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Sophomore Shelby Piper is an exercise science major from Ravenna. She is confident in her career goals and actively preparing for graduate studies to become a physician assistant. In addition to her path of study, Shelby has also enjoyed getting involved in campus life and growing into a more confident and outgoing person.

“When I first saw the campus, I was immediately reminded of home,” Shelby said. “Coming from a small town, I knew that Olivet was going to be a place where I could be comfortable and not overwhelmed, while always having that hometown feeling. Olivet was one of four colleges that I visited during my senior year of high school, and there was no doubt in my mind after I met the professors and students here that Olivet was going to be where I attended.”

Shelby notes that Jared Stratz, director of admissions, was particularly helpful in helping her navigate the financial aid process, especially in discovering scholarships to help make college affordable. She hopes other high school students choose to attend a college where they feel comfortable and supported in this way.

“I would encourage students to attend Olivet College because of the one-on-one assistance that is always available with each professor. You are not just a number at Olivet; you have a name, and everyone will know it,” Shelby added.

Shelby enjoys this personalized attention in each of her classes. Exercise science has allowed her to combine her passions and work toward her ultimate career goal.

“I chose exercise science as my major because I love sports and medicine,” Shelby said. “I was able to learn about both while still getting the education that I needed to attend physician assistant (PA) school. My hope is to become a physician assistant in pediatric cardiology one day. Since my first-ever science class, I have been obsessed with the cardiovascular system. Something about it just makes me so excited. The thing that made me 100% sure of this career was my job shadow at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital when I was able to see a beating heart that wasn’t under a screen. Right now, I am taking the classes necessary to attend PA school while also searching for jobs to expand my knowledge of the field before I attend graduate school.”

Outside of the classroom, Shelby is a student-athlete and enjoys academic-based groups that push her to the next level.

“I have played softball ever since I can remember, so when the opportunity arose to be a part of the team at OC there was no way that I could turn it down. I am also part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which gave me the opportunity to represent our softball team in a positive way,” Shelby said. “In addition, I am a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa, an honor society for students in health and human performance. This helps me gain more knowledge and leadership skills within my major. And finally, I’m a part of the Global Citizens Honors Program. I enjoy the opportunities to challenge myself and see what I can accomplish.”

There’s no doubt that Shelby has found the path she’s meant to be on. She’s excited to continue learning, growing and working toward her goals as a Comet.

“My experience as a Comet has made me more confident and outgoing,” Shelby said. “I am no longer stuck in my tiny bubble secluding myself from everyone. I feel comfortable here and love that you can always expect a smile from someone when walking down the hallway.”

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

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