Every student has a story: their life experience before attending college, what drives them, and their hopes for the future. Marcel Kline, future graduate of 2023, is no different, except that he is among the small percentage of students who are also veterans. Marcel served 12 years in the Marine Corps before coming to Carroll.
In 2008 when the economy turned, Marcel was laid off from his then-manufacturing-job. Unsure of what was next, especially in a bad job market, he enlisted after much prompting from a friend. “I did not want to [enlist] at first. My friend had to ask a few times before I committed. But I needed it to become myself and figure out who I was as an individual,” said Marcel of his time in the corps.
His 12-year-career in the armed forces ranged from retrograding tanks in Afghanistan to a couple years serving as a marine security guard in California to three years working in Europe including protecting the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic. He is most grateful for having the “whole Europe experience” and the opportunity to travel to different countries.
Once he left his time in the military, he applied to and was accepted to a few larger schools, but it was the personal attention and one-on-one relationships with professors that largely drew him to Carroll. “I care more when I have that direct relationship with my professors. Going to a larger school would not have given me the same relationships I’ve grown with my professors here.”
He recognizes Carroll as a true teaching institution and would tell any prospective student that, “the professors are going to help you in whatever way they can, and my advice is to build a network with professors and peers.”
As a non-traditional student that is older than many of his peers, his life perspective is different. While it might be easy for students to get into a “check the box” mentality when it comes to school, Marcel admits that most vets are perfectionists when they are working on something, will ask questions when they do not understand, and are always working to do their best for the assignments. Marcel was able to receive credit for his military experience and as a recipient of the Class of 1972 Endowed Scholarship, he is grateful to be invested into as he works toward his next goals.
Marcel is studying Public Health and has begun the application process to enroll in graduate school. His goal is to become an epidemiologist. He is most looking forward to completing graduate school so he can get back to serving: "I'm looking forward to completing my degrees so that I can serve again and give back to the world.”
To Marcel and all our veterans: thank you for your service to our country and world!