Natalie Wellman, of Fair Haven, Michigan, graduated from Anchor Bay High School. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from OCC in 2010. While at OCC, she was successful in the classroom and on the ball field, receiving both Distinguished Academic All-American and NJCAA All-American honors. Wellman transferred to Saginaw Valley State University, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Upon completion of her hospital internships, she will graduate from SVSU in December, 2014.
Why did you choose to attend OCC?
I chose to attend OCC because of a couple of reasons. First, I was unsure of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life after graduating from high school. Therefore, I chose OCC because I knew I would be given an opportunity to explore different career paths and I would be provided with resources to help me succeed after my time at OCC. Second, I always knew I wanted to play softball in college. I was given that opportunity by the current head coach, Jamie Corona, and OCC was the right fit for me at the time. The coaching staff at OCC helped me succeed academically and I was fortunate enough to transfer and play softball at SVSU after I graduated from OCC.
What is your fondest memory of OCC?
It is very hard for me to pick just one memory that I am fond of. Every softball season provided so many memories that I will never forget – from our spring training trips down to Florida, to our fall conditioning.
What surprised you the most about OCC?
What surprised me the most about OCC is the numerous amounts of opportunities and resources they provide to their students. There is so much offered through OCC, that I am still learning about to this day. It is amazing how much they offer – whether it is academic counseling, numerous different majors, or extracurricular activities.
How did attending OCC impact your life?
Attending OCC has had a huge impact on my life, both academically and athletically. I left OCC with a great education and lifelong friendships. OCC helped me continue my journey to where I am today.
Was there a favorite faculty or staff member who had a strong, positive impact on your life?
I had several great professors while at OCC, but there is one that stands out: Kathy Tiell. She was one of my first professors at OCC and I was in her Psychology class. I enjoyed the class so much that I made sure I took another class taught by her. She made learning fun and was very student-centered.
Were you involved in student life activities at OCC?
I was member of the softball team.
What has been your most rewarding professional or personal experience since graduating?
Since graduating, the most rewarding professional/personal experience would be when the softball team that I was on at SVSU made it all the way to the final four in the NCAA Division II World Series. We were one game away from making it into the championship. The whole experience is something I will never forget. I was also awarded the George Eastman Scholar Athlete GPA Award my senior year at SVSU. This award goes to the top female and male athlete with the highest GPA.
What advice can you give other OCC graduates about school and life after school?
The advice I can give other OCC graduates is to always go after your dreams. Yes, it sounds cliché, but I honestly believe that everyone should fight for something they are passionate about, like their dreams. OCC provides the resources and gives their students the opportunities to pursue those dreams.
What would you like for people to know about OCC that they might not necessarily know?
The only thing that I would like people to know is that there are many opportunities out there that they provide. Everyone at the school is very friendly and is there to help you.