Bay College graduate and Computer Network Systems and Security major Colin Burney earned his degree from Bay at the end of the winter 2019 semester. However, his path to getting a college degree was a somewhat unusual one.
“I am a non-traditional student … I am a veteran,” he said.
Colin graduated from Escanaba Senior High School in 1999. He briefly attended Bay after graduating from high school, but left shortly thereafter.
“I was so burnt out on school that I took a break,” he said.
Instead, Colin decided to enlist in the U.S. Army.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life … so I decided to join the military so I could see the world,” he said.
Colin was honorably discharged from the Army in December 2011. Since he had recently gotten married and his wife had also joined the military, he stayed in Virginia Beach for a while longer.
“She went on back-to-back deployments,” Colin said.
As they only saw each other rarely, the two eventually grew apart and divorced. Colin moved to Baltimore, where he lived for a year. Then, he decided to head back to Escanaba – and Bay College.
“I went back to Bay to start over from scratch,” he said.
In 2017, Colin started working towards an associate degree in computer network systems and security. He noted that he made the dean’s list while studying at Bay.
“I have a love for computers, and I’m a computer nerd,” Colin said of his decision to choose this field of study.
Colin said his experience at Bay was a highly positive one.
“I enjoyed it – I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” he said.
According to Colin, a major factor behind this success was the people working at Bay.
“The staff have been wonderful – old and new,” he said.
While studying at Bay, Colin made many different friends. He also founded the Bay College Anime Club in 2017.
“I love the anime club. It has been a sanctuary and a safe haven for some of our more unique students,” Colin said.
As of the winter 2021 semester, Colin has plans to return to Bay – he only needs to complete three classes to complete the college’s Computer Info Systems: Software and Network Support degree program. However, it may be a while before he is able to take these classes.
“I am taking a break because of the pandemic, and because I have recently become an at-home caretaker for my mother,” he said.
Colin hopes to resume his studies at Bay once the COVID-19 pandemic slows down.