Gerald Jack, a Bay College freshman majoring in pre-physical therapy, graduated from Manistique Middle and High School in 2020 and went on to start taking classes at Bay during the fall 2020 semester. According to Gerald, his choice of major was influenced by his family life – his mother has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
“My mom actually has a condition that can only be treated by physical therapy, so that really led me to it,” he said.
Gerald participated in the HOSA – Future Health Professionals of America program while he was a high school student, as well. His enjoyment of this program solidified his decision to go into the physical therapy field.
According to Gerald, he wanted to stay close to his hometown as he began working on his higher education. He also felt taking classes at Bay would give him an ideal start to his college experience, especially considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was really more personal than what I was going to get anywhere else at this time, with all the restrictions,” he said.
Fortunately, he said his expectations for his first semester at Bay ended up being largely accurate.
“I can do more and still abide by the restrictions – I can go and see my instructors at a good distance, and there’s a little more on campus than there would be at other places right now,” Gerald said.
Additionally, Gerald was impressed by Bay’s efforts to deal with the pandemic during the fall 2020 semester.
“When people were in contact (with others who had COVID-19), it seemed like they were very quick to tell them,” he said.
Other precautions recently taken at Bay have included an increased emphasis on offering online and hybrid classes, as well as the implementation of social distancing and masking requirements on campus.
Heading into the winter 2021 semester, Gerald said his classes at Bay have been going well.
“I’m going to be on the dean’s list this semester, and I had a good time with all my classes,” he said.
He is planning to continue his education downstate soon.
“I’m actually going to transfer after this upcoming semester with my general education requirements to Central Michigan University,” Gerald said.
There, Gerald plans to eventually receive a doctorate in physical therapy. When that time comes, he may return to his hometown.
“I might come back up to Manistique and specialize in Ehlers-Danlos syndrome,” he said.