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.

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    Will Allen, a 2009 graduate of Alma College, is making a difference in the United Kingdom, where he has raised $480,000 in grants that allow him to lead research on international migration.

    Allen’s research explores how information about international migration is understood, visualized and communicated to a wide range of stakeholders in British public life.

    His grants have come from several international sources, including the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Toyota Foundation in Japan.

    Professor Ed Lorenz, with Will Allen and Will's parents, in 2011.Professor Ed Lorenz, with Will Allen and Will's parents, in 2011.

    “It might seem unusual for a social scientist to attract funding from councils normally covering diverse subjects like art, history, computer science or business,” Allen says. “However, I believe it illustrates the fact that data of all types, visualization of those data, and their communication are incredibly relevant to society, policymakers and the private sector.”

    Allen works at the Migration Observatory in Britain. Formed in 2011, the independent organization’s goal is to inform debates about migration in the United Kingdom through and accessible data analysis.

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    “My role involves leading projects that investigate how the United Kingdom’s lively media — particularly its national press — discuss migration issues and portray different migrant groups,” says Allen. “My mission is to equip others with the knowledge, skills and techniques to produce better, more effective migration policy — as well as improve their involvement with migrants themselves.”

    Allen’s work on the media portrayal of migration has been taken up by non-governmental organizations around the United Kingdom as well as the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the European Commission of Brussels.

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    After graduating from Alma College with a program of emphasis in social policy, he went on to study international development at the University of Oxford as Alma’s first Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholar. He was one of 30 scholars from around the world, selected from a pool of approximately 650 applicants, to receive the prestigious post-graduate award.

    Allen says his undergraduate experiences at Alma College were vital in his success at Oxford and as a research officer at the Migration Observatory.

    Will Allen, presenting at 2011 Honors DayWill Allen, presenting at 2011 Honors Day

    “Opportunities for international travel widened my horizon of what was possible,” he says. “Traveling to Ecuador, Mexico and continental Europe for spring terms gave me the self-confidence to pursue further education abroad. Perhaps most importantly, my time at Alma gave me the chance to discover how my values and beliefs could inform transformative action.”

    He urges students looking to do similar social and civil work to broaden their horizons as much as possible.

    “I would recommend taking a wide range of courses that challenge your thinking on a subject,” he says. It will make you more flexible and will make you able to solve problems more intelligently. I would also emphasize the importance of understanding how to communicate effectively and managing projects. These are skills that are developed through repeated experiences outside the classroom.”

     

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    Looking back on his four-year Alma College experience, Michael Reeves appreciated the challenges as much as the successes.

    “Coming into Alma, I thought I had everything figured,” says Reeves. “I knew how the world worked, and I was going to change the world — the world was not going to change me. Through my years at Alma College, I realized that in order to change the world, I must start with myself.

    Michael Reeves (third from left), with parents Mark and Laura Reeves and Alma President Jeff Abernathy.Michael Reeves (third from left), with parents Mark and Laura Reeves and Alma President Jeff Abernathy.

    Reeves, the 2014 recipient of the Barlow Trophy, Alma College’s most prestigious award for a graduating senior, acknowledges that the experiences at Alma that best prepared him to be successful were the struggles.

    “Whenever a class was difficult or challenging, I learned that I needed to work harder and to not be too proud to ask for help,” he says. “I know a few of my professors were tired of seeing me in their offices so often, but I needed to be there in order to succeed.

    “Whenever I had too much on my plate, I needed to decide when to persevere and when it was time to stop an activity. I learned that it is much better to try everything, and then focus on the activities I loved most. I would rather be great at a few activities and put forth my full effort, than to be mediocre at all activities or not live up to my full potential.

    “I also learned that friends and confidants are some of the most important items in life. I could never have accomplished what I have here without the support of my friends, family, and mentors. I wish that I had more time to thank people for what they have done for me.”

    Reeves, a native of Lisle, Ill., participated in numerous extracurricular activities during his four years at Alma while pursuing a degree in elementary education. He was active in the performing arts, campus residence life, admissions recruitment and the local Alma community.

    Michael Reeves, homecoming king.Michael Reeves, homecoming king.

    He was voted Alma’s homecoming king in fall 2013 and served as an officer in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national music fraternity, and Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honorary. Passionate about music, Reeves was a member of the Kiltie Wind and Jazz ensembles as well as the College Chorale and Alma Choir.

    His community involvement included volunteering as a coach for the local Alma Tigers Special Olympics Basketball Program. Additional campus activities included playing one year of varsity football and three years of intramural basketball. He also was active with Youth for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Alma College Chapel ministries.

    The Barlow Award, which is voted on by Student Congress and faculty members, is presented to a graduating student in the top 10 percent of the senior class who has made incredible contributions to both the campus and the community.

     

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    Brittany Verran wasn’t yet finished with her internship at Alma Chrysler when she got the opportunity to interview for a summer internship with Ally Financial in Detroit through Alma College’s Center for Student Opportunity.

    “I received an email that an Alma alumnus at Ally Financial was looking to collect resumes,” says the Alma College junior from Goodrich. “I forwarded my resume to the CSO, and less than 24 hours later I received a call from Ally Financial and did a phone interview on the spot.”

    Two days after her phone interview Verran was invited to Ally Financial’s internship super day. A few weeks later she traveled to Detroit and participated in five hours worth of interviews. Three days after the interviews she received an offer for the internship she had liked the most.

    Brittany VerranBrittany Verran

    Not only did she find out about the internship through the CSO, it also helped her land the job.

    “I went in for several mock interviews in the weeks before my real interviews, since I knew preparing for six interviews in five hours would be quite the task,” she says. “The mock interviews helped me to feel very prepared and relaxed on the day of my real interviews.”

    The CSO offers various services to students who are in all phases of their internship searches, including job and internship search, resume development and personal branding workshops, says Laurie DeYoung, assistant director for career services.

    “We also provide many opportunities for students to connect directly with alumni as they seek internships or full-time positions through Career EXPLO and on-campus speakers,” says DeYoung.

    In her internships, Verran will work directly with dealers that Ally Financial works with, helping them to understand products the organization offers such as remarketing and advantage programs.

    “I’ll work on presentations of how to better meet the needs of the dealer, as well as personally implementing ways of updating projects to what the dealer needs,” she says. “This internship involves a lot of responsibility and knowledge of the financial world and Ally Financial as a company.”

    Verran, a business administration major with an emphasis in finance, also was helped by her Alma College education. She was the only student at the internship super day from a small, private college. She believes this is one of the reasons she stood out to her interviewers.

    “Alma College has taught me that thinking inside the box is not acceptable in today’s workforce,” she says. “If you want to stand out you need to think critically about things in a way that others can’t.”

     

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    Inspired by MTV’s Do Something Awards, Christelle Bangsi is spearheading a local food project, recovering surplus perishable foods that would otherwise go to waste and donating it to people in need.

    She hopes to expand the food recovery effort to the greater Alma area.

    “I was watching MTV’s Do Something Awards, and the president of the Food Recovery Network was highlighted,” says Christelle. “I was looking to get involved in something philanthropically, so I found out more about the organization and reached out.”

    Working with staff from Sodexo, Alma College’s food service provider, Bangsi brings left-over cooked food from Hamilton Food Commons to Community Café at First Presbyterian Church every Thursday.

    Since the national Food Recovery Network began working with college campuses in September 2011, more than 96,000 meals have been recovered.

    “I continue to be impressed by Christelle’s willingness to give so much of her time, energy and effort for such a great cause,” says Steve Watkins, Sodexo general manager at Alma College. “She’s solely responsible for instigating very good things for even better reasons.”

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    Daniel Jaremko made the choice to attend Alma College based on the chance to take a human dissection class — a rare feature at an undergraduate institution — along with the opportunities provided the faculty.

    “When I visited the campus in my senior year of high school, I felt as though the professors were all very willing to provide whatever help was needed and offer guidance on school work, applications, anything,” says Jaremko. “This initial impression was very much confirmed during my four years at Alma College.”

    Jaremko entered his freshman year interested in literature and creative writing. That changed with his enrollment in pre-medical science classes. Soon, he was involved in multiple research projects.

    “The research I performed at Alma gave me the opportunity to travel to three national conferences,” he says. “This experience helped me both to develop my ability to present my research and also let me get an idea of how much research is going on and how many opportunities are out there.”

    Jaremko is enrolled in the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). After graduating from the program with both a doctorate degree and a medical degree, he plans to complete a residency program and possibly a post-doctoral research position.

    His ultimate career goal is to secure a position at a large research institute, splitting his time as a physician scientist between clinical work with patients and performing research in the lab.

     

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    Terra Teague Hess ’08, a retail industry analyst for Google, credits her Alma Experience for preparing her for her professional field.

    “At Alma you are always pushed and challenged to continuously reach outside your box and make the world better,” she says. “There are so many people to guide you. I look back, and I am so thankful because the experiences I had there weren’t just the college experiences, but ones that continue to shape my life.”

    In addition to being a Barlow Trophy winner, Terra was senior class president, a Model UN delegate, a member of the Center for Responsible Leadership, and a business administration major.

    “While your chosen field of study is important, thinking beyond it can give you a more realistic and respected view of the world — all the while making you a more well-rounded person,” she says. “ Despite being a business major, I took classes in geology, poetry, calculus, and religious studies.

    “Some of the best advice I received was from a political science professor, who stressed the value of ‘always being a part of the conversation,’” she says. “His words continue to inspire me today as a professional businesswoman at Google — a position I was able to achieve next to the likes of Top 10 and Ivy League school candidates.”

     

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    Nurses need a liberal arts preparation, says Judith McKenna, the director of Alma College’s new nursing program.

    The first class of up to 32 nursing students will enter in fall 2014.

    “Students in our program will not be taught in silos or segregated from other students,” she says. “They will have opportunities to bring together concepts from biology and chemistry as well as English, political science, sociology, administration and even the arts and apply them to the nursing practice. We intend to prepare nurses who have the ability to communicate, think critically and realize the value of a well-rounded education.”

    The four-year bachelor’s degree has become the minimum educational standard for the nursing profession, says McKenna.

    “People need nurses, and that’s why it is so important to develop competent nurses who can think critically,” she says. “It’s nurses who are at the bedside of a critically ill patient or with the family who has lost a loved one. It’s nurses who guide families through the next steps of their recovery programs. It’s nurses who look at personal situations beyond the disease and see what really needs to happen at this point in a patient’s life.

    “Nurses need to be able to do these things,” she says. “The BSN equates to the development of a professional nurse and incorporates ethics, research, leadership and creativity.”

     

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    Tirrea Billings is an explorer who is always looking to get involved with new experiences.

    “I chose to come to Alma because I was looking for a small community with significant opportunities,” she says. “I’ve been able to find those opportunities; it’s been a great experience.

    “I was involved in competitive cheer all through middle school and high school, “ she says. “Here at Alma we’ve come a long way and are headed to Nationals for the second year in a row.”

    Billings has always embraced community involvement opportunities and has found an outlet at Alma.

    “I’ve always been involved in volunteer work and communities, such as Kids Night Out, fundraisers, taking care of the elderly. With Colleges Against Cancer, we ‘re hitting bigger results than ever,” she says.

    What’s next for Tirrea?

    “Right now I’m majoring in environmental science with a new media studies minor,” she says. “I’d like to begin work with nature documentaries. Discovery Channel, National Geographic, things like that. Eventually I’d like to work on projects for Disney Nature.”

     

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Discover your world.

You design an amazing learning experience. Travel. Research. Internship. You name it. And we give you a Venture Grant of up to $2,500 to pay for it.

Pursue your passion. Explore your purpose in life. Step out of your comfort zone.

Where will you go?

  • With a program of emphasis (POE) in global health and human rights, Elizabeth Wayne took advantage of every opportunity that came her way.

  • Jamie Young felt prepared for life after graduation. He competed against hundreds of other applicants to snag his dream job.
  • After an inspiring Spring Term class, Gabe Svobodny received funding from Alma College to continue his research in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

       

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 $23.6 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.