Hometown: Moscow, Idaho
Michael is originally from Moscow, Idaho, but spent the latter part of his childhood living in Caldwell, Idaho where he graduated from high school. A community leader and mentor, Michael has an economics background with a creative edge.
During his time at Westminster, Michael held various ASWC (student government) roles. He was a business senator for three years and served as the Director of Public Relations his senior year.
Outside of ASWC, he was the founder of the Provost’s Student Advisory Board; the Board is a group of student leaders whose focus is to increase the efficiency of communication between the college’s administration and the student body. He also had the privilege of serving as a Student-Liaison to the Westminster College Board of Trustees and was appointed to President’s cabinet this year.
The portion of his academic experience that he is most proud of is his senior thesis in Economics: a defense of the arts as a tool for economic development. He said, "Having the opportunity to blend my interest in the arts with my academic focus in commerce has set me on the trajectory to a career in the creative industries."
There were two professors that helped shape Michael's Westminster education, Dr. Susan Cottler (History) and Kay Kuzminski (Pottery). From Dr. Cottler, he learned to think critically and to be mindful of varying cultural perspectives when analyzing the past. Kay Kuzminski helped him find his creative voice by learning to disregard the conventional and create art with his imagination. The lessons he learned from both professors have carried over into his transition from being a student to a creative professional.
The best memories Michael recalls are the friendships and mentoring relationships he has developed with his peers. "From the exciting chaos of living in the residence halls to the personal development platforms such as the Alumni Mentoring Program, personal connections are at the root of Westminster’s culture. The connections I made with other members of the Westminster community are wide reaching and have helped me grow personally and professionally," he said.
Westminster provided Michael with the opportunity to be a leader in his community and to be an active participant in generating change across campus. Michael said, "As a student-leader I learned how to collaborate and communicate effectively with others in order to problem solve for the betterment of my community. The critical thinking, leadership, and communication skills coupled with the global awareness I developed as a Westminster student have helped me become a dynamic professional and, more importantly, a contributive member of my community."
After graduation, he plans to fill his weekends with rock climbing and adventure writing. In July, he will be mountaineering Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States. He is now working in the Admissions office at Westminster as the Business graduate programs recruiter. Congrats, Michael!
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