Not only did the Choose Ohio First Scholarship make college more affordable for Gabbie, but it also presented a plethora of opportunities to broaden her skillset.

gabbie goerler

If you had told MSJ junior Gabbie Goerler ’25 three years ago that she would be not only be majoring in Biomedical Sciences, but also in Social Computing, she would not have seen it coming.

Going into college at Mount St. Joseph University, she knew exactly what she wanted to do—major in Biomedical Sciences, and from there, pursue a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in graduate school—until, that is, the Choose Ohio First (COF) Scholarship presented an opportunity for her to pursue the Mount’s cITe program.

“While at [an MSJ scholarship] event, a professor who I later learned was Alex Nakonechnyi asked for my email, so he could send me information for an $8,000 scholarship where I could major in Social Computing as well as another major of my choice,” says Gabbie. “I had never heard of Social Computing, so I didn’t truly know what I was getting myself into. But, once I had an interview over Zoom with Dr. Kritsky and Dr. Allen, where I was offered the scholarship at the end, I knew it was something I was going to accept and see what the program had to offer.”

Through funding afforded by the Ohio Department of Education’s Choose Ohio First (COF) program, the cITe Scholars program at the Mount provides competitive scholarship opportunities for students looking to connect their interests in fields such as behavioral sciences, digital media and communications, liberal arts, etc., with technology.

Gabbie would be able to conduct research on topics important to her, as well as build her resume with a well-rounded skillset. If she had never been asked for her email at this event, she may have never found out about the program.

“Everyone who was a part of the process for the Choose Ohio First Scholarship made me feel welcomed, and I believe that this was something I was meant to do,” she says. “The process of getting the COF Scholarship went seamlessly, and I didn’t feel as if it was another stressor as all my questions were answered.”

Lighting the Way through ‘Students Helping Students’ Research Project

A pivotal experience in the cITe program so far was when Gabbie attended and presented at the Choose Ohio First Scholars Showcase at the Ohio Statehouse.

During this, she was one of three MSJ students who spoke on a student panel, explaining a cITe work study project they had spent countless hours on called Students Helping Students. This project aimed to help other incoming students with the resources available to them at the Mount.

Through video production, Gabbie was able to help other new students going through the program just like her.

“It was truly an experience I will never forget,” she reflects. “Going to college, especially if you are far away from home, can be stressful, but if you know about the resources available to you it makes it much easier. Once being in their shoes, I want to Light the Way for students to take risks in trying new things because you never know where it can take you.”

The participants whom the work study interviewed to create it were asked questions along the lines of time management tips, student resources, adjusting to college life/making friends, getting involved, and more. Gabbie spent the summer of 2022 working on the videos and in the process, she was faced with the challenge of video editing, which she unexpectedly grew to like.

“This is something I have never tried. But I found an application called FilmForth that I learned to use fairly quickly and this task made me realize that video editing can be time-consuming it’s something I’ve grown to love.” This skill has also evolved into other projects, as she is currently working on a project called Lost Lions.

“I am editing videos we’ve taken around campus and turning them into walk-through videos of how to get from place to place on campus,” she adds.

Gabbie relates to these experiences first-hand. When she began college, she was nervous, as none of her close friends decided to go to the Mount. She decided to become more involved by joining the Jazz and Concert Band, and the Women’s Track and Field team.

“I want to Light the Way for others to get involved and make an impact on those around them. The cITe program has allowed me to find my place and help others in the transitional stage from high school to college. I have always had a passion for helping others, which is the main reason I want to become a physical therapist, but until then, the cITe program is giving me this opportunity to help others in a different way.”

Among 40 different applicants who got accepted into the cITe Student Scholar Showcase at the Ohio Statehouse, Gabbie’s team was selected for one of the spots within this particular panel discussion.

“It is such a rewarding feeling when you are at the end and get to share your research with others, especially when the research was something you cared about. Research is a time-consuming process, but if the topic you chose to research means something to you, it makes all the difference, as you aren’t just discussing the results of it all—you are discussing a topic that has a purpose.”

A Beacon of Support

Among her friends and family, Gabbie credits her mother, brother and father, who have been a beacon of support throughout her life. “If it wasn’t for [them], I don’t know where I would be--[they've] always supported my idea of becoming a Physical Therapist,” says Gabbie.

Once she graduates, she hopes to become accepted into the Mount's Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, and later plans to blend her social computing knowledge with her career.

“I plan to use both my social computing and biomedical sciences knowledge in the work field one day!” she exclaims. “The Mount is not only close to home, but it is also a smaller college that feels almost like a community; you do not feel like you are just a number like you would in colleges with thousands of students! From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew that the Mount was where I was meant to continue my education.”

Interesting in Double-Majoring in Social Computing and a Major of Your Choosing?

Our cITe Scholars Program may be a strong fit for you.

Students in cITe double major in their content area of interest combined with a major in Social Computing. This interdisciplinary curriculum works to connect students’ interests to technology innovation. Students are also eligible to to apply to the cITe Scholarship up to $8,000 per year: the Choose Ohio First cITe Scholarship.

To learn about Abby’s program, visit our cITe Scholars page for program highlights.