Published on 8 November 2012
A Peregian Springs teenager who graduated from Sunshine Coast Grammar School last year with an OP1 is among a select group of students fast-tracking their Biomedical Science degrees at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Mason Vozzo, 18, is one of five current Bachelor of Science (Honours) Deans Scholar students.
The Deans Scholars must have OPs between 1 and 4 to study a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in three years instead of four, including special research projects or work placements over the winter and summer breaks.
Mason also received a $12,000 USC Chancellor’s Scholarship earlier this year, based on academic excellence.
“My plan was to go to a Brisbane university but I heard about the Deans Scholar program at USC and thought the Science degree had a lot of options and would give me a taste of different fields,” Mason said.
“It also meant I could keep my job at Sunshine Plaza, live at home and save on expenses. I really liked my first semester, especially pharmacology, learning how cells and receptors work and experimenting on blood vessels.”
The other first-year Deans Scholar students studying Biomedical Science are Burnside State High School graduate Jemma Nicholls of Nambour and Pacific Lutheran College graduate Isaac Sansome of Caloundra.
Nambour Christian College graduate Kathryn Wales, of Rosemount, is now in her second year of the program.
Karina Hamilton, of Sippy Downs, is the first person from the Faculty to finish the Deans Scholar program. The highly successful former Urangan State High OP1 graduate has this year started her PhD in Science at USC.
USC Biomedical Science Discipline Leader Dr Mark Holmes said the Deans Scholar program was gaining increasing interest from high-achieving local secondary students interested in medical research or postgraduate medicine.
“The students can fast-track their degree so they can get into medicine or a PhD program in medical research a year earlier,” he said.
— Julie Schomberg