Josh Scheidler ’18 — A Purpose to Write

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Josh Scheidler ’18 recently completed his Master of Arts in English from Western Michigan University (WMU). He credits a large part of his success to his time and the relationships he built at Olivet.

“My major was in writing and my minor was in English,” Josh said. “Together, they helped prepare me for the amount of writing and research I would be doing in my graduate program. My grad program offered me a lot of new perspectives and a lot of new and exciting ways to think about texts, language and different rhetorics.”

Josh’s graduate studies had a focus on medieval literature and language, but he has had an interest in writing since 2008. “I chose Olivet because it was close to home and they offered a great writing program. It is a beautiful community where everyone seemed to know one another.”

Josh took a nontraditional route to earning his bachelor’s degree. He began at The University of Olivet as a transfer student and veteran. He had learned about OC while in high school and when the time was right, he started his journey as a Comet in 2016. After a winding path to find his perfect college fit, Josh enjoyed his undergraduate experience at Olivet, especially building close relationships with his professors and mentors.

“Quite honestly, I couldn’t have attended graduate school if not for the support of Dr. Kirk Hendershott-Kraetzer and Professor Laura Barlond-Maas,” Josh said. “Laura’s support throughout my time at Olivet was substantial and invaluable to my success. Kirk helped me craft my entire application packet for WMU. He worked tirelessly to help me revise and compose a writing sample and personal statement.” Josh also credits Olivet Registrar Leslie Sullivan and Professor Joanne Williams with helping him succeed. “I cannot thank these four people enough for all the support, encouragement and devotion to my success.”

During his graduate program at WMU, Josh also taught first-year writing courses and was selected for a leadership role as the assistant director of the first-year writing program. “I was able to help rewrite the WMU exclusive textbook used for the course, twice. I was also able to create professional development opportunities to support instructional staff, which became increasingly important as we shifted to remote learning.” His close relationships with Professor Hendershott-Kraetzer and Professor Barlond-Maas have a played a large role in his teaching success. “I often used what I liked about their teaching methods in my own classroom and found my students to be equally receptive to them.”

Currently, Josh is exploring his options and setting new goals to work toward. “I plan to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) soon. I decided in the fall that I would be taking a year off from school. My LSAT scores and the nature of college-level teaching will help me determine what it is that I want to do in the future. I believe Olivet and WMU have prepared me for success in whatever I choose to do next. I’m considering Ph.D. programs as well as law school, but I know that I will have a vast network of support between my time at OC and my time at WMU — support for whatever I choose to do.”

Josh recommends that high school students consider The University of Olivet for their future education. “It’s a great place, great atmosphere, great class sizes, great instructional staff, and the size of the College allows for much more meaningful relationships as well as greater opportunities,” he said. “When I had to take a semester off, Laura and Leslie made my transition back to the college a breeze for me. Laura prepared my courses for me so I would be ready to return, and Leslie made sure I was squared away with the VA so my courses would be funded. They were literally life savers.”

For more information about The University of Olivet, contact the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.

This feature was written by Bray Wright, marketing and communications student intern. She is an English major and writing minor, a scholarship winner of the Global Citizen Honors Program and a staff member of the Garfield Lake Review. A self-proclaimed storyteller, she plans on going into the publishing industry after college.


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