Jay Poloney is three-time outstanding science student
For the third consecutive year, Rogue Community College student Jay Poloney has received the Outstanding Science Student award.
Poloney, who was honored at the recent RCC Honors Night ceremony, also was given the TRiO/Student Support Services Achievers award. And at RCC’s commencement June 16, he will serve as a student marshal, leading classmates into the Marjorie Holzgang Concert Bowl.
Poloney, 26, earned a 4.0 GPA at RCC. He has applied to several major universities, and his goal is to have a career in electrical or mechanical engineering. He’s grateful to the RCC Foundation for the $2,500 Todd T. Stocking Memorial Scholarship that helped him reduce his student loan debt.
“As a person of very limited financial means, it’s tricky to pay for school out-of-pocket,” Poloney said. “I’ve chosen as frugal a lifestyle as you can get but still had to take out a loan every term. Scholarships not only help financially,” he explained, “but it’s also a total honor to be selected for something like that.”
Poloney also helped pay his educational expenses by working as a science lab assistant and as a TRiO tutor.
Originally from Portland, Poloney worked in the trades after high school, gaining skills in construction and renovation work using natural sustainable materials. He traveled and did several farming internships. While working on a southern Oregon farm, he decided do more with his life.
“I saw school as an avenue,” he said. “I got to RCC and kind of eased into it, taking one class at a time to see if I was ready. I’ve gained a lot of confidence at RCC in my academic and social abilities. RCC is the greatest place to figure out what you want to do,” Poloney added.
“I just encourage people to take advantage of what RCC has to offer. We’re a small college so things might not be as flashy as a big school, but from what I’ve seen and experienced there’s a wealth of resources, especially the instructors. I rave about my instructors all the time.”
This summer he will serve a paid research internship at Portland State University, the only community college student selected as an intern. He’s also engaged to marry Katarina Kobor, a former RCC recycling coordinator.
“My goal is to create and redesign things that will help improve the world. I’m interested in how to make sustainable technology more affordable and accessible in more places,” he said. “At RCC I’ve been able to do everything I’ve wanted to do. I’ve gotten much more out of my classes than just credits,” he concluded.
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