“The University of Olivet felt like a second home.” That’s how rising sophomore Karina Marin knew she had found the right college.
Karina is from Temecula, California, and her number one passion is softball. Eager to leave her comfort zone, Karina’s interest in the sport and the opportunity to earn a spot on OC’s roster in just her first year drew her to Michigan. The small campus size and guaranteed personal attention from professors and coaches was the reassurance she needed to take the 2,000-plus mile leap.
“I really liked the people and small town feel at Olivet,” Karina explained. “I felt safe, and the low faculty-to-student ratio made a big difference to me. Head Softball Coach Derrick Brown was one of the main reasons I felt so comfortable at OC. He gave me a good vibe, especially coming so far from home. He is very family-oriented.”
Karina, a second baseman, has been playing softball since she was just 4-years-old. She says she simply loves the game, and connecting with her teammates is equally exciting and rewarding. One of the highlights of her first year includes bonding with her fellow Comets during a training trip to Florida over Spring Break.
“Coach Brown is trying to build team chemistry,” Karina said. “We’re wanting to win, and he encourages us to be dedicated to that mission. He is always there to support us on and off the field. My teammates are my closest friends. We work together to overcome challenges and celebrate successes together.”
Next Goal: Physical Therapist
Karina’s passion for softball and sports in general transfers into her path of study. She’s an exercise science major with a goal of becoming a physical therapist.
“I’ve always been interested in the medical field, and I felt connected to physical therapy after working through one of my own injuries,” Karina said. “PT helped me get back to feeling like my normal self, and I want to help others do the same.”
Karina is also a member of the Global Citizen Honors Program, pushing herself to the top level. In just her first semester, she earned a Multicultural Award, honoring her Hispanic heritage and outstanding academic performance.
It’s people like KayDee Perry, assistant professor of health and human performance, that Karina says make all the difference. At first, she felt a little lost being so far away from her parents. Sometimes she wasn’t even sure how to make it to the airport, but she quickly learned that she could always count on her connections at OC.
“I have really good bonds with my teachers, even outside of the classroom. Professor Perry is one of my favorites,” Karina exclaimed. “She’s like having a second mom. Professor Perry knew I was from out of state, so she even offered to let me stay with her over Thanksgiving. It’s a real family feel and I feel very accepted.”
The College Home Run
Additionally, Karina works in the Office of Admissions. She helps greet visiting students and shares her unique experience at OC with them. Karina also landed a position as a resident adviser for the upcoming academic year. She’s looking forward to bringing together different cultures and creating a support system for her residents, just as others did for her.
“There’s nothing I would change about my college experience,” Karina said. “At big colleges, you’re a number. Here, you build relationships with teammates and friends. They become a family-like support group. There’s always someone to help you be successful.”
Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.