Martis Ferguson laughs while speaking with Kimberly and David Barnett during an event announcing the naming of the Brenau University Ivester College of Health Sciences. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Ivester scholarship aids health science students

Martis Ferguson was doing everything he could to pay for his education, but the money was still running out.

It’s only because of the Kay and Douglas Ivester Scholarship that the 24-year-old Gainesville native is completing his nursing degree. The scholarships, awarded annually, go to deserving students attending Brenau and majoring in health sciences.

Ferguson transferred to Brenau for its Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing. He now works at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in patient logistics, which handles bed placement and assignment in “a big office that looks a bit like NASA,” he says.

“I applied to Brenau and got in, and I didn’t want to go anywhere else,” says Ferguson. “I was working at the hospital full time, but since the summer I dropped down to working 24 hours a week because of my schoolwork.”

Ferguson says he was worried about dropping his hours at the hospital, because he was relying on the money to pay for his education. He discussed his options with Gale Starich, dean of the College of Health Sciences and Ferguson’s professor, as well as with a financial aid counselor.

“I even turned to the hospital to help me pay for this semester,” he says. “I was planning on a combination of different things to try to pay for it.”

Ferguson is one of nine students to receive the scholarship this year and plans to work as a registered nurse after graduation for a few years before returning to Brenau to study to become a nurse practitioner.

“I want to say thank you to the Ivesters. This really helped me out. I was going to end up owing a lot of money if not for this.”

Martis Ferguson, Brenau nursing major

Martis Ferguson participates in a fall prevention workshop at Brenau's Downtown Center. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Martis Ferguson participates in a fall prevention workshop at Brenau’s Downtown Center. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

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