Getting an Education and on-the-job Experience at Jessup
Sophomore Nehemiah Howard knows where he is headed and Jessup is helping him achieve his goals and dreams. The 19-year-old came to Jessup as the recipient of a full ride scholarship, an honor given during Jessup’s Scholar’s Showcase event held annually in March.
One of five kids, Howard has four sisters and is no stranger to Jessup as he was familiar with the University while growing up in Stockton. His father serves as executive pastor at Progressive Community Church and his mom is a teacher. “Over the years, I saw my parents lead students to Jessup but, for some reason, I always thought I would go to college in Southern California.”
That perspective changed once he participated in the Scholars event and later attended a Preview Day at Jessup. “When I met with everyone at Jessup, I knew they really wanted me there. It was a God moment for me because I realized He wanted me there too,” Howard said. During Preview Day, he was able to share his interest in pursuing a career in sports analytics. A very broad field indeed, sports analytics is known to power everything from coaching decisions to fantasy sports. It involves the process of plugging statistics into mathematical models to predict the outcome of a specific play or game. Coaches use this for scouting athletes and front offices use it to develop their players.
Preview Day gave Howard the opportunity to meet with Jessup administration and faculty who were able to answer specific questions and help build a pathway to attain his goals. “For me, Preview Day was a much more personal experience. I felt like the day was tailored to my interests and showed me the possibilities Jessup could offer.”
Declaring computer science as his major, Howard plugged into the Jessup community and settled in with his fellow wingmates in Tiffin Residence Hall last year. This year, he is living in Sunset Residence Halls. “The thing I like best about Jessup is the relationships I’ve made,” he said. “I did independent study in high school, did extra curricular activities and had lots of friends at church, but this has been a much broader experience. I met my girlfriend and I’ve made lots of friends and connected with faculty and staff. Even the cooks in the cafeteria know how I like my burger (with provolone) when they see me!”
Howard also obtained a student worker position doing stats for Jessup Athletics. He started as a caller with the volleyball team reporting each dig, attack or block. He’s also done calling for men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball and plans to add STUNT and soccer to his experience this year. “This is a really exciting time to be doing this as we transition to the NCAA Division II. I think everyone looks up to teams in the NCAA, whether you are an athlete or not. This is a great experience for me to put on my resume as well.”
Playing baseball as a middle schooler, Howard has always loved sports and following his favorite teams. “From the Broncos to the Red Sox to the Warriors to the Sharks, I’m a pretty big fan,” he said. “Especially when it comes to the USC Trojans. Howard also participates in fantasy sports including football, baseball, basketball and hockey.
“The University has really poured into equipping me with the experience I’m getting doing sports analytics for Jessup Athletics,” he said. “I’m noticing from the relationships I’m building that there are people who know other people, so networking is an important part of my journey. Overall, I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given at Jessup and how they are helping to prepare me for the next level.”