“When I decided to transfer from the first university I attended, I initially thought about joining the Navy,” Thomas said. “So, I did just that; I went through all the paperwork and tests, and during this time I ran into my old high school swim coach Rob Brownell, who is now the current swim coach at Olivet. I told him about my situation and he jokingly mentioned that if the Navy didn’t work out that I should come and swim at Olivet.”
As it turns out, Thomas discovered that he was colorblind, meaning he was ineligible for any of the service jobs he was hoping to obtain in the Navy. “After that, I felt like it was fate telling me to go to Olivet and start swimming again. The opportunity to actually be able to swim in college intrigued me a lot as my last college only had a women’s swim and dive team not a men’s team.”
On Olivet’s swimming and diving team, Thomas considers himself the “hype man” who screams and cheers for everyone to get them ready for their competitions. Thomas swims breaststroke and freestyle, and also represents the men’s swimming and diving team for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Although Thomas’ experience at Olivet have been largely affected by the pandemic, he says that with great effort from faculty and staff, his college experience still feels normal.
“I really appreciate how much effort my professors have put in to make these strange times not feel so strange. I feel that the The University of Olivet faculty and staff have tried to make the best of the situation. For example, I had the Ecosystem Ecology ILT course last spring. Dr. Leah Knapp was still able to plan out field trips to various nature preserves all over southern Michigan,” Thomas explained. “Olivet has made me a lot more knowledgeable about how one person’s actions can actually have a large impact on the surrounding environment. I have now become much more conscious of my actions to ensure that I always have a positive impact on my environment.”
As a biology and environmental science major, upon graduation Thomas wishes to have a career with animal conservation or habitat restoration. During his college experience he is doing everything he can to gain experience in the biology field, including an animal care internship at Binder Park Zoo.
Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at 269-749-7635 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This feature was written by rising senior Chad Enwright, Marketing and Multi-Media Student Associate. He is a resident adviser, member of the football team, president of Phi Beta Lambda and a business administration major who aspires to invent and operate his own high-tech, home security and automation business.