Program helping spawn unlikely science scholars

There in a science class, wearing a white lab coat and cutting open a sheep heart, Jessie Vincoli…

Georgia (Dec 6, 2010) — There in a science class, wearing a white lab coat and cutting open a sheep heart, Jessie Vincoli remembered what it was she really wanted to do with her life.


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The 16-year-old had given up earlier ambitions of being a cardiac surgeon or a cardiac nurse like her mom. She flunked the 10th grade at Cobb County’s Harrison High School and bombed her physics course – twiBut this year, Jessie enrolled at the Cobb Performance Learning Center, a non-conventional school for students who want to graduate but haven't been successful in traditional high school. She was one of 11 from the center picked to participate this semester in the Kennesaw Science Program, where students visit the university and work with undergraduates on hands-on science experiments.

Now, Jessie is acing her science courses and once again considering a career in medicine.

“I thought if I did go to college it would be for a little while, I probably wouldn’t finish, I would end up failing,” she said. “I guess it’s the feeling of success: You feel motivated to do something with your life.”


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit