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Transfer student Dan Glidden has always been sure of one thing – his ultimate career goal to become a conservation officer. At the beginning of his undergraduate studies, Dan viewed college as a means to an end to reach his goals, taking each necessary step to do so. When he transferred to OC, Dan realized there is so much more to a college journey than just the degree at the end, and that student life is the key to creating a meaningful experience.

Dan chose a local community college after he graduated from high school, simply attending classes, doing homework and focusing on keeping his grades up. He targeted his studies on criminal justice and completed his associate’s degree in two years, before facing the question, now what? Leaning on his high school friends for support, they encouraged Dan to check out The University of Olivet. The beauty of campus and welcoming atmosphere was the only push he needed to help him see his potential as a Comet.

“I knew that attending a large university wouldn’t work for me,” Dan explained. “Olivet was close to my hometown, so I figured why not check it out. I’m glad I did because I’ve had a lot of fun here and really enjoy the environment to learn in.”

Dan moved onto campus, excited to reconnect with his high school friends and happy to have someone introduce him to life as a Comet. Revisiting a high school passion, Dan joined the wrestling team, eager to take on a new challenge and see what being a college athlete was all about. While hesitant at first, he continued to dive into other opportunities to get involved, including pledging to the Phi Alpha Pi fraternity, the oldest on campus and rich in tradition.

“I really wasn’t sure what to expect as a transfer student,” Dan admitted. “I was content at community college even though I wasn’t involved with much because I have a lot of my own hobbies and interests, like hunting and fishing, but I realized there’s a lot of value to the activities on campus as well.”

While Dan continued to stay involved in athletics and Greek life, he also made time to enjoy his lifelong passion of being outside, specifically bass fishing from late spring to early fall. Last summer, he even competed in the Michigan College Bass Circuit (MCBC), a series of tournaments where pairs of anglers race to catch the largest five small or large mouth bass within the time and location restrictions. While the MCBC isn’t affiliated with any colleges directly, the organization aims to provide college-age students a platform to compete with others at the same skill level. Dan and his high school friend finished fifth overall, and more importantly, had a blast on the water.

Dan even documented his summer adventures on social media, and was shocked to see how many fellow Comets shared they would be interested in competitive fishing as well. When he returned to campus this fall, the buzz was still going strong, and Dan saw there was only one thing left to do – found the Olivet Fishing Club which will officially kick off in the spring of 2018.

“I love hunting, fishing, being outdoors, learning about wildlife and doing whatever I can to preserve the wildlife we have left, and of course, that’s why I want to be a conservation officer,” Dan explained. “Over the summer, I was just enjoying being out on the lake, but after I realized how much attention I was getting, I also knew there was bigger potential for me to share my knowledge with others. I’m really excited to see what comes from the Fishing Club, and teach others about wildlife conservation.”

In the classroom, Dan is double majoring in environmental science and criminal justice, and is preparing for the next step in his education – the Michigan State Conservation Officer Academy, a nearly year-long training course to prepare officers for the variety of issues they may encounter in the field. Until he graduates in 2019, Dan’s big goal is keeping his GPA up and earning a spot on the Dean’s List each semester, as well as taking on a leadership role in his fraternity, a skill he knows will be very useful in his future career.

“I’ve had a lot of fun getting involved on campus, but I’m also really happy with the academic setting at Olivet,” Dan said. “It’s clear my professors are passionate about their jobs, and they also see and understand my passion for what I’m learning and are always pushing me to succeed. There’s also a lot of hands-on learning opportunities so I would definitely encourage everyone to check out Olivet for themselves.”

Learn more about life as a Comet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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