In the seventh edition of "The Golden Eagle Tribune,” Jordan Deadwyler talks about how he found his home at Minnesota Crookston, his third college.

    My name is Jordan Deadwyler and I am a graduating senior from Jacksonville, Fla. I am a member of the baseball team here at the University of Minnesota Crookston and I have a sports information intern for my two years with the Golden Eagles.

    I am a transfer but this is actually the third college I have been to. Out of high school I wanted to stay closer to home and I signed to play baseball for a HBCU (Historically Black College or University) by the name of Paine College in Augusta, Ga. I had good success as a baseball player but I was very unhappy in my short tenure there. I was a biology major and had hopes of either being a pediatrician or physical therapist. I really struggled in the classroom and felt like I was lost, I also lost my passion for science. After the spring semester started we were informed that the school was on academic probation and was on the verge of becoming unaccredited. I wanted to get out of there and start fresh because of the way things were going.

    I ultimately found a junior college by the name of Iowa Lakes in Estherville, Iowa where I signed to play baseball. That was the first time that I had been that far away from home and it was a bit of a culture shock at first but I eventually learned to love it and appreciate it. While I was there I was facing the decision of what I wanted to change my major to and I decided to switch to mass communication. I liked to write and knew that the communication field was very broad so I’d have no problem finding a job. While I was at Iowa Lakes for my sophomore year I had become more engaged in my classes and developed a deeper passion for writing. I had a decent season for baseball but I was happy and really liked the small campus vibe so that is what I was looking for to continue my academic and baseball career.

    I talked to schools but the one thing that stuck out to me in the recruiting process was the U of M degree while being on a small campus and Coach (Steve) Gust really preached academics and family. When I came here on my visit the first person I met was Director of Athletic Communications Shawn Smith and we connected instantly because of his communication background and how genuine he was. Meeting Shawn has been a blessing because through him I have found the career and I was encouraged to join FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) where my faith in Christ grew tremendously. From the moment I arrived on campus Shawn always checked on me and made sure I was adjusting well. So when it came time to find an internship the first person I went to was Shawn Smith, who told me about what he did and allowed me to give it a try. I love being around sports so it was a great fit and Shawn was very patient with me.

    I interned for Shawn and the sports information department for two years and underneath him I wrote stories for women’s basketball, game notes for men’s basketball, stats for most of the sports we have here, took photos, learned how to use Adobe, and even tried my hand at announcing.

    As a member of the baseball team I enjoyed going through the grind with my teammates and seeing all of the hard work we put in as a team pay off. I am very appreciative of the opportunity I got here and the support I received from Coach Gust as he pushed me academically.

    It is actually funny that the furthest place I have been from home has felt the most like a home to me. I cannot thank the communication department enough for the way they treated me and how they helped me not only while I was in the classroom but when I was searching for jobs everyone supported me and informed me about job openings. I would like to thank professors Megan Bell, Mark Huglen, and Jacob Bell for pushing me to be the best student I could be and preparing me for the real world. The communication department at Minnesota Crookston is amazing and deserves a lot of recognition.

    As I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do after I graduated, Shawn really encouraged me to go to graduate school and get a grad assistantship as a sports information assistant. He diligently worked on finding me a place that I would fit into. With that being said I am proud to be furthering my education at St. Cloud State University where I will be working with the sports information department and receiving my Master of Science in Mass Communication.

    I am very grateful for being a part of a small University because I was able to get great one on one guidance and attention I needed to succeed in the classroom. Through my classes I was able to solve real world problems and apply what I have learned in class. These are experiences that you can only get at small Universities. I have also created relationships that I will keep forever. The faculty and staff here are all amazing and made me feel comfortable enough to call Crookston my home. I am very proud to be receiving my bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Minnesota Crookston. My time here has allowed me to grow as a man and as a student but more importantly it has put me in an incredible position to succeed in life.