Shantelle forges her path forward with creativity and technology.

shantelle-connections-2022.jpgCreative. Intriguing. Tech-Savvy. These are words and phrases that describe Mid student Shantelle. She is a multi-faceted student, parent, and entrepreneur with a full life and big goals beyond Mid.

“I grew up in Clare, experiencing my fair share of challenges and struggle as I found my way in life.”

Shantelle faced struggles many can relate to. From relationships that didn’t go as planned, to attempts at bettering her life that didn’t meet her expectations, her experience mirrors many of our own.

Shantelle participated in dual enrollment during high school, which allowed her to take Mid courses at little or no cost to her.

“I earned some general education credits and started working toward a graphic design degree, which really helped me realize that college was something I could do,” shared Shantelle.

After she graduated from high school, Shantelle chose to attend Central Michigan University to pursue a computer science degree, but she felt lost in the large classes and broad course topics.

“I decided to return to Mid where I knew I would get more one-on-one interaction with my instructors,” noted Shantelle. “That doesn’t mean it was easy or that I wouldn’t make mistakes—which I did!”

When Shantelle returned to Mid, she knew she wanted to pursue a Cybersecurity Associate Degree.

“I took courses, applied for graduation, and completed a degree in my original program of study, graphic design."

Shantelle completed and received an Associate in Arts in Graphic Design degree and is now working toward her second Mid credential, a Cybersecurity degree.

“The team at Mid has been fantastic,” said Shantelle. “My Mid Mentor, Tena, is my rock! We navigated any issues I faced with ease and without her, I wouldn’t know which way was up! She knows my life story, my challenges, my triumphs, and she always has my back.”

“Shantelle is a very conscientious, resilient, and self-assured student. I am honored to be her Mid Mentor and am confident she will excel,” Mid Mentor, Tena.

During the pandemic, Shantelle expanded her creative pursuits and started her own business, Persona Graphics & Design, a boutique web design firm. She also kept up with her side-hustle as a freelance photographer and journalist for Moshpit Nation, where she interviews bands and creates content for the online platform.

“During the pandemic, many local businesses needed to expand their web presence,” explained Shantelle. “I had some basic skills, completed a few freelance projects, and then figured, why not? So, I launched my firm.”

She then turned her experience into college credits with help from her Mid Mentor.

“Tena helped me accurately describe my work experience so instructors could determine the skills I had already mastered,” shared Shantelle. “The process was simple and I was able to receive credit for one entire course—saving me time and money.”

She’s also found success using new technologies in her work and educational pursuits.

“From conducting interviews with bands like Joyous Wolf, collaborating with local businesses, and learning online using new-to-me tools like Zoom, I’ve become comfortable working and learning in new ways,” said Shantelle. “I’ve had great experiences learning online with my Mid instructors, especially Chris Goffnet. He’s always available, super responsive, and very knowledgeable.”

As a single parent of a young boy, Shantelle is a master at balancing her many creative outlets alongside her family, education, and her goals. Shantelle plans to transfer to a university and pursue an advanced cybersecurity degree after she graduates from Mid.

“I’m confident my cybersecurity degree is within reach and I’m so excited for the future.”

"When teaching online, it can take some time for students’ personalities and communication styles to come through. Not so for Shantelle! It was clear from the start that her work was well done and insightful. As the semester progressed, her critical thinking skills and willingness to pose thought-provoking questions to her classmates shone. I have no doubt that Shantelle will achieve great success in her cybersecurity career,” stated Chris Goffnett, Full-Time Faculty-Computer Information Systems.

Cybersecurity at Mid

Mid offers three distinct Computer Information Systems Pathways: Software Development, IT Infrastructure & Cybersecurity, and Game Programming. Students learn on real technology in our hands-on labs while mastering the principles and theories behind these quickly evolving fields. Mid graduates find work as network administrators, programmers, cybersecurity specialists, as well as game and software developers.


Mid Michigan College is also an official Cisco Networking Academy site where students can earn industry-related certifications recognized by employers throughout the country.

Mid Mentors

In an effort to support students and increase student success, the College launched the Mid Mentors team in 2017. Mid Mentors are committed to a personalized approach that provides students with a dedicated ally and advocate from application through graduation. As soon as students apply to Mid, they are connected with one of our Mid Mentors who serves as their single-point-of-contact and assists them with everything from financial aid to registration.