A Captain of His Own Education

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- by Marty Katz


He points to New College’s unique academic structure which gave him the freedom to carve out his own educational path. “I was really interested in mobile apps, but at the time, the computer science program was still growing and that course wasn’t available. I was able to create my own tutorials with my professors every semester where I just learned it on my own. They helped guide me through it.” After 2-3 years, Kush became very good in that domain.

A scholarship made New College the best choice for Kush’s education.  “I was comparing New College and University of Florida. My heart was with New College because the system looked so much better.  After four years of high school, the last thing I wanted was more years of GPA obsession and tests.  And because of the scholarship I was offered, it helped seal the deal.”

Kush has fond memories of his relationships with his professors. “Whenever I was struggling, I would run over to Heiser and find one of my professors. They would usually help me right away.” He compares his experience to that of his friends at other colleges.  “It’s a completely different ballgame.  Each of their Intro to Computer Science classes had 300 students. I would have had to schedule a meeting with a professor far in advance.”  In fact, Kush says it was easy to be friends with his professors. “We still email each other, and update each other on our lives. They were more than just professors, more like colleagues or lifelong mentors.”

Kush’s partner, Gina Vazquez, also attended New College and studied biology.  After working at two different start-ups in the Bay Area, she is now beginning her Ph.D. at UC Davis.

Kush is grateful for the donors who made his scholarship possible. “Thank you first and foremost for giving me the opportunity to study at NCF.  It was an invaluable experience and I absolutely fell in love with the school, and it changed the course of my life.  I hope you continue to make those donations so that others can have the same experience.”

Kush sums up his New College education by saying, “By pushing me to be a captain of my education instead of a passenger, New College sharpened my leadership skills without me even realizing it. Today, I’m able to easily navigate my career and personal life thanks to this experience I had while at New College.”