Your life’s work is waiting…

Your life’s work is waiting: start now.

Through the Alma Commitment, we will work with you to plan a college experience that includes all the classes necessary to complete a degree in four years, to have practical experiences (such as internships and research opportunities) that will look great on your resume, to include other campus opportunities that are important to you (performing arts, athletics, Greek life, etc.) and to prepare you not just for your first career, but for all of your careers.

Find out how Alma College can work for you!

Meet a few Great Scots - and when you’re ready to dive in to what’s next, find a major and apply to Alma.

Plaid Works

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    Tech CEO and Alma College alumna Meredith Bronk shares with students her advice on leadership, mentorship and work/life harmony.

    Meredith BronkMeredith BronkDuring Meredith Bronk’s interview for a job at Open Systems Technologies, the CEO asked her where she saw herself in five years. She told him that she wanted his job.

    Seventeen years later, she did exactly that. She’s been at the helm of the Grand Rapids-based tech company since April 2015. Her former boss and mentor, Dan Behm, started planning her transition more than five years ago — a rare approach for a tech company.

    “Most technology companies, when the founder exits the business, the business goes away,” says Bronk, a 1992 Alma College graduate who majored in business administration. “But our commitment to our employees means we’re into this forever, for the long haul.”

    Open Systems Technologies develops custom applications such as mobile apps, websites or other technology solutions for business problems. The company also sells hardware, servers and storage for universities and companies.

    Recent projects include: Creating hand-held barcode readers to scan wristbands to speed up the lines at an amusement park; developing an application for an apple orchard that could scan and grade the quality and texture of apples to be sold to a fast food chain; and helping to create an app for a healthcare provider in West Michigan, so patients can get their medical records, make new appointments and communicate with their doctors.

    Bronk’s new role puts her among the few women CEOs of tech companies.

    “We as women have a perspective that’s different than some of the other perspectives at the table,” she says. “When you see things that no one else sees, find a way to bring it up. Bringing a new perspective to the table is absolutely critical, I think, to helping to change the dynamics in how thoughts are brought to bear.”

    <em>Meredith Bronk</em>Meredith BronkThe key to innovation is being open to those creative ideas — even crazy ideas — and acknowledging that failure is an option, she says.

    “We have a saying at OST, ‘anything goes,’ and ‘we’ve got your back,’” says Bronk. “We want to hear everybody’s crazy idea. And the ‘we’ve got your back’ means if we try it, and it doesn’t work, we’re all here together.”

    Bronk visited Alma to share her experiences with a spring term class on strategic leadership taught by President Jeff Abernathy and Professor Greg Baleja.

    “The best leaders are learners,” she says. “Good leaders will put people around them that are smarter than them.”

    Another piece of advice she had for students: Reflect.

    “It’s easy to look at the road in front of you, but you gain perspective by also looking at the road behind you,” she says. “The lessons that are learned are back there.”

    Work/life balance — or “work/life harmony,” as she prefers to call it — also is important at OST.

    “You have to get a peaceful coexistence of the different competing interests in your life, so family, work, health, community, faith,” she says.

    “It’s never exactly perfect; it hasn’t even been for me at least.” says Bronk, who has three daughters, ages 11, 13 and 15.

    She credits Alma with giving her the foundation to be a successful leader.

    “The intimate level of relationships that you’re able to form at Alma College, the opportunity to get involved in so many things — almost the expectation to get involved when you’re on campus — affords the opportunity to learn how to work in small groups, to learn how to work in larger groups, to learn how to find what’s the right fit for you,” she says.

    “All of those things I learned as an Alma College Scot, I’m applying today.”

    Her time at Alma was a formative time and allowed her to mature in a safe environment.

    “I made stupid decisions — but I was surrounded by people who didn’t let them be catastrophic, they didn’t let them be defining,” she says. “They let me mature in a way that allowed me to really flourish.”

    When she sat in the classroom recently with Baleja — her former advisor — she reflected on his words of encouragement.

    “I didn’t have a great freshman year, first term here, academically,” she says. “He really kind of helped me stay focused, which I do with the people that I mentor. Sometimes mentorship is as much about reminding people of their own capabilities rather than teaching them.”

    The softball field was another place where she grew as a leader.

    “When I talk about leadership and I talk about my journey to leadership, softball is always part of it,” she says. “The lessons learned on the field correlate to the same challenges that you face in leadership in business, in life, really: How to win well; how to lose well; how to show compassion and grit and competition and hard work and the opportunity to be a part of something that’s bigger than just me.”

    She acknowledges she wasn’t the best softball player.

    “I didn’t actually play much,” she says. “I was a number three or number four pitcher, but everybody else on that team was better because I was part of the team.

    “Learning how to be a leader, even if you’re not the one who’s standing in the middle of the field, is an opportunity that I have even today,” she says.

    “Influencing others and being aware of the dynamics that are going on between people, whether it’s a pitcher and a catcher and a first basemen on the field or reading peoples’ strategies — I learned that on the field, and I apply it every day.”

    — Erica Shekell

    Plaid Works
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    TJ Miller’s summer internship at BASF was “an incredible experience.” He says, “The skills I’ve gained over the past couple of years demonstrate why ‘plaid works’ for me.”

    A business unit analysis that led to a second-place finish in a seven-week intern challenge contributed to “an incredible experience” for Thomas James “TJ” Miller.

    “I interned in summer 2015 with BASF Corporation, the world’s leading chemical company, out of the Wyandotte site, which is the main site for the Midwest hub,” says Miller, an international business administration major and German minor at Alma College.

    TJ MillerTJ MillerMiller worked with the performance materials division in the transportation section.

    “My responsibility was to create an automated uploading process for the technical data sheets from Microsoft SharePoint into the High Performance Sales Process iPad sales app,” he says.

    As part of his internship, Miller was required to take part in the company’s Midwest Hub Summer Hire Intern Challenge. The interns were divided into seven groups of eight people and asked to analyze different business units to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas of growth.

    Miller’s group consisted of half business majors and half chemical engineering or chemistry majors. They analyzed the company’s Global Advanced Materials and Systems Research unit.

    “The diverse group really helped,” says Miller, a junior from Brighton. “The competency center is relatively new, and the goal of our presentation was to promote communication and show that there is this incredible resource.”

    After presenting to a panel of judges, Miller’s group took second place by only two points. Because they took second by such a small margin, members of the group were guaranteed letters of recommendations for professional development programs.

    “Overall it was a great summer,” says Miller. “I’m looking to explore opportunities to work out of BASF’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, next summer before I study abroad next August at a German university. Eventually I would like to work in the automotive industry.”

    Miller credits Alma College faculty for preparing him for a successful internship. Analyzing businesses with SWOT analysis—strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats—as learned in the classroom helped with his internship, he says.

    “My business professors helped me develop a strong ability to identify a business unit’s weaknesses and areas for growth,” he says. “The skills I’ve gained over the past couple of years demonstrate why ‘plaid works’ for me.”

    He advises incoming students to talk with their professors as much as possible, saying that the more you develop the relationships now, the better it will help in the coming years.

    “The small class sizes really help,” says Miller. “Alma College offers a great learning environment. I didn’t think I could survive at a big university as just a number. Here you get to interact with the professors. Here they want you to succeed.”

    — Alexa Bourne


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    “Dual-enrollment gave me an opportunity to experience what college is like and allowed for a more natural progression into college.” — Mason Molesky

    <em>Mason Molesky, during a summer research experience at the NASA Research Center in California.</em>Mason Molesky, during a summer research experience at the NASA Research Center in California.Mason Molesky was familiar with Alma College before he enrolled as a first-year full-time student in Fall 2014.

    “I had the privilege to dual-enroll while in high school,” says Mason. “Dual enrollment gave me an opportunity to experience what college is like and allowed for a more natural progression into college.”

    After finishing high school in just three years, Mason began with sophomore standing. For his hard work in high school, he will be able to finish his undergraduate degree in just two and a half years.

    Mason wasted no time getting involved in many areas across campus. He is involved in seven campus organizations — Alpha Phi Omega, Barrister’s Society, Math Club, Chemistry Club, Biology Club, Ultimate Frisbee Club and Alma College Chorale.

    <em>Mason Molesky</em>Mason MoleskyIn addition, he is an international student mentor and a meteorite/asteroid research assistant in conjunction with NASA. He also volunteers at Community Café and Kid’s Night Out while while pursuing double majors in mathematics and physics.

    “My search for majors allowed me to explore a variety of interests and in the process find my passions,” he says. “Since taking Algebra I in middle school, math always came naturally to me. Since then I have known math would be an integral —get the pun? — part of my life.”

    Mason was unsure what he would be able to do with a mathematics degree alone and knew that he wanted to find a second subject to double major in. After wading through philosophy, education and business classes, Mason came to a realization.

    “I thought back to the good old high school years and remembered how physics was mostly math: essentially math with labels,” he says. “I signed up for a class, and a couple weeks later I was declaring physics as my second major.”

    <em>Mason Molesky</em>Mason MoleskyAs if he’s not busy enough, Mason also is working four on-campus jobs — Information Technology Services Assistant Network Specialist, Director of Access to College Education (ACE) Program, Mathematics and Computer Science Department Tutor and member of the Service Team.

    When asked what has been the most beneficial thing for Mason thus far at Alma, he was quick with a response.

    “Research,” he says. “It has not only prepared me for future research and been a resume builder for me, but it also has given me experience in presenting, interpersonal skills, and other professional skills. In addition, research is what graduate schools look for on a resume, and they might even approach you at conferences!”

    After Alma, Mason plans to pursue a doctorate in mathematics, physics or technology.

    “I am really happy with the opportunities that Alma has to offer me and the ability to have the time and resources to take to find my passions.”


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    “My team is always there for me. They help me through challenges during practice and with academics; they are my family here at Alma.” — Jade Paquin

    <em>Jade Paquin, second from left</em>Jade Paquin, second from left“I heard about Alma College through a friend who was already set on going here,” says Muskegon junior Jade Paquin. “She kind of dragged me along.”

    Paquin had initially planned on going to a community college and then transferring. Her campus visit changed that, and she decided to apply to see how much it would cost.

    Then her parents saw her acceptance letter in the mail.

    “They were like, ‘You’re getting this much money?’” she says. She went to another campus visit day — this time, with her parents.

    “They were like, ‘Yeah, we like it. We think that this is a really good fit,’” says Paquin.

    When she came to Alma, she ended up rooming with the friend who had brought her on the campus visit.

    “My dad went to community college, but he didn’t have the experience of living on his own,” she says. “It would have been nice to have someone relatable, like ‘living in dorms is like this, and classes are like this.’”

    That’s when a student on her competitive cheer and STUNT team introduced her to the King-Chavez-Parks Mentor Program. The KCP Program is for first-year students, including those who are among the first in their families to go to college.

    <em>KCP mentors</em>KCP mentorsStudents in the KCP program participate in a variety of events, including cookie decorating, movie nights and eating lunch with faculty mentors. They take trips to cider mills, baseball games and sledding hills. They also participate in Alma’s Relay for Life, financial literacy workshops, academic success seminars, service projects and meet-and-greets with speakers that come to campus.

    The best part about the program is having someone to go to with questions, which is especially valuable for first-year students, she says.

    “I like how it gives you another resource and person to go to that you don’t have to feel weird about asking,” she says.

    Paquin was a mentee her first year at Alma. Now she’s a mentor.

    “It was a three- or four-day training session,” she says. “We did a ton of team-building then, just so everyone knew how to work together and rely on another mentor to help with your mentees if you had any problems or didn’t know how to connect.”

    She was compelled to become a mentor because she understands the feeling of being homesick.

    “That was such a weird feeling because I was always the kid that was like, ‘I want to go to my friend’s house and stay there because I don’t want to be home,’” she says.

    “I just thought it was important to be there for someone else because I definitely experienced homesickness for the first time ever, and it was weird. I was like, ‘I’m sure I’m not the only one.’”

    Another aspect of the KCP program that Paquin likes is that there are plenty of activities for her to attend. The cheer team practices four days a week, competes on weekends and cheers at basketball games, so she can’t make every KCP event — and that’s OK.

    “A challenge is balancing schoolwork and other commitments with practice and competitions,” says Paquin, who is majoring in Integrative Physiology and Health Science and Healthcare Administration.

    One of the best parts about her cheer team: they have each other’s backs.

    “My team is always there for me,” she says. “They help me through challenges during practice and with academics; they are my family here at Alma.”


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    “Scuba diving … was like looking at a whole new world. Seeing what lies right below the surface was like an awakening, and it was then that I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life studying this world and protecting it.” — Anna Foltz

    Not many undergraduates can say that they have conducted research on shark behavior and conservation, but Alma College student Anna Foltz can — and in Fiji, of all places!

    Foltz, a senior from Saginaw, and other members of her off-campus study class scuba-dived with sharks multiple times a day in July 2014. She also did a research project focused on sharks’ feeding behavior.

    “For the course, we completed advanced dive training as well as traditional schoolwork,” says Foltz. “We had daily class sessions where we learned shark biology, behavior, conservation and more, coupled with field research.

    “This course was very helpful as it provided me with advanced experience diving with sharks and a solid introduction to performing marine behavioral research,” she says.

    Diving with sharks may seem adventurous, but the students were never in danger. They were closely supervised by the dive company crew and escorted by “body guard” divers. In addition, the trained sharks were “conditioned” to not breach certain sections of the coral wall.

    “The sharks were curious, but they never displayed aggression toward us,” she says.

    Foltz found her passion for marine ecosystems and conservation during a spring term class in her sophomore year at Alma.

    “I went on Dr. John Rowe’s Hawaii trip,” she says. “Scuba diving on this trip was like looking at a whole new world. Seeing what lies right below the surface was like an awakening, and it was then that I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life studying this world and protecting it. If I hadn’t gone on this trip, my future would look very different.”

    During her four years at Alma, Foltz has double majored in biology and anthropology and minored in environmental studies.

    She received the Currie Scholarship, by which she studied the Ronald Kapp collection in the Alma College library. She then used his data to develop archaeological hypotheses of where Paleo-Indian peoples may have lived in the Alma College Ecological Station (the Vestaburg Bog).

    She plans to pursue graduate studies of the population dynamics in sharks, skates and rays and the ecosystem collapse that results from their removal. Her research would aid in recommending conservation policy to protect further decline in populations as well as save the ecosystem from total collapse.

    “The opportunities available through the biology and anthropology departments and the ability to study abroad have all culminated in making me an extremely well qualified candidate who will be very competitive in my field of study after graduation,” she says.


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    “Everything I have learned about chemistry, I learned at Alma. Some of the graduate students I worked with over the summer now use the techniques I brought with me from Alma in their own research labs.” — Sarah Cox

    Sarah CoxSarah CoxSarah Cox ’15 faced a tough choice when she was finishing up her senior year. The biology major received graduate school offers from the Ph.D. programs at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University.

    After some deliberation, Cox chose the doctorate degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan, where she earned a full graduate assistantship to cover all tuition costs for the program.

    Cox credits her research experiences at Alma for making her stand out to the top graduate schools in the Midwest.

    During her time at Alma, Cox participated in the University of Michigan’s material chemistry research program, funded by the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program. She helped to discover a new molecular gelator using computational methods to predict possible gel forming molecules. She then synthesized and screened for successful gelators.

    Cox also participated in five semesters of on-campus research, beginning in her sophomore year, working with organic synthesis of prostaglandin inhibitors.

    “Everything I have learned about chemistry, I learned at Alma,” she says. “Dr. Scott Hill taught me a lot of lab skills and tricks that he learned through his experience. Some of the graduate students I was working with in the summers now use techniques I brought with me from Alma in their own research labs.”

    Sarah ultimately would like to be a professor at a small liberal arts college much like Alma or enter into a career in the chemical industry after she is finished earning her doctorate degree.

    “If I become a professor, I would present the information in the same manner that I learned it at Alma,” she says. “Classes made sense to me, and I was excited to learn more about the topics and get more involved in doing actual research on these topics.”

    Outside of the lab, Cox also was a member and captain of the Alma College cheer and STUNT teams. She also worked as the student operator for the facilities office and a chemistry tutor and teaching assistant, sharing her knowledge with other students on campus. 

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    “Throughout my life, I’ve always had mentors [who] led me down the right path. Since they took their time to help me throughout my process of growing up, I feel like I should be doing the same thing for others.” — Fabrice Constant

    <em><strong>Fabrice Constant, far left, with classmates and faculty member Dale Sanders at the National Institutes of Health.</strong></em>Fabrice Constant, far left, with classmates and faculty member Dale Sanders at the National Institutes of Health.It’s not easy being the first in one’s family to go to college. Fortunately, Fabrice Constant had plenty of mentors to help him along the way — and that’s why he’s doing the same for others.

    “Originally, I wanted to go to a big school, but I basically view it as you’re just a number there,” says Fabrice. “At Alma, you are an individual where a professor knows your name, knows what you are about and has an idea of what you want to accomplish.”

    At the encouragement of several Alma faculty members, Constant got involved with the King-Chavez-Parks Mentor Program, which pairs first-year students with both peer and faculty and staff mentors.

    Students in the KCP Program do everything from pumpkin carving to having lunches with faculty mentors. They participate in Alma’s Relay for Life, financial literacy workshops, academic success seminars, service projects and movie nights. They take trips to Uncle John’s Cider Mill, baseball games and even go sledding.

    <em><strong>Fabrice Constant, in uniform.</strong></em>Fabrice Constant, in uniform.Having others to point him in the right direction is what drove Constant to become a mentor in the program.

    “I know that when you first come to Alma, especially if you come from a different state, you don’t know anybody,” says Fabrice, whose family lives in Miami, Fla. “Having somebody to help you, to show you where you can get help if you need it, is a good thing. So I thought it was a perfect way to help somebody that’s in need.

    “Throughout my life, I’ve always had mentors, like football coaches, older brothers,” he says. “They led me down the right path. Since they took their time to help me throughout my process of growing up, I feel like I should be doing the same thing for others.”

    His parents had a huge impact on his decision to go to college. They came to the United States from Haiti with minimal education.

    “They would tell us the struggles they experienced with not having an education, and that it’s better that you actually go to college,” says Constant.

    <em><strong>KCP mentors</strong></em>KCP mentorsHis family members weren’t the only ones who encouraged him to go to college. His football coach and high school teachers also pushed him to get a college education.

    So when he was recruited by an Alma football coach who came to Florida, Fabrice took it seriously. During his campus visit, Fabrice and his parents were impressed by the strength of Alma’s business program and the job placement rate of Alma graduates.

    In addition to being a KCP mentor and football player, Constant also is involved in the Multicultural Student Union, a student organization comprising students from many nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.

    Fabrice, a junior majoring in health care administration, also is involved in the Health Care Administration Professional Development Organization. Students in HAPDO interact with alumni and others in the health care field and have the opportunity to go to conferences.

    Through HAPDO, he has accompanied faculty advisor Dale Sanders and other students to the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters — better known as FEMA — in Maryland. He also has taken a spring term class about health disparities, in which students visited Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee and Toronto.

    “I want to work at a hospital as an administrator and potentially later go back to school and try to get a master’s degree,” he says.


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    “It’s important to have a Student Congress on campus so that the voices, suggestions and concerns of the student body are heard.” — Lauren Engels

    Lauren EngelsLauren EngelsStudent opinions and concerns are a primary focus for Lauren Engels, the 2014-15 Student Congress president at Alma College.

    “I want to ensure that student ideas and concerns are being represented,” says Engels, a senior from Livonia. “It’s important to have a Student Congress on campus so that the voices, suggestions and concerns of the student body are heard.”

    All students deserve to have a voice in what goes on at Alma College, she says. Engels works to help Student Congress reach more students by opening communication lines and ensuring student representatives are serving on Alma College committees.

    “Student Congress should be a place where different organizations brainstorm ideas to improve campus and then set the ideas into action,” she says.

    In addition to Student Congress, Engels also is involved in Model United Nations, Alternative Breaks, Amnesty International, Entrepreneurs in Action and the Presidential Honors Program and works in the Smith Alumni house.

    She has participated in several Posey Global trips, including working in a childcare ministry in Uganda, and has completed an internship at the U.S. Mission at the United Nations. She says all of her experiences have made for an amazing time at Alma College.

    “There is not one experience that would qualify as the best,” she says. “All of the conversations, seminars, internships and adventures I have participated in have combined to make my time at Alma College truly remarkable.”

    Engels recently won the Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellows Award, which honors inspiring student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

    Upon graduating from Alma College, Engels plans to pursue a master’s degree, specializing in humanitarian assistance and international diplomacy. Ultimately, she hopes to write U.S. foreign policy for emerging crises, focusing on humanitarian assistance and improving living conditions for women and children refugees.


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Discover your world.

You design an amazing learning experience - travel, research, internship - and Alma College will help make it happen.
Programs such as the Alma VenturePosey Global Fellowships and others provide each student up to $2,500 to support experiential learning. 
So step out of your comfort zone. Explore. Grow. Be who you want to be.
  • Nick Wracan took advantage of our multidisciplinary new media studies major to create a mutant pizza monster that you have to see to believe.
  • Alma’s small size led Karol Chubb to big opportunities as a volunteer, intern, mentor and health care administration major.
  • With a passion for travel and and a knack for science, Fallon Koenig, our very first Alma Venture recipient, hit the ground running and studied medicinal ethnobotany in the Ecuadorian Amazon during her first year.

Make it happen.

The college search process is exciting, but it also can be overwhelming!

Our admissions and financial aid staff are available to sit down with you and answer your questions. We want to help you make the best decision. (It’s no secret; we hope you choose Alma!).

  • In the past year, Alma College awarded over $24.1 million in scholarships to its students.
  • Every student receives some level of award.
  • With merit scholarships, special awards and need-based grants, we are working to make the quality education that Alma provides accessible to you.