Christian Stapert


Christian Stapert wearing a personal protective equipment mask

As an art and design major, Bay College sophomore Christian Stapert is hoping to put his love of photography to use in a future career.

Before he came to Delta County to attend Bay College, Christian lived in Grand Rapids, Mich. However, he was ready for a change of scenery as he approached the end of his senior year of high school.

“My father and I were looking into moving into the U.P.,” he said.

Christian and his father decided to move up north in 2017, and Christian started taking classes at Bay during the fall 2017 semester. Although he had trouble with some classes during his first few semesters, he was eventually able to find a solution with help from members of Bay’s staff and faculty.

“I started taking my classes a bit slower, lightening my load a bit,” Christian said.

He also thanked those involved with the TRIO Student Support Services Program, as tutoring he has received through the program has played an important role in getting his studies back on track. This program offers tutoring and other services related to academic and career development to students that fit its criteria for eligibility.

“They supplied me with a tutor who really helped me out with my algebra,” Christian said.

Christian encouraged students who have run into difficulties in their academic life that are eligible for TRIO’s services to explore their options related to the program.

Though he had some trouble opening up during his first few days at Bay, Christian said he was able to start making friends after becoming more familiar with the college. He noted that joining some clubs at Bay – including the Bay College Anime Club and a Dungeons & Dragons group – has helped in this regard.

When he is not taking classes or participating in student organizations at Bay, Christian enjoys taking hikes in the local area.

“There is a lot to explore around here,” he said.

As of the fall 2020 semester, Christian did not yet have a career path set in stone. However, he said Bay has helped him prepare for his future, as he discovered and developed his passion for photography in a class he took at the college.

“It’s really helped me with possibly making that into a career and hobby,” he said, noting he had already been asked by a friend to be their wedding photographer.