Scholarship winners demonstrate the perseverance needed to succeed

September 16, 2016

The three Bryan Fazio Scholarship winners for 2016 are Charles Berglund, Heather Hively and James Ramsey.

Berglund attends classes in Menifee, California, and expects to complete his master’s in organizational leadership (M.A.O.L.) and human resources in 2018.

Hively is a member of the online campus and is working on her MBA with an emphasis in organizational leadership. She plans to graduate in 2019.

James Ramsey is working toward an M.A.O.L. at the Bangor, Washington, campus and anticipates graduating at the end of this year.

The Bryan Fazio Scholarship honors the perseverance and triumph of one of Brandman’s most inspirational graduates. Bryan 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, receiving his MBA in August 2013. Fazio is now pursuing his law degree.

To apply for the scholarship, Brandman student veterans with a medical condition or disability were asked to write a 500- to 1,000-word scholarship about where they see themselves in five years and how their Brandman education would help them achieve their goals. Here are excerpts from each of the three scholarships.

Charles Berglund

Charles Berglund

Charles Berglund

My Brandman education is all about fighting. I face specific limitations that result from injuries I incurred serving in the military, and it is ironic because I joined the military as part of my youthful quest to overcome limitations. I know I will never be the person I was before my tour abroad, but limitations are common to all people.

This theme of fighting to overcome limitations inspires my plans to be a transformational leader in the human resources department for a city or school district.

I intend to put my plan into action as soon as I achieve my degree from Brandman University. Brandman has established a reputation for itself in that every staff member being like an angel in the fighter’s corner  — from admissions to the registrar to the professors  — are passionate about helping students achieve their goals. I’m a firm believer that we can only continue to improve our communities and societies through working together, accepting others’ differences, and collaborating on meaningful projects.

The fact that this scholarship is available to injured veterans is one of many examples to show how Brandman University and its alumni support us in our fight.

Heather Hively

The last ten years of my life I dedicated to serving in the greatest Navy in the world. I planned on being in the Navy for 20+ years, but due to some accidents and incidents I found myself being medically retired from the military 10 years early. I was lost and had no idea where or how to start over … Using my GI Bill, I wanted to better myself for my family and most importantly my daughter. I wanted her to be able to look back one day and know that even through all of life’s trials and tribulations I persevered. I want to inspire my daughter to be a positive impact on society, to bring good back into the world again.

Over the past few years I have been working on my higher education, last December I received my B.A.O.L. from Brandman and I am currently working on my M.A.O.L. Education is very important to me and I pride myself of doing the best I can do personally, professionally and academically.

In five years I would like to see my daughter in … school, and my husband and I would have our own business or franchise application turned in at a location that we desire to move to (yet to be determined). I can use the lessons and skills that I have learned so far from my courses here at Brandman. If I need to know how to handle a certain situation at work, where I am in a leadership position, I can look back on my notes from my organizational leadership classes. Through discussion boards I improved my communication skills and learned how to work well with others in many different time zones.

James Ramsey

I served in the United States Navy for fourteen and a half years … I was fortunate to have a friend that gave me a heads up on a job opening for Defense Logistics Agency in Bremerton Washington. I was only out of work for a couple of months. This friend also helped me to get started with school.

I decided that after my discharge from the Navy, I was going to get as far as I could go with my education. After three years, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for my master’s degree in organizational leadership with a certificate in nonprofit organizations; I will be finished in December of this year.

Over the years I have learned many things about leadership, but Brandman has opened my eyes to a few concepts that I had never really thought about. These new concepts have helped me realign my leadership style as well as my views on ethics and what needs to be done to make an organization successful. With the Brandman University education that I received in organizational leadership, I believe that I can go in with the tools that are needed to repair the broken system and possibly even enhance the department throughout all Defense Logistics Agency branches.

Apply or donate

This is the third year that Brandman has offered scholarships in honor of Bryan Fazio. Other scholarship opportunities for Brandman students include the Alumni Association Scholarship, which is accepting applications through Oct. 15.

Donations to the Bryan Fazio, Alumni Association and other scholarship funds can be made by going to

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