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Jack Caporuscio is spending his summer planning for his junior year. He’ll be tackling his senior thesis, applying to grad school, working as a resident adviser, contributing to the Garfield Lake Review, serving as secretary of the Student Government Association and juggling life as an honors student. It’s these opportunities and the ability to have so many great experiences that makes Olivet College a special place for Jack.

A Different College Experience – Relationship-Based Education

Hailing from Armada near Michigan’s east side, Jack originally planned to attend a large college and even toured several state universities. Something just didn’t feel right to Jack when he envisioned sitting in a giant auditorium, lost in a sea among hundreds of other students. Driven to explore other types of college experiences, Jack was smitten with Olivet College’s relationship-based education, 16:1 student to faculty ratio, and abundant clubs/organizations, travel opportunities and programs.

“I’m really glad I ended up at Olivet College,” Jack said. “At first, I didn’t even know it was possible for college to be like this. I really like the small college feel and learning directly from professors, not teaching assistants. The opportunities I have had are endless, and I know there are many yet to come. Best of all, I have built relationships with great mentors, like Kirk Herndershott-Kraetzer, Ph.D., professor of humanities.”

Jack actually connected with Dr. Herndershott-Kraetzer in an unusual way. After taking Writing and Rhetoric I with Dr. Herndershott-Kraetzer, Jack didn’t even have a class with him for more than a year. His unique teaching style and evident desire to connect with students stuck with Jack, a then pre-med major struggling to find his fit in the sciences.

“Dr. Herndershott-Kraetzer is different,” Jack explained. “He will give back everything you put in. He’s always available to students and willing to help, even when you send an email at 11 p.m. I really love how Dr. Herndershott-Kraetzer fosters creativity in his students and helps us discover ourselves through his classes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had lots of great professors at OC, but my bond with Dr. Herndershott-Kraetzer is unique.

“It was Dr. Herndershott-Kraetzer that sat down with me and worked through my switch from pre-med to English. I realized writing was something I loved and I was passionate about telling stories, and I wanted my career to incorporate that. He helped me schedule classes, ensuring I would still graduate on time without ever being heavy-handed. Dr. Herndershott-Kraetzer objectively worked through the process, helped me explore future careers and really made sure the switch was the right move – it was!”

Setting Big (Screen) Goals

Now, Jack can’t contain his passion and excitement as an English major with a sociology and anthropology minor. He knows his English courses, including writing classes focusing on satirical and dystopian styles, will help him develop a broad range of foundational skills, paired with a minor that will give him a better understanding of the way people think and act, contributing to his character development skills. Jack plans to shape his future career around screenwriting or in the film industry, and is exploring graduate programs at the Harold Ramis Film School, DePaul University, University of California Los Angeles and California State University.

“I know my thesis will really help me when applying to grad schools, so that’s why I’m starting early,” Jack said. “I’m actually part of a group of students who want to pursue further education, and it’s been great to support each other. I’m writing an entire TV series for my thesis so I can gain experience in all areas of screenwriting, study scripts and pilots, learn what works and what doesn’t, and show future schools or employers that I’m not afraid to tackle big projects.”

Jack added that his TV series will certainly be a drama and he plans to explore many difficult subjects in today’s society, such as sexual assault and mental illness, driven to raise awareness of the often-overlooked topics in a respectful way. Jack hopes his work will serve as a platform to share real stories on universal themes, ultimately bringing people together. It’s this driving force that pushed him to consider film as a career in the first place.

A Time to Connect, A Place to Make it Happen

“There are so many things that tie people together, but we just don’t realize it,” Jack emphasized. “Instead, we focus on the superficial boundaries that separate us. I want to portray what people actually go through, real pain and real suffering without the sugarcoat that we see on ordinary TV. I hope to help others tell stories that they can’t or don’t know how to, and I hope it helps people connect over shared experiences, creating a stronger and more unified society where we support one another.”

Jack says there is no better place than Olivet College for him to share his dream with others and be supported in his pursuit of awareness, equality and a culture of togetherness. “Olivet might have a small campus, but nothing is too big at OC,” Jack added. “I’m very thankful for the resources that are here, especially student life opportunities and advisers who will help you with anything – even tackling crazy projects that make their role more difficult. I know the more I take advantage of now will help me in my next steps of life, and there are chances to grow in many ways. I hope other students take advantage of that too, because there is truly something for everyone at Olivet College.”

Only halfway through his college journey, Jack couldn’t be happier with where he found his fit. He’s looking forward to expanding his Comet network and is even serving as a mentor in OC’s new Mentor Collective program, where he has been matched with two incoming freshmen and will help them transition to college. In addition, Jack can’t wait for his upcoming English classes, advising sessions with Dr. Herndershott-Kraetzer and time spent working on his thesis.

Learn more about Olivet College and opportunities for Comets by visiting campus or checking out majors and programs. Connect with the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu for questions.

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