Chemistry major plans to graduate debt free

Senior Jennifer Li initially selected Georgia Gwinnett College because of its economical cost of attendance in comparison to similar colleges along with its diversified learning community. At the time, she planned to attend for a year before transferring to a larger college in the metro-Atlanta area. But after experiencing student life at GGC, she chose to stay.

“My experience at GGC has been enlightening, helping me find my true passion in life,” Li said. “It has been awe-inspiring to be able to learn and give back into GGC’s community.”

Li not only has a part-time job at her family’s restaurant as a hostess and bookkeeper, but also finds time to serve in several ways on campus. She’s in the Honors Program, a student ambassador, and mentors freshmen in chemistry, a subject about which she is passionate.

“Chemistry has unlimited amounts of amazing facts that explain the matter surrounding us, or even what we are composed of – like the amazing fact that glass is a very slow-flowing liquid,” she said. “The chemistry professors at GGC are notably passionate about what they teach to their students, giving lots of motivation and encouraging me to set aside more time for the subject.”

Li is grateful to the faculty, notably the science professors, who she believes do their absolute best to help their students. Some, like Dr. Kathryn Zimmermann, assistant professor of chemistry, have committed to continue helping her reach for her goals after graduation by offering career advice and writing letters of recommendation.

“Everything about this college is the prime example of a remarkable learning environment,” Li said. “The STEM courses I’ve taken are based on learning the material before attending the lecture, which helps me develop a habit of better time management and self-responsibility, two attributes that are important in life.”

Li enjoys the satisfaction of making an impact on younger, less experienced students. Her goal is to help them improve themselves and grow academically and personally.

My favorite quote is by Dr. Seuss who said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Li looks forward to graduating debt-free and credits GGC’s affordability and her ability to work part-time because of flexible class schedules for giving her a successful post-graduation start. She also plans to pursue a job that will make a positive environmental difference after her anticipated 2020 fall graduation.

Beyond that, she’d also like to achieve a Ph.D. in chemistry and become a professor so she can continue to positively impact students.

“I’m so thrilled with the accomplishment of being able to graduate debt-free,” she said. “It frees me from the stresses of having to pay off debt and gives me a step ahead to work towards a career for myself.”