Finding Greatness: Cyrus Allen

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2016 3:48 PM
Categories: Finding Greatness | Pressroom | College of Arts and Sciences | Students

Macon, GA

Recently accepted to graduate school, Cyrus Allen plans to become a counselor to help people with gender and sexual issues.

Full Name: Charles Jeffery "Cyrus" Allen Jr.

Age: 27.

Hometown: Marshalville.

Residence: Byron.

Family: "Martha and Jerry Birdwell, my grandparents, without whom I would have never gotten to where I am now. The two of them have been loving and supporting to me in excess of my own biological parents, and have imbued in me since my childhood a sense of caring and kindness that is core to who I am today."

Current Employment: Library Student Assistant on the Macon Campus.

Degree Objective: Bachelor of Science in Psychology. This fall he will enroll at Clayton State
University, where he has been accepted into the Master of Science program in Clinical/Counseling.

Class Rank: Senior.

Primary Campus: Macon.

Activities: Researcher and consultant, Center for Applied Research and Education; Psychology
Club; Gay-Straight Alliance.

Career Goals: "I'd like to become a Gender and Sexual Issues Counselor. As an openly homosexual male in the South, I've seen firsthand the kind of cruelty and lack of empathy humans can have towards those with an alternative gender or sexual identity. Our history in recent years is one of 'one step forward, two steps back' in terms of LGBTQA+ rights and attitudes. It is critical that I apply my experiences and passion to advocate for, counsel and educate teens and adults who struggle with their own identities, as well as provide a degree of support for them in their communities."

He chose Middle Georgia State University because ... "I moved here from Woodstock to live with
and support my grandparents. I had previously been at Kennesaw State University and saw Middle
Georgia State on a list of schools that had just started offering a degree in Psychology. It was
a very difficult period of time in my life and there was a lot of sudden change, not all of which
was good. But Middle Georgia State was a choice I made for myself and for the sake of my
grandparents, who needed care."

The greatest thing he discovered about Middle Georgia State was ... "The amount of opportunity,
which was staggering in comparison to my previous school. The two places are like completely
different worlds, and I vastly prefer life here at MGA. At my previous university, professors
barely had the time to breathe, much less sit down with their students and really develop a
rapport with them. But Middle Georgia State is completely different in that and many other
regards. The professors are there for the students and will happily talk to you. You feel like
much, much more than just a student walking the same shared space as tens of thousands of others. This University is personable, and I am deeply grateful for my time here."

His greatest academic experience at Middle Georgia State so far has been ... "Going to China
through the University System of Georgia's Asia Counsel Study Abroad program. I spent a little
over a month with total strangers in a complete foreign place. I had never been abroad
before and it was, without a doubt, the most important experience of my life to date."

To him, greatness means ... "Surviving. It means never giving up no matter how turbulent life
becomes. Greatness is the strength of heart and character to overcome any challenge and survive
any adversity."

One thing people don’t know about him is ... "I enjoy collecting old textbooks on different
subjects and have a collection of literature in my room. There are actually more books than space
available at this point! Also, in April 2016, I legally changed my name to Cyrus Nicholai

The one person he'd most like to meet is ... "Frederick Francois Chopin, the late master composure and pianist. He was a man who lived a life of pain and adversity, including a chronic health condition, yet he used his pain and passion to compose music so breathtakingly beautiful and simple that it displays a mastery of emotion and subtlety I've never heard the likes of anywhere else."

In five years ... "I hope to be working in the Atlanta or Macon area as a counselor and advocate for LGBTQA+ individuals! I want to turn my own experiences and passion into the means to help others and provide a service to the community and to my fellow LGBTQA+ community members who struggle in the admittedly tumultuous social and political environment."