Malcolm Massey at Black graduation
BGSU senior Malcolm Massey hopes to emulate the University's inclusive environment in his future career in student affairs. (BGSU photo/Haven Conn)

Class of 2023: Senior inspired to pursue graduate degree in student affairs from experiences at BGSU

Malcolm Massey wants to emulate University’s inclusive environment in his future career

By Laren Kowalczyk ‘07

In his four years at Bowling Green State University, senior Malcolm Massey has held many roles supporting both current and prospective students.

He spent a summer as an orientation leader acclimating incoming freshmen to campus, serves as the first line of contact for residential students as a resident success mentor, is a campus tour guide and has planned some of the largest student events on campus as president of the University Activities Organization.

His intent in each position is to create an inclusive environment, where students of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities and genders feel welcome.

“I want to make sure students feel comfortable here, to feel like this is their home,” Massey said. “One important part of that for me has always been a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and ensuring all students feel like they belong.”

Massey, who will graduate April 29 with a bachelor’s degree in tourism, hospitality and event management, plans to continue that commitment to inclusivity in his future career in student affairs — an interest fostered by his experiences at the University and several mentors.

He's been accepted to four student affairs graduate programs, including three at Tier 1 research universities.

“I want to create more programs, services and scholarships for students of color, students of marginalized identities and students who have disabilities,” Massey said. “I want to help those students succeed and graduate so they can go on to create good in our world.”

Malcolm Massey and his father at Black graduation
Malcolm Massey receives his Kente stole from his father during the Black graduation celebration April 15. (BGSU photo/Haven Conn)

As a scholar in the President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) and the McNair Research Program, Massey said he had built-in support systems and resources that not all students receive.

Even so, he admitted to facing challenges.

“College is hard, and it can be scary for a lot of people,” he said. “I came into college with the support of a program that provided a lot of extra help and opportunities, and I still struggled. Part of what made a difference is the genuine connections I had with my advisor and faculty and staff. I want to be that difference for students.”

Whether as an orientation leader or tour guide, Massey intentionally asks for and uses students’ preferred pronouns. He said he wants students to feel comfortable being themselves.

Massey also uses humor whenever appropriate.

“It’s important for the students to laugh,” he said. “We know college can be stressful and hard, but we’re all trying to get through it together and it makes it a lot more pleasant if we can joke and laugh about it.”

Kendra Lutes, assistant director in the C. Raymond Marvin Center for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, values Massey's contributions to the campus community and his commitment to creating public good.

“It is hard to think of a day, event or program at BGSU and not think of Malcolm," Lutes said. "He has become such a staple in the campus community and is the epitome of the Falcon family. His love and commitment to bettering our campus and caring for those around him will leave a legacy of compassion long after his time as a student here.”

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Updated: 04/24/2023 04:48PM