Olivia Anderson


Olivia Anderson wearing a mask

Bay College sophomore Olivia Anderson has been interested in Elementary Education – the field she is currently majoring in – since she was young. Not long ago, she received a major boost towards pursuing this dream when she was accepted to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

Olivia graduated from Menominee Senior High School in 2019. She started attending classes at Bay that fall. According to Olivia, her reasons for deciding to start her college education at Bay included “small classes and being close to home.”

As of the winter 2021 semester, Olivia said her experience at Bay has been a positive one.

“I love it – I feel like the professors care about students, and are willing to go above what is needed to help students,” she said.

While her time at Bay has given her a strong start towards earning an education degree, Olivia had already made up her mind about what field she wanted to enter well before she started taking college classes.

“I knew I wanted to become a teacher in seventh grade,” she said.

Olivia, who is hard of hearing, said she has appreciated the accommodations made for her by Bay’s Office of Accessibility.

“I use something called CART (communication access real-time translation), which is live captioning,” she said.

In this system, a transcriber uses Zoom to watch Olivia’s classes. They then type captions for each class session as it takes place. Olivia accesses her classes via a separate Zoom link, which includes the captions as they are typed.

In addition to working on her classes, Olivia has been a part of student organizations at Bay.

“I’m the vice president of Aspiring Educators,” she said.

This club is made up of education students at Bay who plan events to support children in the area.

After graduating from Bay College, which she expects to do at the end of the winter 2021 semester, Olivia is planning to go to Gallaudet University to pursue a master’s degree in deaf education. Gallaudet, which was founded in 1864, is “the world’s only university designed to be barrier-free for deaf and hard of hearing students.”

Recently, Olivia received an acceptance letter to Gallaudet. She was also selected for a $24,000 scholarship to attend the school, which will be distributed over the course of three years.

“They give it out to new students … based on SAT scores and GPA,” she said.

She learned she had been chosen for this scholarship in December 2020.

“It took about a month and a half to find out,” Olivia said, noting she “was really excited” when she got the news.

Once she earns her master’s degree at Gallaudet, Olivia said she hopes to find a job in education right away.

“(I plan) to teach in a deaf school or program,” she said.