Julie Payne


Julie Payne
Major: Art Education
Hometown: Corona, CA

Taking classes at Bay College was far from Julie Payne’s original plan, but she is now at Bay working hard to earn an associate degree in art education. According to Julie, she has found a lot to like about Bay during her time as a student there.

Though she currently calls Manistique home, Julie went to Santiago High School in Corona, California. She earned her high school diploma there in 2003.

“I got married, and my husband joined the Army. We were based in Kansas, and I had two kids,” she said.

Tragedy struck when Julie’s husband was deployed and died in war. After that happened, Julie said she remained a stay-at-home mom for “many years.” Then, she decided to head to another state and seek new opportunities.

“I decided to start over, and I moved to Michigan to be closer to my sister,” she said.

Along with this change, Julie started taking classes at Bay College during the fall 2022 semester. She transitioned easily to Bay because of the college credits she earned during her time in California.

Julie opted to pursue an art education degree at Bay due to her fascination with the field.

“Art is something that I love to do – I think it’s important for people to express themselves, and I think children should love to learn about it,” she said.

So far, she said Bay has proven to be a great environment to explore this career pathway.

“There’s a lot of support here from TRIO and from the professors,” Julie said.

While Julie is not involved with tutoring from TRIO, she has received help with transfers and scholarships through the program.

Looking ahead, Julie plans to transfer to Northern Michigan University after Bay’s winter 2023 semester wraps up.

“I’m going to get my education degree and start working at the high school and middle school in Manistique,” she said of her plans beyond that point.

As Julie prepares for the next phase of her life, she said she truly appreciates what Bay has taught her about the art education field.

“There’s been a lot of inspiration when it comes to being a good teacher,” she said.