Halle Gustafson


Halle Gustafson smiling

Bay College student Halle Gustafson is currently participating in two very different programs. While her major is art and design, she is also pursuing a welding certificate during her time at Bay.

Halle decided to sign up for Bay after taking some dual enrollment classes there during her senior year in the Upper Peninsula Virtual Academy, which she attended through Gladstone Area High School. Her decision was also influenced by the fact that she had not decided on a career path after graduating from high school.

“I thought Bay would be a good option to explore what I like doing,” Halle said.

Halle started taking college classes at Bay in the fall 2018 semester. At first, she was a biology major; however, she changed her major during the winter 2019 semester while taking Intro to Art and Design.

“I ended up switching my major in my second semester when I realized that was what I wanted to do,” she said.

Though she considers herself an interdisciplinary artist, Halle primarily focuses on sculpture. Her work has been featured in Bay’s past three student art exhibitions, and she has won two Purchase Prizes.

Around the time she switched her major to art and design, Halle began working towards a welding certificate at Bay.

“My dad talked to me about career options that could accompany being an artist, and he suggested welding,” she said.

Though she had not considered welding as an option before she started studying at Bay, Halle thought it sounded interesting.

“I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would,” she said.

She said courses in the program have proven to be informative and hands-on, and that she has learned a great deal about welding procedures and equipment since she signed up for the program.

Being involved in welding has also helped Halle grow as an artist. One sculpture of hers that was featured in a student art exhibition incorporated welding techniques.

Halle said she is planning to finish both of the Bay programs she is involved with in the near future.

“I’ll have my welding certificate after this semester, and then I’ll have my associate’s at the end of the winter (2021) semester,” she said.

When she graduates from Bay, Halle is aiming to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the arts, possibly at Grand Valley State University. She also plans to get a welding job.

According to Halle, Bay College has been an ideal fit for her first few years of college.

“They’ve given me a lot of tools and resources to expand my education in welding and in the arts,” she said.