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Degree or certificate program at CLC and year obtained: A.A. from CLC in 2011; earned bachelor’s degree in business management in 2013 and is studying for a master’s degree in divinity at Trinity International University, where he also serves as assistant residence director.

Hometown: North Chicago, Ill.

Interests and hobbies: Basketball, archery, reading, public speaking.

Stephen Cartwright

CLC is a mosaic; a microcosm of America. The students come from so many different backgrounds and contexts, that you learn almost as much from your classmates as you do from your courses. I gained a greater appreciation for those who are different from me.

I met many friends in classes, clubs and organizations, and perhaps the best part of these friendships is that they transcended our time at CLC. Almost three years after I graduated from CLC, I remain in contact with many of the people I met there.

I am currently a first year master of divinity student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. I am also an assistant residence director for Trinity International University’s residence life department. I am going into ministry, a calling that is greatly informed by the work I do now. Being in ministry simply means to serve and I cannot serve unless I am with people.

At CLC, Introduction to Psychology (PSY 121) was my favorite class. The instructor, Dr. Valentine-French, and her attention to detail and excitement with the subject piqued my interest.  Dr. Valentine-French respected her students and their opinions, and she taught in a way that encouraged me to learn for more than a grade.

One instructor who really influenced me was Dr. Phyllis Soybel, history professor. I took two history courses with her, and although I did not go on to become a history major, Dr. Soybel pushed me to become a better writer and student. At the time I considered myself a relatively good writer. However her notoriously high standards made me “dig deeper” and gain confidence in what I was writing and communicating.

During my time at CLC, I was involved in nine extracurricular clubs or activities. These positions and experiences helped me understand what I was passionate about and the leadership potential I had. My activities included serving as president of Men of Vision, vice president of the Black Student Union, member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and working as a student ambassador.

At CLC, I learned to be proactive about my education. I had classes that were difficult for me, and learned to persevere through what was an investment in my own future.

My advice for a prospective student: Stay focused! If you have career or transfer plans, be proactive and intentional about those plans as you enjoy the unique atmosphere that is college. Also, make connections! The faculty and staff and CLC are dedicated to the institution, the student body and its growth, so seek them out and remember them.