Alumni Spotlight on Bill Merkich
In the Spotlight:
Alumnus Bill Merkich
IMAGE: Bill Merkick
Veteran and Weirton, West Virginia resident, Bill Merkich, was looking for a new career in the medical field a few years ago, but he wasn't sure which path to choose. After some research, Merkich chose Kent State University at East Liverpool's Occupational Therapy program.
"The OTA program is very well respected," Merkich said. "Plus, the university was so close … just right across the river."
Following an assessment required by the Veterans Administration to ensure he was healthy enough to complete the degree, Merkich enrolled in classes. After a challenging, but rewarding program, Merkich landed a job with Circle Rehab Physical Therapy before he graduated in the spring of 2010. "I was fortunate to secure employment prior to graduation," Merkich said. "I enjoy the dynamic environment and the self gratification that comes from helping people help themselves."
Merkich said his favorite memory of being a student at Kent State East Liverpool was the relationships that were formed with some of his fellow students, faculty, advisors and administrators. "Plus, the campus is small, and it's easy to access all of the buildings," he said. "Once your electives are complete, your core classes were all in one building. It is great in the winter!"
For students like Merkich who live in a select West Virginia or Pennsylvania county, Kent State University has reduced the out-of-state tuition. Students are able to save more than $6,000 compared to before the tuition reduction. "If you are looking for a top notch education and enjoy a challenge, KSU is for you," Merkich commented. Being so close to the campus, Merkich said "I could arrive at my classes quicker than 90 percent of my classmates from Ohio." For students interested in attending Kent State East Liverpool, Merkich offers the following advice: "It is a challenge, but anything worth accomplishing is challenging," he said. "You will attain your goals by applying yourself. Looking back on that first day, and the obstacles that you over came, upon graduation you will feel a sense of accomplishment and self pride."
At the Kent State Columbiana County campuses, students can earn a bachelor's degree in 14 different disciplines or an associate's degree in 14 different areas. The Kent State Columbiana County campuses, which include Kent State East Liverpool and Kent State Salem, are home to more than 3,500 students. This year, the Kent State Columbiana County campuses again saw an increase in students. For more information please visit www.col.kent.edu or call 330-385-3805 to reach Kent State East Liverpool or 330-332-0361 to reach Kent State Salem. Enrollment is now underway for spring classes.