BGSU honors seniors May 4-8

Revisit with three members of the Class of 2020 we first met in 2016

By Sarah Bednarski '00

When the Class of 2020 entered their first year at Bowling Green State University in fall 2016, the most popular app was Pokemon GO and the biggest event that year was the Presidential election.

Fast forward to today when these same students are preparing to graduate and either enter the workforce or continue their education. However, no one could have predicted how very different their final months at BGSU would be prior to graduation.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent state-at-home order from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the University moved to an online learning community in March. For those graduating, that means they will have to wait a bit longer to walk in their cap and gown. However, graduates and their families and friends are invited to a special virtual celebration at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, as President Rodney K. Rogers along with several others will share special messages of hope and inspiration.

Additionally, this week, May 4-8 has been designated Senior Week. Check out BGSU's Senior Week Website to learn more about the virtual activities and special commemorations planned.

Recently, we checked in with three students we first met in August 2016 as they prepared to take their first steps of their collegiate journey BGSU. Read on to learn more about their time at the University and plans for the future.


Nijah Slaughter

Hometown: Detroit

High school: Renaissance High School

Major/Minor: Supply Chain Management/International Business

Why did you choose that major? I changed my major after I fell in love with my first intro to supply chain class. I decided to switch from apparel merchandising and product management to supply chain because of my love for it and the wider variety of job opportunities.

Why did you choose BGSU? I chose BGSU because it was just close enough and far enough from my hometown. When I came for preview day, I loved the campus and how friendly everyone was. It felt like home.

What are you involved in at BGSU? President of Women Everywhere Believe and a 2016 Sidney A. Ribeau President's Leadership Academy Thompson Scholar.

Describe what these last four years have been like at BGSU: These past four years were difficult but extremely fun. BGSU gave me the opportunity and space to figure out my passions and surrounded me with many mentors. I was extremely busy because of all my involvement, my on-campus job at the Office of the Dean of Students and being a PLA scholar. 

Advice to incoming students (the Class of 2024): My advice is to find a good study space; the library is not for everyone so make sure you try out many spots on campus. Be open to take classes that you think you wouldn't be interested in because it helps you learn about yourself. Don't be afraid to change your major; it may be one of the best decisions in your life.

What do you plan to do after graduation? I will be working a Toyota Motor Co. as a purchasing analyst in its research and development headquarters.


Nia Christina Little

Hometown: Detroit

High school: Renaissance High School

Major/Minor: Biology (Pre-Med)/chemistry

Why did you choose that major? I've always loved the sciences since I was a young child. I had many teachers throughout the years tell me that I should pursue a career in the medical field since I have always seemed to excel in that area. It is my passion to help others and provide others with the best medical care, so why not do something that I love and is also my passion?

Why did you choose BGSU? I chose BGSU mainly because I had the privilege of being a Sidney A. Ribeau President's Leadership Academy Thompson Scholar, as I am a member of the 2016 cohort. This scholarship provided me the opportunity to expand my leadership qualities as I transition into my career path and simply to be able to go to school without worrying about the financial aspect. I am extremely grateful to have received this opportunity. I also chose BGSU based off of how friendly everyone was when I visited during SOAR. The people that I interacted with made sure that I had everything I needed, I knew where to go and just assisted me whenever I had any questions. Visiting BGSU was by far one of the best experiences I had while visiting colleges.

What are you involved in at BGSU? I am a member of the President's Leadership Academy 2016 cohort as well as a Thompson Scholar. I am also apart of Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society; I was the Treasurer for one year. I was employed as a ticket taker at the athletic events as well as a student recruitment team member, where I assisted in recruiting multicultural students to the University. This past fall, I held a position on the 2019 Homecoming Court. Lastly, I am the co-founder and vice president of a student organization Curly Connection.

Describe what these last four years have been like at BGSU: The past four years at BGSU have been a roller coaster. I made new relationships and lost some as well but it has all been a learning experience that I am absolutely grateful for. BGSU has molded me into the strong and powerful woman I am and will continue to evolve to be. I enjoyed each and every one of my experiences here. I have had all great professors that were dedicated to seeing their students excel. I give thanks to DeVona Smith, my advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences because she kept me motivated in the good times and bad times and I knew I could come to her for just about anything. I would not be my new and improved self without BGSU.

Advice to incoming students (the Class of 2024): Enjoy everything BGSU has to offer. Yes, you are here solely for your education but as cliche' as it sounds, theses are years you will never get back so take these four years to explore, find new hobbies and interests and meet new people. The people you meet in college usually become lifelong friends and BGSU has so many hidden gems that you can explore with those new-found relationships. Take those weekends to get-away and explore. It'll be the best decision you could make while at BGSU.

What do you plan to do after graduation? I plan to take a year off to study for the MCAT and prepare for medical school. I will use this year to also narrow down my medical school options mainly surrounding where I would be most comfortable living for the next four years and beyond. I will most likely try to obtain a job as a scribe to get some experience in the medical field. Lastly, I want to take this year to travel and continue to foster new relationships with others.


Bryce Harwood  

Hometown: Brooklyn Heights, Ohio

High school: Cuyahoga Heights High School

Majors: Marketing and management

Why did you choose that major? I chose to major in marketing after I interned with the Cleveland Indians Marketing and Promotions team. I enjoy all aspect of marketing and picked up Management as my second major to grow my skill set and diversify my resume.

Why did you choose BGSU? I chose BGSU because of the great business school and how at home I felt during my visits. My visits to BGSU really stood out compared to the other colleges I visited.

What are you involved in at BGSU? I am a member of our American Marketing Association Chapter and have served on the Executive Board for the past three years. AMA has given me the opportunity to meet like-minded business students as well as travel to places like New Orleans and Wisconsin. I also am involved with h2o Church on campus where I had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala, which resulted in me meeting some amazing people who I'll be lifelong friends with.

Describe what these last four years have been like at BGSU: The past four years have been nothing short of amazing. Sure, college is difficult at times and there will be struggles that occur but that's how you grow. College truly is a great experience as long as you have a good group of friends and stay focused.

Advice to incoming students (the Class of 2024): The biggest advice I have is to cherish the time you have in college. Four years sounds like a lot of time but it will be over before you know it. Try not to wish it away or just wait for graduation; enjoy the four years with friends and make tons of memories along the way. Also, get involved in one way or another. The majority of my friends I wouldn't have met if I never got involved. You never know who you may meet, maybe your Falcon Flame.

What do you plan to do after graduation? Start my professional career in a marketing position.

Updated: 01/19/2022 08:08AM