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(ORLANDO, Fla.) - Columbia College-Orlando awarded $500 scholarships to David J. Gross of Oviedo and Kevin P. Christian of Orlando in honor of Frank S. Westling. Westling was a former dean of the college's Extended Studies Division, which serves adult learners and military personnel nationwide. Gross is a senior criminal justice administration major and deputy sheriff at the Orange County Sheriff's Office. As a gang enforcement agent, he has received many honors and awards for his work, including a Distinguished Service Award and two Meritorious Unit Citations. Gross also is an instructor for the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program, which teaches gang education to law enforcement officers across the country. Christian is a senior general studies major and is employed at Fern Creek Elementary School in Orlando. He demonstrates service to his community by participating in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and organizing a children's clothing and shoe drive and mentoring program.
The scholarship was awarded to one student at most of Columbia College's 30 nationwide campuses. To qualify for the Westling scholarship, applicants had to:
- Complete a scholarship application
- Pursue degree completion with Columbia College
- Have a minimum Columbia College GPA of 3.0
- Have residency of at least 15 hours with Columbia College
- Have a history of leadership and service to their community, school or country
- Write a 400-500 word essay on their achievements and career goals
"Columbia College is proud to offer this scholarship to students at our extended campuses," said Mike Randerson, Columbia College vice president for Adult Higher Education. "Frank Westling was instrumental in establishing the Extended Studies Division to serve working adults and military personnel, and he would be pleased to know the scholarship is helping fulfill the educational goals of students around the country."
Prior to joining the college, Westling served in the U.S. Army for 31 years and retired as a colonel. He was a highly decorated infantry soldier and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal and Silver Star.
The Westling Scholarship is a nonrenewable scholarship and will be awarded to a new student each year.
Columbia College was founded in Missouri in 1851. Today, the college serves 20,000 students at its Day Campus, Evening Campus, Graduate Program, 30 nationwide campuses and Online Campus.