Tight-knit, welcoming, family — three words Kinslea Blouin uses to describe The University of Olivet. The senior transfer student found her fit as a Comet after attending community college, especially drawn to OC’s criminal justice program and softball team. Now, Kinslea is thrilled to be shaping her education around two of her greatest passions in life, while also building meaningful relationships and preparing for a successful career.
A Girl with Game
Kinslea has been playing softball almost her entire life and her love of the game is shared with family, especially her grandpa. It was only natural that she would continue her softball career in college, but her reason for loving the sport is unique.
“When playing softball, it’s natural to fail more than succeed. You’ll always strike out more times than you hit a home run, but it’s that challenge that I love,” Kinslea said. “The close-knit feel our team at Olivet has makes me enjoy the sport even more. Coach Darrick Brown does a great job of creating a family-oriented atmosphere. I know my teammates have my back on the field and that translates to life.”
Kinslea was even named to the All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Softball Team last spring. Playing shortstop, she led the team with a .449 batting average and earned a .837 slugging percentage during the 2018 conference season. She scored 30 runs, topping off her full-season stats with seven home runs, but Kinslea says the success isn’t all to her own credit.
“It was really cool to receive the honors,” Kinslea said. “My coaches and teammates played a big part. For example, my teammates always supported me — errors didn’t even end up being errors because they were there for me.”
Onto Next Base — Social Work
In addition to building close relationships with her teammates and coaches, Kinslea also notes that her experience playing softball is helping her grow as a leader, essential in her future career.
“In criminal justice, you have to be a strong leader,” Kinslea emphasized. “Playing softball is giving me the chance to develop my leadership skills, especially now that I’m a senior. At shortstop, it’s necessary to be vocal and help the team make decisions.”
These skills will not only contribute to Kinslea’s career success, but they’ll also help her make a difference in the world. She has always had a strong connection to children and plans to shape her career around social work. In fact, Kinslea has already gained experience working with Child Protective Services and the foster care system through an internship with the Branch County Department of Health and Human Services.
“Even if I only have the opportunity to help one child, I know it is worth it,” Kinslea said. “Originally, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but I had the chance to connect with a student in the foster care system and it was so impactful. After that, I knew I wanted to help in any way I could.”
Kinslea has the confidence she’s on her baseline to success, especially with the support of her professors like Regina Armstrong, Ph.D., director of the criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice.
“All of the professors at OC are awesome and super helpful and also very personable,” Kinslea said. “I know I can count on Dr. Armstrong to have an open door and open ears anytime. She’s helped me create a four year plan and gain real world experience. I am very thankful for everything she’s done for me.”
Class of 2019
As Kinslea finishes her final semester at The University of Olivet, she says the experience is bittersweet, especially playing her final season of collegiate softball; however, her journey on the field might not be over quite just yet. She has already received an offer to try out for a professional softball team based in Alabama.
Regardless of where her future takes her, Kinslea is confident as a Comet.
Learn more about The University of Olivet, including the softball team, criminal justice program and much more, by scheduling a campus visit or attending an upcoming admissions event. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or email@example.com with questions.