Graduate Q&A: Michael Bond

By University Communications
July 13, 2017
Graduate Q&A: Michael Bond

Photo: Graduate Q&A: Michael Bond

Following is a Q&A with one of the 1,375 students who received a diploma May 6 at UW-Stout.

Name: Michael Bond
Hometown: Milwaukee
Major: Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling, with a concentration in AODA, child and adolescence; 2015 UW-Stout graduate in vocational rehabilitation-rehabilitation counseling

Awards, honors: Chancellor’s Award; NBCC Minority Fellowship 2016; WIAC sportsmanship award 2014; Menomonie assistant football coach state semifinal team 2016; organizer of two student groups, M&M (Minority Men's Group), The Bond Project, student of color athletes group; lead student manager, University Recreation

Why did you choose UW-Stout? I wanted to play football and be the Cinderella story, a player who went to a Division III school and made it the pros. Quickly, I realized Stout offered a lot more than what I originally imagined. The question for me is: what kept me at UW-Stout? The answer is the polytechnic learning style. The small classroom sizes allowed me to have a personal relationship with most of my professors. Creating a bond with teammates, roommates or other familiar faces on campus motivated me to come back each semester. Lastly, the ability to feel confident I would make a difference in what career path I chose to pursue. 

What are the biggest challenges you faced in earning your degree? It was being a first-generation college student; I was getting on-the-job training, the key aspects of college like loans, housing, majors, etc. There was a tremendous amount of things I did not know about that created barriers, but I was able to overcome them. Being away from my family was the biggest challenge. I love my family and put a lot of pressure on myself to complete this journey to make a better life for us.

What stands out among your college experiences? It’s how diverse the campus has become since I arrived as a freshman in fall 2011. Stout is attracting a lot of students of color from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Milwaukee and Chicago. The campus started to feel more welcoming and nurturing with the different blends of students. It would be great to see this continue. On the other hand, I was glad that I did get involved in the community outside of campus. Officiating games for aspiring basketball players on Saturday, or working as a mentor for at-risk youth. I was able to make a difference in two separate situations but realize how my efforts would help the next generation of leaders.

What’s next? Continue to stick to the plan. Let God lead me and inspire others along the way. Plan to become a licensed professional counselor and possibly go back to the Milwaukee area to work closely with student athletes on the issue of mental health. I also look forward to starting a nonprofit mentor/leadership program for at-risk youth.