Kristen Tuskan


Kristen Tuskan
Major: Social Work
Hometown: Gladstone, MI

Bay College sophomore Kristen Tuskan said she used to be “apprehensive” about the idea of taking classes at Bay. However, she has greatly enjoyed spending the past few semesters as a student at the college—and she expects this experience to help her pursue her dream of entering the social work profession.

Kristen finished high school at Gladstone Area High School in 1999. After that, she moved downstate to Grand Rapids, where she worked at the Charlevoix Fitness Club for a while.

“Then, I moved back home and went to cosmetology school,” she said.

Once she graduated from U.P. Academy of Hair Design in 2006, Kristen worked at several salons in the Escanaba-Gladstone area. About a year later, she had her first daughter and took time off to raise her, which led to her becoming a stay-at-home mom for “quite a while.”

In 2014, she and her husband welcomed a son to their family.

“Once my little guy started going to school full-time, I decided to go back to school as well,” Kristen said.

According to Kristen, she started taking classes at Bay in the fall 2022 semester. She said things have been going smoothly and that her experience as a college student has been an “eye-opener.”

“I was always kind of apprehensive—I thought I would be intimidated here, but everybody has been really nice. The instructors and staff have all been supportive every step of the way,” she said.

As a Bay student, Kristen is majoring in social work. She noted that her father worked in this field and that making a difference in people’s lives is important to her.

“I was going to double-major in social work and psychology, but my instructor Michael Dupont sold me on social work. He also got me started volunteering at Tri-County Safe Harbor and as a parent-child supervisor at the Department of Human Services,” she said.

In addition to her classes, Kristen has recently started working as a peer mentor for TRIO.

“I’ll be reaching out to first-generation students and anybody else who needs help,” she said.

Kristen plans to earn her associate degree at the end of the winter 2024 semester and find work while slowly continuing her education.

“I’d like to work with kids in some capacity, especially troubled youths—my dream is to eventually counsel them. In the meantime, if that involves working with foster families or something of that nature, then I’m content,” she said.

For now, Kristen is focusing on completing her studies at Bay.

“It isn’t at all what I expected, but in a good way,” she said of her time at the college