Finding Greatness: Colin Penndorf

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, February 1, 2016 1:29 PM
Categories: Students | Finding Greatness | Honors/Awards | College of Arts and Sciences

Macon, GA

Interdisciplinary Studies major Colin Penndorf, a tutor for the History and Political Science department, is letting his love for the humanities drive his professional and personal ambitions.

Full Name: Colin Forrest Penndorf.

Age: 23.

Hometown: Middletown, Conn.

Residence: Macon.

High School: "I graduated high school in 2010 through an online homeschooling program called Global Student Network, but also attended Central High School and a Macon-based homeschooling program. I finished up my K-12 schooling by obtaining my GED. Only the former Macon State College would accept my high school transcripts. I was attempting to leave the state for college."

Family: "My mother, Margo, and my father, Jim, have been huge inspirations to me throughout my life, giving me the freedom and responsibility to pursue anything that I set my mind to while encouraging me to do what I must in order to be happy with my future."

Employment: "I am a full-time student and I work in the History and Political Science tutoring center."

Degree Objective: Associate of Art and Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in History.

Class Rank: Senior.

Primary Campus: Macon.

Activities: "I have been active with the History Student Organization and was secretary until fall 2015. I was also the Student Art League vice president. This is my sixth and last semester as one of the History and Political Science tutors, a job that I have thoroughly enjoyed!"

Career Goals: "My goals are nowhere close to being defined when it comes to what I wish to do with my life and education. I have found a love within the humanities that has opened the doors to many exciting fields of further study. Currently, I am hoping to work within the field of museum studies, as there are many specific areas there through which my educational pursuits could assist me. However, whether to direct the museum, design the museum or organize the museum is still a question that I am trying to decide on myself."

He chose Middle Georgia State University because … "I came to what was then Macon State College in the fall of 2010 in order to gain enough credit to transfer to a school in Knoxville, Tenn. However, now that I am close to the end of my undergrad career, I realize that there were more reasons to stay here then there were to leave. Ultimately, I stayed at Middle Georgia State because of the affordability of the school. But it goes far beyond that. The outstanding professors that we have at our disposal signals one of the most exceptional achievements of Middle Georgia State University and this became my main reason for staying - the high quality of the faculty. The quality of intelligent, astute and encouraging professors who work at this school could not be found for such a good price anywhere else. I have gotten one of the best educations for my money and more expertise than I could have ever hoped for over these last five years, and this was my main reason for staying at Middle Georgia State."

The greatest thing he discovered about Middle Georgia State was ... "The opportunity to make a group of wonderful friends that I will respect and maintain a relationship with throughout the remainder of my life. I found a group of individuals that I truly clicked with, not that this couldn’t be found anywhere, but by finding friends in an academic atmosphere, the bonds under which we grew were different as it was based around the bettering of ourselves through collaboration and instruction."

His greatest academic experience so far as a Middle Georgia State student has been … "Honestly, my best experience here was with Dr. Karmen Lenz, an English professor, as she led an upper level J. R. R. Tolkien course. This class allowed me to explore one of my absolute lifelong favorite writers and study his works in a scholarly setting. Not only was the course inspired, but through working with Dr. Lenz, she encouraged me to submit my work to the National INKLING Society Conference that was being held at Wesleyan University. She helped me process my application, construct an abstract, revise and solidify my paper and present in the realm of true scholars - ultimately showing me how appealing it can be to research and present one's work. Long story short, the conference was remarkable and it was an experience worth far more than any monetary value that I could place on it."

To him, greatness means … " ‘Superiority’ and ‘high quality’ are two terms that are closely associated with greatness and both lend differing meanings to the essence of the word. To be superior means to rise above, to transcend. Superiority doesn’t equal betterment, it instead signals a controlled unity of knowledge and authority. Simultaneously, to be high quality means that each and every part of the whole is above par and well-balanced; that each part works in conjunction with the other in order to make a united end result greater than all of its individual parts.
So to me, greatness is established where these two meet; at the intersection between superiority and high quality. Something displaying greatness should encourage a well-crafted product, but it should also demonstrate superior quality. Greatness is there to make everything around it better, to encourage and inspire by creating a desire to be held to a new standard of ever increasing achievement."

One thing people don’t know about him is … "Beyond musical theater, my main love of the stage involves partaking in stage combat, which requires a painstaking amount of time to choreograph each block and hit until we can fight at speeds that make the audience cringe. This has long been a huge fascination of mine as I am a medieval weapons fanatic. I have many different replicas of bladed weapons and am fascinated by how they were crafted throughout the millennia."

The one person he'd most like to meet is … "Colin Meloy from the band The Decemberists. My reasoning for this is that he has made his life revolve around his loves - music, creative writing and friendship. The lyrical songs that he constructs have always stuck out to me as profound and the way in which his mind attempts to understand the world reminds me of my own. It appears to me that he has done what many wish they could - made himself happy by doing what he loves and not worrying about those who don’t respect him for what he can do. I would like to take a couple of lessons from his life. And beyond that because his name is Colin, too. There are not too many of us out there!"

What he sees for his future is ... "In the first five years after I leave Middle Georgia State, I see a couple of routes that my life might take. First, I will be taking a much-needed break before looking and applying for graduate schools (as I have been in school continuously since I was four years old), during which time I hope to direct more shows at local theaters and focus on my leather creations. But down the line, my main goal is to continue on into higher education in order to garner the knowledge needed to take on a museum or archeological job in the future."