John Nowak

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Student Info

Graduation Year:
Spring 2015
Grand Rapids, MI

What have I done since graduating and where I am I now?
After finishing RCAH classes and walking with my class in May, I continued my additional Spanish major in Santander, Spain. I studied abroad for 8 weeks, exploring Spain’s Northern coast and joining a band called The Groovin’ Beards. After my program finished I traveled through Spain, France and Italy with my girlfriend. When I returned home to Grand Rapids in August I started working part-time at an events center/art gallery called The Harris Building in downtown Grand Rapids while playing with my rock band Desmond Jones. Desmond Jones is currently on tour as we head west to Colorado for the first time. We will be on the road for 2 weeks, play 9 shows and travel through 7 states. When we aren’t on the road we live in Eastown, a neighborhood in Grand Rapids.

How did RCAH prepare me for what I am doing now?
RCAH urged me to think outside of the box and to pursue my own interests. Thanks to my decision to join RCAH, I am now in a position and mindset where I can truly chase my dreams. The support and success of the professors and my fellow students/alumni continuously inspires me to live my own life, create art, and do positive work.

What were my academic interests in RCAH?
In RCAH I took every class I could that had involved music. I took ethnomusicology, performance, and technology courses with Dr. Bosse and Scales. Other than music I was interested in classes that dealt with second languages (I had an additional major in Spanish).

What were my favorite aspects of the RCAH experience? 
One of my favorite things about the RCAH experience was the sense of community I felt within our college. I knew everyone in my grade, and many of the grades above or below me, and everyone was interested and supportive of others’ educations and passions. The professors get to know you on a personal level over the course of 4 years, and are there for you from the first day of classes until the day you walk across the stage and graduate. By the end of my senior year I felt very close and connected to RCAH, the staff, faculty, and student body. 

Did you ever take part in Study Abroad? 
Yes! I studied in Santander, Spain for a Spanish language program in the summer of 2015. It was one of the best experiences of my life and taught me more than I could have imagined about the language, myself, and life in general. If you have the opportunity to pursue a study abroad program I highly recommend it- MSU has one of the best study abroad programs in the world!

What words of wisdom do you have for current RCAH students? 
Continue to study and pursue what you love and what interests you. Don’t be afraid of taking the unconventional path through college and life afterwards. RCAH students and graduates are now all over the world doing some of the coolest things because of the well-rounded education and constant support we have received from the college. Everything will work out, we promise!