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Originally from Iron Mountain, a small town in the Upper Peninsula, Dakota Galeazzi made the trip south to begin his college journey at The University of Olivet.

Dakota decided to attend Olivet because, when he first visited on a campus tour, it gave him a feeling of home. Dakota said, “Seeing the small classroom setting and hearing how much the professors cared about their students was something that really stuck out to me. I wanted to go somewhere where I was not just another number but rather a name, and this college has really brought that to me.

“Being far away from home, Olivet has truly become a ‘second home’ for me. Thanks to all the support from my peers, professors and coaches, I found a place that I truly thrive in. I was so nervous for this college journey, but I am grateful for this experience. I’m so excited to see what the rest of my time at OC has in store for me.”

Dakota is majoring in sports psychology and will graduate in 2023. He is involved in many different organizations throughout campus, including the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), a student-led organization that helps plan special events at home games and other athletic events. Dakota has also taken advantage of one of Olivet’s many student employment positions in the Student Services Office. “I have been working in the Student Services Office since my spring semester in my first year. My coworkers are amazing and the office is such a positive and fun environment to work in,” said Dakota. In addition, Dakota is a member of the men’s volleyball team, which was the driving force for him to attend Olivet and also provided amazing friendships and opportunities.

“I would definitely say being a part of the volleyball team has benefited me in many ways,” Dakota said. “I have truly become my own person due to the volleyball team and the strong, everlasting friendships I have made through the volleyball program.”

It was that love for sports and athletes that drove Dakota to choose sports psychology as a major. “When looking at mental health and athletics today, especially college student-athletes, there is so much we go through. It is a topic that is not much talked about, but it is on the rise now and is being talked about more,” explained Dakota.

It was encouragement from Dakota’s adviser, Professor Nancy Van-Hoozier, that helped him pick the sports psychology major. He said, “A few times, I was hesitant when picking my major, but since I have made my choice she has been so supportive, and overall, one of the many reasons why I love the major I picked!”

In the future, Dakota plans to attend graduate school and obtain a job as a college volleyball coach. He has already taken the steps to prepare for his future by looking at middle school volleyball coaching opportunities and helping assist with volleyball camps over the spring and summer.

Dakota’s experience at Olivet has played a major role in shaping who he is today. He said, “Being a Comet has allowed me to be who I am and become more confident with who I am. The amount of friendships I have built here are something I will carry with me forever, and I am truly thankful for the people this school has brought into my life. I would not be this far without the people I found here.”

Dakota would encourage high school students to attend The University of Olivet if they’re looking for small class sizes and a tight-knit family community. His number one piece of advice is, “Don’t let what other people say stop you from what you want to do — set goals and dream big! College is full of opportunities to find what you love and is a place where you can truly be yourself!”

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.

This feature was written by Audrey Helfrich, a senior majoring in media production and communication. She serves as an intern in the marketing and communications department and is especially interested in photography. After graduation, Audrey plans to continue her work as a freelance photographer, specializing in wedding, senior and family portraits. She also hopes to work in a marketing department for a small business or nonprofit organization.


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