Jessika Kazaros

She says earning the online B.S. in Health Education & Behavior changed her life and brought new opportunities within reach, including the opportunity to pursue graduate school through UF Online. This is her Gator tale. What’s yours?

Why UF Online?
I researched all the online school options before selecting UF. Now that I am a mother of three, finding this online degree just completely changed everything and opened up a lot of opportunities.
How long did it take to get your bachelor’s degree?
I completed my degree in 18 months.
How did you know that online learning was right for you?
It’s an experience that works for where I’m at in my life. If you aren’t straight out of high school, or are unable to live on campus and be part of that scene, you can still get that education at a top-notch school without giving up a lot of the other things.
How do you balance learning, work and family?
I have three kids. My youngest is 4 weeks old. I preferred to study and watch lectures in Panera, Starbucks and at my home office. I utilized email and the phone to communicate for group projects.
What advice do you have for future Gators considering UF Online?
You just have to be realistic. Make sure that it is something you can commit to and be organized.
What makes the B.S. in Health Education & Behavior program great?
I was able to apply my classwork to the hospital setting, where I volunteer. I also applied my learning to develop a program with peer counselors. I was able to apply a lot of that information to the opportunities that I’m working on now. All the professors who I had taught the exact same class on campus, and all the materials were the same. The only difference was I had video lectures that were recorded already instead of it being in person.
Do you feel connected to the Gator Nation?
Well, my husband’s whole family is UF alumni. I connected with a couple of students during the program, and now past graduation, we continue to keep in touch. Honestly, it is what you make of it. It’s kind of like any classroom, you know, someone can sit in the classroom in a lecture hall of a couple hundred students and never stand out; the same thing happens with the online program. I just interacted with the professors as much as I could. I attended graduation and walked in the ceremony.
What does the future hold?
I graduated with honors, Summa Cum Laude, and with an academic scholarship. I’m now considering graduate school through UF Online.

Jessika’s story is a great example of how to thrive as a student through UF Online. There are so many students just like her enrolled with us. Consider being part of the Gator Nation by applying to UF Online. Come join Jessika. Be Greater. Be a Gator.

Hometown:Orlando, Florida
Graduated:December 2014
Summa Cum Laude
Program:B.S. in Health Education & Behavior