver and scuba instructor, Wendt enrolled in FSU Panama City’s Underwater Crime Scene Investigation certificate program. Just a few months later, he and fellow divers from FSU Panama City were called on as the best to recover the body of a missing swimmer in Austin, Texas.
Since Rob Griffith saw his first computer in elementary school, he has had an affinity for technology. Now, at 40, he is completing his degree in computer engineering at Florida State University Panama City. With graduation nearing, Griffith is serving as project manager on the Wireless Portable Influence Measuring System (Wireless PIMS) for defense manufacturer Exelis Mine Defense Systems.
As a mother, Stephanie Smith knows children are fascinated with bubbles and buttons. As an engineering student, she is learning how to turn those bubbles and buttons into an interactive museum exhibit.