Junior Hayley Cooper is excelling in every facet of her experience at The University of Olivet. For her, being a Comet is about having the best of both worlds, or more like all worlds, with opportunities to grow personally, athletically and academically around every corner. In fact, Hayley was recently named to the Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar Team for her success on the course and in the classroom. The criteria for selection is some of the most stringent in all of college athletics, including a cumulative GPA of 3.50, truly speaking to Hayley’s hard work and dedication.
Living nearby in Jackson, Hayley wanted college to be an adventure, a time where she could explore her independence, but coming from a close-knit family, there was a small catch. Hayley never wanted to miss an opportunity to be with her family on important occasions. After touring Olivet, and especially meeting her future coaches and professors, Hayley knew Olivet had it all. A small college with oodles of opportunities to get involved was the perfect fit, and the location was even better.
“I’ve never been let down at Olivet,” Hayley said. “Since choosing to come here, I’ve had great support from friends, professors and coaches who all help me reach my goals. There are so many opportunities to get involved here too. There’s really something to make everyone happy!”
In addition, Olivet’s Liberal Arts Core Curriculum provided Hayley the foundation for the well-rounded education she was seeking. To further customize her studies, Hayley is majoring in journalism and mass communication with a minor in business administration and a concentration in Spanish. With her sights set on a career in film production, Hayley’s communication studies cover all of the bases. She’s gaining experience with social media, photography, reporting, writing, interviewing, broadcasting and more thanks to coursework and student media opportunities in her roles with WOCR, the student-led radio station, and The Echo, the student-published newspaper. Concentrating her studies around business practices will prepare Hayley for the inner workings of the film industry, including management skills, budgeting, accounting, marketing, advertising and necessary laws and regulations.
A concentration in Spanish is a bonus to Hayley. Growing up in a Hispanic family, Hayley remembers learning Spanish from her grandmother since her early childhood. Since then, she has always jumped at the chance to keep her heritage alive and understands that a second language will help her pursue career opportunities around the globe, giving her a competitive edge over other candidates.
No matter what class Hayley has taken so far, she says her professors are awesome, especially crediting Joanne Williams, associate professor of journalism and mass communication, and Nikki Magie, Ph.D., assistant professor of social science. “I would just be lost without Professor Williams and Dr. Magie,” Hayley said. “They both have been so helpful to me. Professor Williams is the first one to praise my accomplishments and Dr. Magie is always pushing me to do my best, while taking the time to understand the kind of teaching I need to get there.”
Beyond finding her fit in the classroom, Hayley has found some of her biggest supporters on the women’s golf team. Taking up golf in high school, Hayley was drawn to the sport because skill isn’t directly tied to physique. Standing at 5’2”, Hayley felt too short to play on other competitive teams. It wasn’t long before gripping a driver felt like second nature to her. Continuing her newfound passion in college, Hayley found exactly what she was looking for: a coach who spent one-on-one time with each player to ensure their continuous improvement.
“Head Golf Coach and OC alumnus Bill Maas has been like a dad to me on campus,” Hayley said. “He is always there for me when I need him on the course, but also there for me all the other times too. It’s a huge bonus that he also serves as an academic adviser, so I can always count on him for athletic, academic and personal help. Last winter, I even had a flat tire and he showed up in no time to make sure I was safe and to change it for me. He’s just a fun, goofy, thoughtful, caring and all-around great guy.”
For her final two years on campus, Hayley plans to explore all the opportunities she can. This summer, she’s even working in the Office of Admissions, which serves as the front door to the college for prospective students and other guests. Hayley greets visitors, answers questions and even gives tours, duties she knows are improving her communication and listening skills. This fall, Hayley is eager to get back to her golf teammates and pursue internship opportunities. Above all else, she is proud to be the first person in her family on track to graduate from college.
“Attending Olivet has helped me leave my comfort zone,” Hayley explained. “I’ve always been on the shy side, but I’ve gotten over that now thanks to OC helping me realize that personal connections and getting involved are more important. You should never be afraid to try new things, there’s always a positive outcome, especially at Olivet.”
Discover what life as a Comet is like by visiting campus or applying. Contact Coach Maas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269.749.7567 to learn more about joining the golf team. For more information about OC, contact the Office of Admissions at email@example.com or 800.456.7189 – Hayley might even be the one to answer!