Student Spotlight: Theresa Vargas
Studying music and health care may be an unusual combination. For Theresa Vargas, this allows her to pursue two of her interests at once.
“I am very passionate about music and wish to perform and compose in the future. But I also know that a steady job in the world of music can be very hard to come by,” she said. “I decided to also pursue a degree in a health field because of my interest in anatomy and medical diagnostics.”
Vargas initially earned credit at College of DuPage when she played the flute and piccolo with the Chamber Orchestra. She also completed the certified nursing assistant course at the Technology Center of DuPage and earned dual credit.
“I decided to attend COD mostly because I had heard excellent things about both the school and the programs it offered,” she said. “The health programs have an outstanding reputation, and the 3-in-1 degree programs provide a very practical alternative to the traditional four-year school.
“However, I came to the realization that COD’s greatest assets are the teachers themselves. The teachers I had were extremely generous with their time and are passionate about what they do. The smaller classroom sizes offer a student far more opportunities to connect with their teachers than they would receive at a typical university. You are not just another anonymous face in a crowded lecture hall. There tends to be a negative stigma attached to community colleges, and the benefits are often overlooked.”
Vargas also earned the Belushi Scholarship two years in a row, which helped her with tuition.
“Comedic legends have to get their start someplace! Since ‘The Blues Brothers’ is one of my all-time favorites, and I love watching the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players of SNL, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered that John and his brother Jim attended COD. The scholarship was especially meaningful to me since I admire John’s talent so much.”
After earning her Associate in Fine Arts – Music degree at College of DuPage, Vargas is working as a freelance musician. Eventually she would like to attend a four-year school to study music and then both compose music and perform.
“My education at COD provided me with the tools that I need to become a better musician,” she said. “College of DuPage made me more well-rounded. I am getting better at seeing things from multiple perspectives, my analytical skills have sharpened, and my critical thinking abilities are stronger.
“I really enjoyed my time at College of DuPage. The classes were wonderful, the campus was amazing, and the teachers were outstanding. If I had to make the decision to attend COD all over again, I would do so in a heartbeat. I am proud to be a Chaparral!”
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