For junior Brittany McDuffie, The University of Olivet is the one-stop-shop for everything she wanted in a college. She’s able to participate in Division III athletics, enjoy Greek life, study as a biology major with a pre-medical concentration, create an individualized minor in mental and physical health, and build a network, all while having personalized attention from her coaches and professors. Further, Brittany knows this combination is also her recipe for success, not only making the most of her undergraduate studies, but preparing her for a successful future.
The Perfect Fit
Growing up with a love for helping others, Brittany, a Toledo native, considered attending several other big schools both in Michigan and Ohio to find her path into the medical field. While she was drawn to the established programs of state universities, Brittany couldn’t help but feel intimated when she imagined sitting in a class with at least 100 other students. That all changed when she visited The University of Olivet, and Brittany realized a quality education with access to her professors was not only possible, but guaranteed.
“At The University of Olivet, I just knew I wasn’t going to be a number, and when I had questions, I would be able to get them answered.” Brittany said. “My professors often ask me, ‘How are your other classes and track going?’ They take the time to get to know me, it’s a real community.”
Brittany says a day never goes by when she doesn’t learn or grow in some way thanks to professors, Leah Knapp, DVM, John Wilterding, Ph.D., Kate Jones, KayDee Perry or Nancy Van Hoozier, just to name a few. It’s these teachers that make The University of Olivet so special for Brittany, serving as a resource large universities simply can’t to provide students. She especially loves the opportunity to learn from the personal experiences of her professors, understanding she will likely encounter similar situations or challenges during her own education and career.
And the relationships don’t end there. Recently, Brittany even had lunch with Provost and Dean Maria Davis, Ph.D. Having a personal connection with Brittany, Dr. Davis helped her connect with alumni in the medical field visiting campus during the college’s Homecoming celebration.
Beyond the Classroom
Further, Brittany is grateful that she doesn’t have to give up extracurricular opportunities in order to have such a robust academic experience. She’s previously played volleyball and basketball at OC, appreciating the chance to continue the sports she loved beyond high school, but her special passion is in track and field.
“I just love running and love the people I get to be around as part of the track and field team,” Brittany said. “My teammates are great and it is so much fun to have a close group of friends like that, and the coaches are really supportive, especially head coach Karen Lutzke and assistant coach Darroll Gatson. They push me to be a better runner and a better person, and anytime I get down on myself or think I can’t do something, my coaches always tell me I can do it.”
In addition, Brittany has combined her love of the Lord and interest in leadership with her passion for athletics, joining the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She’s also a member of the Black Student Union, Nu Gamma Xi, currently serving as the sorority’s chaplain, and a resident adviser, driven to build relationships and connect with students across campus.
Brittany is even part of the President’s Leadership Institute, a yearlong training program dedicated to developing top leadership in Olivet’s students, as well as enabling them to become the principal professional and community leaders of the future. She is also looking forward to furthering her skills in the ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Institute, designed to create a culture of women supporting women in leadership development, this year as well.
Always Learning, Always Growing
While it may seem like she’s done it all, Brittany’s journey isn’t over just yet. She still has many exciting experiences ahead of her, including serving on the Cultivating Women Leaders student panel at the third annual event in March 2019. She’ll be sharing her experiences at OC with high school students and others attending the event. In addition, Brittany is looking forward to finding her niche in the medical field and researching graduate school opportunities this summer. She’s experienced learning from professionals in the areas of urology, orthopedics, trauma, digestive and many others, and is excited to work in pediatrics next.
“I’m so glad I’ve chosen the small college experience,” Brittany exclaimed. “I wouldn’t have been able to eat lunch with the provost and dean, connect with my professors on a personal level, play sports, join clubs and Greek live, and so much more had I went down a difference path. My key to success is always asking yourself, ‘What can I do to improve?’ and at The University of Olivet, there are so many experiences to take advantage of that will improve you.”
Become a Comet
Fit your fit at The University of Olivet – even in in academics, athletics, clubs, Greek life and more like Brittany – by scheduling a campus visit. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.46.7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.