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Dalton Miner ’20 was seeking new experiences in his college journey — new lifestyles, new weather and a new environment. Hailing from Sunnyvale, California, right in the middle of Silicone Valley, Dalton grew up in what he calls a “concrete jungle.” While he finally got to experience snow and nature firsthand, he also graduated with a diverse network and a full resume.

“I liked Olivet because it was small, rural and had a welcoming, friendly atmosphere,” Dalton said. “I chose to be a biology and environmental science major because I enjoy being outdoors and have a curious drive to learn as much as I can about what is going on in the environment around me. In terms of career goals, I aspire to have a job as a biological technician doing field biology in remote places and enjoying the rugged lifestyle.”

While Dalton plans to shape his career around field biology, he was able to get a jump start during a study abroad semester in Kino Bay, Sonora, Mexico.

“I have had so many experiences at Olivet that have benefited me and set me up for success,” Dalton emphasized. “The biggest, most influential experience was my study abroad semester in Kino Bay, Sonora, Mexico. I was living at a research station on the Gulf of California participating in the ongoing research projects, as well as taking courses. The courses were unlike anything I have ever taken as they were experience-based. We were out on boats and kayaks exploring estuaries, valleys, islands, deserts, reefs and other awesome places.

Dalton with swimming and diving teammates.

I followed the researchers around and asked as many questions as I could and said yes to as many things as I could, so I never missed out on anything. This helped because I was then invited back as a summer intern where I got to continue the research that I became familiar with during the semester. That semester and internship have set me up for success in other job opportunities.”

Dalton says his experience as a student-athlete was also influential in his personal and professional development through college.

“I was involved with the swimming and diving team all four years, the men’s tennis team for two seasons and the men’s lacrosse team for one season,” Dalton explained. “This was an awesome experience because I was a rookie at tennis and lacrosse, but with welcoming and enthusiastic coaches and team members, I was learning new skills and was able to play new, fun sports at the varsity level.

My swimming and diving teammates especially were a group of people with similar interests that all worked together and experienced the same practices and events, which made me very comfortable with them. I had a lot of fun and memorable experiences with the team that shaped my college adventure that I will reflect fondly upon. I also worked on and maintained a very close relationship with my coach. I was frequently at his house for barbecues, team events and to help with chores around the house or yard that needed a few extra hands. This was nice because if I ever needed advice or if he ever needed advice, we could rely on each other to help.”

This spring, Dalton was honored with the Richard C. Fleming Ecology and Field Biology Prize and the Outstanding Senior in Science Award during Honors Week. The accolades provided the perfect finale to his college experience.

“My experience at Olivet has made me who I am by providing opportunities for me to grow and develop my own skills through personal interactions, how to learn, how to lead and how to succeed in the real world after graduation,” Dalton said. “I would encourage a student to attend Olivet because of these awesome opportunities and the relationships you can develop with the faculty and staff. I was able to go to Mexico for a semester that led to an internship and a job after graduation. I was able to play on two sports teams at the varsity level that I had no experience in and learned something new. I was able to develop personal relationships with my professors, advisers, coaches and all other faculty or staff I interacted with.

My advice to other students would be to say ‘yes’ as often as possible. This is huge because you’re now going on adventures, experiencing something new and discovering something that you would not have been able to before. You’re getting out of your room and enjoying the college experience.”

Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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