Super-sized Advice for the Class of 2020: Mike Kelly

Each fall, a new group of wide-eyed and eager students make their way onto Champlain’s hilltop campus, each hoping to build a life for themselves here over the next four years. Each of these students has a varied idea of how they would like their college experience to unfold, but all undoubtedly want to make the most out of their time at Champlain and also be successful. Champlain College News asked professors, staff, and former students to share their advice with the incoming class of 2020 regarding how to accomplish these goals.

Mike Kelly

This advice is from Mike Kelly, an Associate Professor in the Core Division and former president of the Faculty Senate. He is an Associate Professor in the Core division where he teaches a bevy of courses, mostly in the first-year writing sequence. He is originally from Nebraska so that explains why he still pronounces the “t” in “mountains.” He also likes burritos. See his faculty profile at

“My advice to first year students would be to take chances. As opposed to following conventions and rules and doing the same thing that everyone else is doing, carve out a creative niche that’s unique to you. In order to do work that’s original and interesting, a person has to put themselves out there a little bit and not be afraid to fail. Too often, I see first-year students who are earnest and smart but they want to be told what to do and how to do it. As a college professor, what I want students to do is be invested in the course material for the sake of getting smarter as opposed to having it be another hoop to jump through.”

Stay tuned as we head to the arrival of the Class of 2020 for orientation weekend beginning on Aug. 26. 

We will be sharing more tips and advice to get you off to a good start at Champlain College.



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