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When Taylor Elley ’20 was planning her graduation from Olivet, she did not expect her post-college plans to shift. With the help of her professors, Taylor was able to adapt to the sudden adversity. “I studied biology with a biochemistry minor,” Taylor said. “My original goal was to attend medical school, which I got into but had to postpone due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When I could not continue medical school, I knew nursing was the next step for me. It allowed me to stay in the medical field, assist doctors and interact with patients. My professors, Susanne Lewis, Ph.D., and Blake Reed, Ph.D., were huge supporters of me. When I reached out to them about my change in school plans, they wrote me new recommendation letters and even checked in on me throughout the application process.” Currently, Taylor is pursuing an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Kent State University. She is expected to graduate in 2022.

During her time at Olivet, Taylor was a member of the women’s golf team, the Gruen Chemistry Society, Sigma Zeta Math and Science Honors Society and the International Student Club, and she worked as a resident adviser. Olivet’s athletic teams played a large role in Taylor’s decision to become a Comet. “I chose Olivet because it allowed me the opportunity to study pre-medicine while also continuing my golf career at the collegiate level.”

Taylor with the women’s golf team.

Taylor says her experiences at Olivet have helped prepare her for the future. “My Olivet education prepared me for my graduate program. Each course provided me with the knowledge to be prepared for the Medical College Admission Test, as well as applying to medical school.” She also credits her professors with contributing to her success. “Dr. Reed let me talk for hours, ask lots of questions, rant or even cry in his office when necessary. He was my first support system at Olivet, and he’s the reason I was successful in my program. Dr. Lewis supported me throughout my program as well. She helped me find the path that best fit me and was always willing to sit down and help me when I was struggling with a topic or personal issue.”

Olivet also helped Taylor grow as a person. “Olivet College brought me out of my shell. In my first year, I was very much an introvert, keeping to myself and focusing only on school. The friends and professors I met throughout my four years taught me how to speak out and stand up for myself.”

Taylor with Dr. Lewis and Dr. Reed.

And, Taylor is still supported by the community she built during her time at Olivet. “I stay in touch with many of Olivet friends through social media or FaceTime,” Taylor said. “I have gotten together with several of them on the weekends as a break from school, and even visited Olivet this past semester. I was able to stop in and see Jake Schuler and Judy Fales and grab lunch with Dr. Lewis and Dr. Reed. I even planned to have a mini celebration with a couple of my old friends after the graduation celebration. The relationships I was able to form from OC were lifelong friendships.”

Once finished with her nursing program, Taylor plans to work with children, either as a pediatric or labor and delivery nurse. She’s planning to go back to school in a few years to gain her license as a nurse practitioner.

“Olivet seems small, but the community impact is large,” Taylor said. “It will become your second home. It will be where you create lifelong friendships, cheer on teammates, create bonds with your professors and reach for your future goals. Olivet is your home-away-from-home.”

For more information about Olivet College, contact the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

This feature was written by Bray Wright, marketing and communications student intern. She is an English major and writing minor, a scholarship winner of the Global Citizen Honors Program and a staff member of the Garfield Lake Review. A self-proclaimed storyteller, she plans on going into the publishing industry after college.

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