BRUNSWICK, Ohio — Nobody understands the challenges faced by those who are the first in their family to go to college like the first-generation students themselves.

Three Medina County students are among 15 first-generation students selected to be members of Baldwin Wallace University’s new First-Gen Student Advisory Council.

Nicole Babik of Medina, a graduate of Highland High School majoring in middle childhood education; Charlize Bernhardt of Brunswick, a graduate of Brunswick High School majoring in digital media and design; and Alyssa Guzman of Brunswick, a graduate of North Royalton High School majoring in public relations, are working to build community and pride among first-generation students.

According to the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, students are “first-generation” if their “parent(s) did not complete a four-year college or university degree, regardless of other family members’ level of education.”

Without the benefit of parental experience, many first-generation college students face unique challenges on the road to earning a degree. But with the right support services, BW first-generation students are blazing trails to graduation every year.

Dr. Timeka Rashid, vice president for student affairs, explains that “building support for first-generation students is one of four strategic cornerstones for our division. The student leaders chosen to serve on this new First-Gen Student Advisory Council will act in both an advisory and outreach capacity for First-Gen programs and resources at BW.”

“These students will serve as a sounding board and compass for the priority action items, interests and needs of the BW first-gen community,” adds Dr. Christy Walkuski, associate professor in BW’s Leadership in Higher Education graduate program.

“The stories of these students — their tenacity, dedication and purpose — are inspiring, and we are excited to amplify this incredible group of BW students and leaders.”

Baldwin Wallace University: Maddie Miller of Medina, a graduate of Medina High School, is one of 47 Baldwin Wallace University student-athletes to be named to the 2022 Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference team.

Miller, who is on the women’s cross country team, is one of seven three-time honorees. She carries a 3.845 grade point average in pre-allied health and pre-physical therapy.

In addition, Carter Almady of Brunswick, a cross country runner, and football player Dane McNulty of Hinckley Township have been named to the 2022 Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference team.

In order to be selected as Academic All-OAC, a student-athlete must be a sophomore or higher in class standing, maintain varsity status and have at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA. A student-athlete may only receive Academic All-OAC on three occasions.

University of Mount Union: The University of Mount Union’s Raider Steel Band performed works by Rick Kurasz, Bob Marley, Tom Miller, Max Dudack, Lord Kitchener, Ras Shorty and John Willmarth during its December concert.

The musical styles spanned the globe and included calypso, reggae, cha-cha, soca chutney, bembe and fusion.

Addie Wisniewski, of Medina, performed as part of the concert. Learn more about the band ensembles at Mount Union by visiting

Read more from the Brunswick Sun.