The Parthenon

Knowledge is Power

Student reaches for the stars with multiple degrees

J'Leigha Long

J'Leigha Long

J'Leigha Long, Reporter

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“Stopping at one degree just wasn’t for me,” said Mengistu Jima

from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mengistu Jima first began his college education at Marshall University

in 2010 in the LEAP program, which has since become a

part of INTO Marshall.

“I came across a cultural shock when I first came to Marshall

University because people were so free, they expressed their feelings,”

Jima said. “So, I had to adapt. Now I am free to be free.”

Jima said she chose to attend Marshall when a friend, who also

attended the school, recommended it to him.

I learned about West Virginia through the song, ‘West Virginia

Mountain Mama’ by John Denver,” Jima said. “The song described

it as a beautiful place, so I researched schools, and Marshall was

my choice.”

Jima said he came to the United States to see if the education

was different from his home country.

“The difference between the education here, and the education

in Ethiopia, is here in the United States, they’ll give you feedback,

and that helps you advance in your profession,” Jima said. “It helps

you critique. In Ethiopia the professor gives you a lecture, then

you are the one to memorize it. Here, there are two people communicating

back and forth, instead of it just being the students

responsibility to teach themselves the lesson.”

Jima got his bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental

study in 2004, a bachelor’s degree in foreign language and literature

in 2008 and a minor in political science. He also has a degree

in adult and technical education.

Jima is currently working on his second masters in environmental

science and geographic information systems. He plans to

graduate in May.

“You can never get too many degrees,” Jima said. “When I came

to Marshall University I told myself I could do all things I set my

mind to.”

J’Leigha Long can be contacted at [email protected]

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