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Bright Lights and Big Dreams

Jesse Markowitz

IMAGE: Jesse-Markowitz-180x254 Unlike many students, Jesse Markowitz knew exactly what he wanted to do after high school – go to college and study musical theater. There were only three schools that he considered applying to and Kent State University was one of them. Says Jesse, "Once I came to campus, I fell in love."

On the recommendation of a friend who was involved in Student Ambassadors [where students act as liaisons between the university and its guests at campus events], Jesse joined the program his freshman year. His interest, enthusiasm and energy promptly earned him the Anita D. Herrington Outstanding New Ambassador Scholarship. "I was shocked when they called my name," he says, "I really didn't expect it at all. The award went toward my tuition for two semesters."

Markowitz grew up in Orange, Ohio, and spent most summers working in his family's restaurant, Jack's Deli, in University Heights. "My dad calls me the 'CEO' of the place, but I'm really the manager," says Markowitz. As much fun as the restaurant has been, the stage is where Jesse feels most at home.

The best part about the theater program at Kent State, he says, is the faculty. "They make an outstanding program even better. They're on a first-name basis with the students. They do more than just teach classes – one took me shopping for career clothes! They're not just professors, the faculty here take care of your wellbeing, and invest in your life, which I don't see anywhere else."

And after graduation? It's off to New York, where he'll beat the boards and build his career. All part of the plan to make his dreams a reality, helped by a scholarship that gave him a great start.

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