Students thriving at BGSU Firelands

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Student success spotlights for March 2024

By Patrick Pfanner

Bowling Green State University Firelands is a vibrant learning community where students' personal and academic growth intertwine.

This is an ongoing series highlighting student and alumni journeys at BGSU Firelands and beyond.

At BGSU Firelands, education transcends boundaries, becoming a journey tailored to each unique story and offering a foundation of knowledge for a lifetime of success.

Rachael Olds: Thriving in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Rachel Olds (left) uses ultrasound equipment under the guidance of Cara Vickery, the program coordinator for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at BGSU Firelands.

Rachael Olds embarked on her BGSU Firelands journey in 2020 to pursue a degree in diagnostic medical sonography. Olds, who chose BGSU Firelands for its proximity and affordability, also values the support she receives from professors when seeking guidance on assignments.

"My diagnostic medical sonography instructors are always here for me and ready to answer my questions," she said, emphasizing the positive impact faculty have made on her college experience.

Olds is thriving in her pursuit of a sonography degree, and her positive experience showcases the supportive community within the program.

"BGSU Firelands has benefitted my life by allowing me to learn valuable and useful lessons in my courses and by helping me succeed," she said.

Kaeley Schonhardt: Navigating success at BGSU Firelands

Kaeley Schonhardt on the Firelands campus in Huron, Ohio.

Kaeley Schonhardt embarked on her BGSU Firelands journey in 2019 through the College Credit Plus program. Now a full-time undergraduate student, Kaeley is pursuing her passion for social work while balancing various responsibilities.

After completing her Associate of Arts degree in 2022, Schonhardt continued her studies and earned an Associate of Applied Science in Human Services and an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. She is continuing her studies with the goal of majoring in social work.

Choosing BGSU Firelands for its affordability and proximity to home, Schonhardt values the support she receives from professors and counselors, who have played a pivotal role in her academic journey.

"I have been exploring the Firelands campus since I was in the fourth grade," she said. "I spent many summers there doing summer camps with professors, and the Dorn Foundation. I have built a connection with the campus, and I knew that I would be attending this college long before my senior year. I love BGSU Firelands and the memories I have built there through all the years."

As she balances a full-time college workload, sports and extracurricular activities, Schonhardt credits her success to the understanding and flexibility of her professors.

Reflecting on her BGSU experience thus far, Schonhardt emphasizes the enrichment she has gained both professionally and personally. As she continues her college experience, she looks forward to further growth socially and academically, making connections and pursuing her aspirations.

Jack Widenhofer: Capitalizing on the Clark Inclusive Scholars Program

Jack Widenhofer began his academic journey in the Fall of 2022, diving into the world of interactive media, a field that blends technology, creativity and communication.

Widenhofer's decision to enroll at BGSU was significantly influenced by the Clark Inclusive Scholars Program, an initiative designed to support students with developmental disabilities. The financial accessibility of the program, largely supported by the generosity of the Clark Family Foundation, was another key factor in Widenhofer's choice.

Widenhofer has taken advantage of opportunities at Firelands to fully engage in and focus on his classes and has overcome various challenges to make his way to academic success, especially in statistics.

One of the most exciting aspects of Widenhofer's college experience has been the opportunity to shadow a job at a radio station. This experience is particularly valuable as it aligns closely with the technology he's been exposed to in his visual communication technology classes. This practical application of classroom knowledge to a real-world setting exemplifies the comprehensive learning approach at BGSU Firelands.

"Jack has taken advantage of opportunities to fully embrace the college experience, whether it's in the classroom, campus events, or social activities with his friends," said Liz Laurer, coordinator for the Clark Inclusive Scholars Program. "Every student, neurodivergent or not, would benefit by following his example of engagement."

Widenhofer started a film club and actively volunteers on campus.

BGSU Firelands student Jack Widenhofer

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 03/06/2024 11:25AM