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Rising senior Travis Garner is a journalism and mass communication (JMC) major who has taken an unusual path to excellence. While he’s hit some bumps in the road, Travis’ path has helped him meet great people, influencing his college experience in the best ways possible. Coming from Saint Johns, Travis is not too far from his hometown, and  with the help of a few key Comet faculty members, he’s found a second home at OC.

Originally a member of the Marching Comets, Travis had the opportunity to meet Director of Bands Jeremy Duby early in his college decision process. “I chose Olivet because of the marching band. I was in the marching band during my first year, and I got a good scholarship to be in it. Even though I’m no longer a member of the band, Mr. Duby has still been really instrumental (no pun intended) in getting me to OC and keeping me there.”

Travis is, however, a member of the Olivet College Wind Ensemble. “I love the Wind Ensemble,” Travis emphasized. “When I left the Marching Comets, I knew I still wanted music to be in my life. The Wind Ensemble gave me the perfect opportunity to do that.”

In addition to music, Travis spends part of his free time working with OC’s student-led newspaper, The ECHO, as well as the official College radio station, WOCR 89.1, “The One.”

“I love working for The ECHO,” Travis said. “I have only written one or two stories for the paper, but I have been involved with the radio station. Next year, I will even be the station manager for WOCR.”

Travis’ love for radio and working with The ECHO were natural fits, but to Travis, picking his major was not as simple. “My major choice was a rough road. I always knew where I wanted to be, but it took me a while to get there.” Travis started his first year in the undecided major seminar, later switching to insurance.

“I decided that insurance wasn’t for me. I had thought about JMC from my first day at Olivet, and I finally chose it in my sophomore year. Now, I couldn’t be happier.” Travis hopes to stay close to sports in his future career, whether it be a board operator, a PA announcer, a commentator, a photographer or a writer, and he also has aspirations to work in the radio industry. “I work for WOCR because radio is what I want to do for a living,” he said.

In the JMC program, Travis thanks Assistant Professor of Media Studies Daine Pavloski ’13 for being one of his biggest supporters in his college journey, especially for inspiring his love of radio. Travis also commends Mr. Duby for his patience and acceptance while finding his fit in the Wind Ensemble. “They have both been there anytime I need help with classes or anything in life really. It has made me who I am today because I have gained so much knowledge in the field I want to go into. Professor Pavloski has really helped me learn the ins and outs of radio, photography and editing,” Travis said.

Being an Olivet College Comet helped Travis gain great mentors, and the small community and interpersonal connections between students and staff have made all the difference in his education. “I chose Olivet because I wanted to know and have relationships with my professors,” Travis said. “Olivet provides a great opportunity to do so. I know all of my professors, and they know me; that’s the way I want it.”

Travis’ hard work has paid off, and he earned the Arts and Humanities Department Al and Mary Ann Gilmour Scholarship during Honors Week. “Earning that scholarship meant a ton because it showed me that all the work that I put into perfecting my craft and learning radio and writing is being recognized in a big way. It really meant a lot,” Travis said.

With one final word from Travis, he shares a tip to new students. “My number one piece of advice is if you don’t know what you want to do, that’s okay. It took me until my sophomore year to decide, but now I’m confident in my future.”

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

This feature was written by rising junior Chad Enwright, Marketing and Multi-Media Student Associate. He is a resident adviser, member of the football team, chief recruitment officer for Phi Beta Lambda and a business administration major who aspires to invent and operate his own high-tech, home security and automation business.

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