Colin Ohl tried community college right out of high school, and it wasn’t a good fit. Then, he moved out of state for 15 years, only to return in 2006 for family reasons. His father, understanding the importance of an education, always said that when he was ready to return to college that he would be willing to assist financially. When his father passed in late 2006, that promise of assistance was no longer available. Colin knew that when he was to attempt college again that he would be accountable for his own success or failure.
A couple of years after his father passed, he enrolled at Delta College with the hopes of completing a medical billing certification, but after he began classes decided to continue with his pursuit of a college degree. He chose to continue his education at SVSU and says, “It is one of the best decisions I ever made.”
Colin started at SVSU in the fall of 2010 and will be graduating soon with a Bachelor of Professional Accountancy while maintaining a 3.99 GPA. Right from the beginning, he made the best of his experience at SVSU. He began working as a student employee in the SVSU Foundation and Alumni Relations Office and over the past few years has contributed to the success of various Foundation and Alumni events and other special projects for those offices. He made such an impression on his supervisors that one of them nominated him for Student Employee of the Year and he was selected as the recipient for the 2010-2011 academic year.
When he is not at work or on the fourth floor of the library working on his studies, he finds time to volunteer for other campus events such as the Martin Luther King Celebration, Great Lakes Bay Regional Youth Leadership Institute, and other opportunities with the Office of Diversity Programs. As if that was not enough to keep him busy, he also is an active member of Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity and has served as a member of the executive committee.
When asked about what he enjoyed most about his SVSU experience he replied with, “being selected for participation in the Roberts Fellowship Program and a faculty led trip to Ghana with Dr. Joseph Ofori-Dankwa and Dr. Mamie Thorns.”
The Roberts Fellowship program is a competitive leadership program that accepts nine to twelve students each year. Students reflect on the aspects and ethics of leadership, examine excerpts from the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and others, as well as various philosophies of Asian culture. The Fellowship concludes with an approximately three-week trip to East Asia to visit many of the sights discussed during the weekly seminars, all at no cost to the students. Reflecting on his participation in the program, Colin said that, “it has allowed me to face a difficult part of my past with the hope of helping to prevent others from making some of the same mistakes.”
This January, Colin also participated with eight other students in the University’s first study abroad to Ghana. SVSU recently signed mentor agreement with Pentecost University College located in the Accra region of Ghana. Colin was among some of the very first to interact with students from the College.
Colin also said, “If there were one piece of advice that I would give to any incoming freshman or transfer student it would be to participate in study abroad. It humbles you and changes your perspective of the rest of the world.”
Colin will graduate in May 2013 and will sit for the CPA exam after graduation.