Mikal McKoy, '16, describes Albion as a small school with a big name and even bigger connections. "You could end up in California somewhere and there might only be one person who knows of Albion, but that one person can make a huge difference," he says.
In terms of his personal hands-on experience, for Mikal it's all about relationships. He speaks fondly of the Intercultural Affairs office, filled with a staff that helped him get readmitted after taking a semester off. Upon his return, they helped him secure on-campus employment so that he could pay his way through college. "They really made a big impact as far as helping me move forward," he says.
Mikal also says that he learned how to be a better student because of the relationships he has built with his professors. "Even when office hours aren't available, they make the time. That connection has always made me feel more welcome." He recently went on a trip to New Orleans with professors Marcy Sacks and Dominick Quinney to visit the Whitney Plantation. "I took African American History with Marcy Sacks, and she kept in touch with me throughout the years to make sure I was doing ok. She told me this trip was a great opportunity and she really wanted me to go," he says. He's not sure whether or not he would have ever had this experience if not for the Albion professors that care about him.
As a receiver on the football team and member of the MIAA championship 4x100 relay team, Mikal still finds time to help others despite his busy athletic schedule. He's a member of the Black Student Alliance, the Smooth Transitions Mentor Program, and currently has five mentees on the football team. "They remind me a lot of where I was at as a first-year student," he says. "It's always really rewarding when I can help someone."
After completing his degree in psychology at Albion, Mikal hopes to help in the community, attend graduate school and eventually work with youth. He says that his professors and peers have made an invaluable impact on his life, and he hopes to one day do the same for others.