Bryan Fazio rewards veterans with scholarships
With Veterans Day less than a month away, Brandman University is honored to present the four recipients of the inaugural Bryan A. Fazio Scholarship. Fazio recently presented scholarship checks to two of the four winners from our valued military community. Join us in congratulating them as we highlight their amazing stories of challenges and triumph.
About the Scholarship
To be eligible, applicants had to be active duty military or a veteran suffering from a medical condition or disability. Applicants submitted a 500-1000 word essay explaining where they see themselves in five years and how their Brandman education will help them achieve their goals.
The Bryan Fazio Scholarship was established to honor the perseverance and triumph of one of Brandman’s most inspirational graduates. Fazio was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma while serving in the Navy. He was told by doctors that he had just nine months to live. Upon hearing the news, Fazio doubled up on his graduate level courses and received his MBA in August 2013. This fall, Fazio is enrolled in law school and hopes to become a ‘voice’ for veterans upon completion of his law degree.
The Honored Recipients
Jamie Kincaid – Irvine Campus
In 2007, Jamie Kincaid was seven years away from retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps when on June 25 she was struck by a drunk driver. Soon after, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Her first of four bouts with four separate cancers. Her career as a parachute packer was over. Upon her transition into civilian life, Kincaid found that there wasn’t much use for a civilian parachute packer, therefore, she decided to use her G.I. Bill to return to school. Kincaid began her education in 2012 and two months later she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and was advised to put her education on hold – but she didn’t.
Kincaid pushed on, maintained a 4.0 GPA, and recently received her bachelor’s. In May of this year, she along with her husband, walked in Brandman’s Southern Region Commencement Ceremony held at Chapman University in Orange. Kincaid received her bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and is now working towards a master’s in Organizational Leadership at Brandman’s Irvine Campus.
“I am honored that Bryan and Brandman University would think so highly of my essay and my application. This money will help me realize my goal of one day opening my own school that will assist in the development of children with disabilities, especially those on the autism spectrum.”
Jamie’s scholarship presentation on September 26 was covered by KCBS-TV in Los Angeles and she was a guest on KNX radio. Her story will be told in detail on an upcoming CBS News public affairs programs.
Erik Dye – Ontario Campus
When Erik Dye retired from the U.S. Navy, he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and given five years to live if he didn’t receive a liver transplant. Erik is currently on the waiting list for a liver transplant. Dye likely contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion 25 years ago. “Within the last couple of months, I have received new treatments that have not only made a real breakthrough medically, but have allowed me to plan for the future.
It’s a future that includes using the knowledge Dye will receive from attaining his MBA to volunteer with Hepatitis C support groups within the VA system.
“Like Bryan has said ‘we are not defined by our disease, but by our commitment to battle. That’s what really touched me about Bryan’s story. He wanted to be seen as a person and not a disease.”
On September 26 at Brandman’s Riverside Campus, Dye accepted his scholarship award with his mother (Emily Kokinos) and wife (Emilly Dye) by his side.
Darcy Brockman-Wright – Joint Base Lewis McChord
Darcy Bockman-Wright is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership, with graduation expected in spring of 2015. She works at Madigan Army Medical Center in Ophthalmology at Joint Base Lewis McChord, and was ‘shocked’ to receive the scholarship.
“This means so much more than just a little extra money to cover college cost, but rather that Bryan has faith in me and my dream and goal, and I won’t let him down.”
Bockman-Wright continued on to say, “My goal is to graduate and maybe even continue on with my masters. I am learning how I can make a difference with the degree in organizational leadership within my organization one class at a time. I promise the generosity Mr. Fazio has be stilled upon me will not stop with me and I promise to pass it on to another veteran.”
Nick Arman – Ontario Campus
Nick is a disabled veteran of the Iraqi war and is currently a graduate student in the School of Education, Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program. He served in the Marine Corps and was medically discharged after sustaining career ending injuries. His commitment to serving his county resulted in his enlisting in the Army National Guard and in September 2004, he was deployed to Iraq. Two years later, he was discharged again due to combat injuries.
Recognizing his physical, cognitive and emotional challenges, Nick realized that his goal of a law enforcement career was no longer realistic. That is when he decided to embark on a career in counseling. Following the death of his mother to cancer several years later, coupled with the joy of welcoming the birth of his son, Nick has committed himself to continuing his work as a Readjustment Counseling Therapist in the VA.
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