BreAnne Rudlaff ’17 says an amazing college experience begins with the relationships you build on campus. As a member of the women’s tennis team, the psychology honor society, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and a President’s Leadership Institute fellow, she had the chance to meet students, staff and faculty from all facets of the college community. Now, BreAnne is in her dream job serving the Logan Autism Learning Center as an applied behavioral analysis therapist, and she credits fellow Comets in helping her develop the skills to succeed.
Olivet College = Home
Originally drawn to Olivet College with the promise to continue playing tennis, BreAnne, a Berrien Springs native, was excited to learn about the wide array of opportunities open to her as a Comet, quickly realizing her potential athletically and academically. Following her passion to work closely with people and drive to work in a relationship-centered environment, she felt an immediate home at OC and with fellow Comets. She even declared a major in psychology with a minor in business, planning for a career where she knew she could help others.
“Olivet College feels like a big family,” BreAnne exclaimed. “Professors are always very helpful and students get assistance very easily when needed. Throughout my years at Olivet, I never felt lost or out of place due to the people around campus. Whether it was professors remembering my name, having a class with a familiar face, or coming together within clubs and organizations, there was always someone you could go to. I actually decided to go into psychology because I am very passionate about working closely with people. I was very open to many possibilities throughout my years at Olivet as to which direction my future career would take me, however, I knew that studying psychology would allow me to have a great foundation to build upon.”
In her psychology classes, BreAnne even developed a relationship with her greatest mentor at OC, John Moore, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology. Thanks to his support and BreAnne’s hard work, she named Dr. Moore her most influential professor when she ended her college journey as one of the Class of 2018 top five graduates and earned the Donald A. Morris Academic Excellence Award. Dr. Moore is well known for relating psychology concepts to everyday examples, paired with a strong interest in his students and a desire to help them reach their goals.
“I cannot thank Dr. Moore enough for everything he did for me while I was a student. As my adviser and professor, he was incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and very interesting,” BreAnne explained. “Throughout each of his classes, I felt more empowered to go out and create positive change in the world. Dr. Moore was always willing to sit down and talk with me anytime I was concerned throughout my academic schedule and made me want to become a better person. I can honestly say that without him, I would not be in the wonderfully life changing position that I am in today. Because of his dedication to teach lessons of psychology and the impact he made on my life, I have already begun down the path of changing others’ lives for the better.”
In addition, BreAnne’s experience was shaped by her involvement with many teams, clubs and organizations on campus. As a member of the tennis team, she made many of her closest friends, created memories, and developed leadership and teambuilding skills as a team captain. Further, BreAnne’s involvement with the tennis team led her to a position with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee where she learned more about leading different people toward a common goal. She also joined the academic organizations Pysch Club and Psi Chi, a national psychology honor society, and was able to begin building her professional network. BreAnne was even selected for the President’s Leadership Institute, allowing her to realize her full potential as a leader through training with college leaders and professionals in the field.
From the Classroom to Career
Not only did these experiences allow BreAnne to build relationships with others and develop her skills as a leader, they also taught her a quintessential life skill – time management. In fact, BreAnne was able to graduate a semester early from OC, getting a jumpstart on her career.
“Due to the opportunity to graduate early, I am proud to say that I am in a wonderful position as an applied behavioral analysis therapist at the Logan Autism Learning Center,” BreAnne explained. “Olivet’s psychology program has prepared me to be the best therapist I can be to children who need it the most. I am incredibly grateful and blessed to be where I am today and I can honestly say that I would not be in this position without attending Olivet.”
Continuing the Support
For the future, BreAnne is excited to continue gaining experience in her current role and plans to further her education in psychology. She also says she will be an ambassador for Olivet College, and is always willing to share her success story with others to inspire them to achieve their goals.
“My number one piece of advice to high school students is to become involved. Play a sport, join a club, meet with professors, and make friends. Each of these allow you to build relationships even if it is out of your comfort zone. Take the risk, and you will be surprised by what you are able to accomplish,” BreAnne said. “Olivet College feels like home. The staff and faculty make you feel like you’re with family and are willing to help any student whenever the time comes. Each professor truly cares for each of their students and it shows. Class sizes are small, help is always an email or office visit away, and the opportunities that Olivet provides are endless.”
Learn more about OC’s psychology program and opportunities for Comets by visiting campus or attending an upcoming admissions event. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.