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Kamil Malone Nashville, Tenn.

An Unexpected Journey

When Kamil Malone looks back at his time before he was a Lindsey Wilson College student, he sees the life experiences that led straight to his major. But it took his experiences at LWC to help him discover what would make him truly happy.

“My original plan was to major in accounting,” said Malone. “I was a business major with an accounting emphasis, and then I changed to communication. But none of it seemed to suit me.”

Malone said his experiences made him realize that working with children is what he really wanted to do.

“Through my experience of going on mission trips in high school to Haiti, I realized that I should funnel that passion into my career path,” he said. “I wanted to become a mental health counselor for kids, especially troubled youth, and the human services and counseling degree was perfect for me.”

Malone heard about LWC when he was a junior at Brentwood Academy, a private Christian school in Nashville, Tenn. His football coach introduced him to one of the LWC football coaches who was visiting Brentwood on a recruiting trip, and Malone said that the two hit it off immediately.

“We had a great conversation that day,” said Malone. “I knew right away that LWC would be a great school to attend. LWC seemed a lot like Brentwood. It had Christian values, and I liked that it was small and not too far from Nashville.”

To say Malone was an active student at LWC would be an understatement. Malone, who played on the varsity football team, also volunteered with numerous clubs and organizations. Even when he didn’t belong to a particular group, it wasn’t uncommon to see him chipping in when help was needed.

“I liked volunteering and helping others,” said Malone. “I did a lot of work and spent time with groups that I didn’t actually belong to in an official capacity because I’m a people person and I like to serve.”

After deciding to pursue a degree in human services, Malone sought a minor in a field of study that some might consider unexpected – especially for a 6-foot 3-inch defensive lineman.

“I minored in women’s studies at LWC because I wanted to push myself and do something more,” he said. “My brother and I were raised by my mom, and when she wasn’t around it was my aunt and my granny that cared for us. I could see that the women in my life were sometimes held back in society by no fault of their own. And knowing that they were strong capable women, something about that always seemed wrong to me. I wanted to understand women’s role in society based on more than what has been traditionally expected from them.”

Attending women’s studies classes was an interesting experience that proved mutually beneficial for Malone and his classmates.

“Being an African-American male in those classes always put me in the minority,” said Malone. “The situation was unique, and I truly believe it facilitated a stronger learning environment because of our differences. I’m a very extroverted person and that’s how people on campus always perceived me, but in class I also feel that I’m a good listener. I learn more by listening than talking. I think it helped others in the classes to see my perspective and experience and vice versa. We all learned from each other.”

Associate Professor of English Allison Smith said that having Malone as a student and a volunteer at women’s studies events always created a positive environment.

“One thing that I will always value in Kamil is his willingness to model for other men how one might be an advocate and ally for women, in addition to showing positive representations of masculinity on campus,” said Smith. “Men can help organize Take Back the Night, men can present at the women’s studies conference, men can lead children’s activities on campus, in addition to being an athlete. These are all things that Kamil has done. He really proves what we are all capable of if we reject gender stereotypes and follow our true talents and abilities.”

LWC football coach Chris Oliver also praised Malone’s knack for being a supportive and strong presence in the football program.

“Kamil’s personality always shines through in any situation,” said Oliver. “He was an outstanding teammate who always supported others, and he was willing to take on any task for the betterment of our program.”

Two weeks after graduating with a bachelor of arts last semester, Malone started a job at Caverna High School as a Kentucky Life Coach through the AmeriCorps program. He is also in his first semester in LWC’s nationally accredited graduate program in in counseling and human development.

“I’d then like to move on and get my doctorate before I turn 30,” said Malone. “I can see myself potentially taking a position as a guidance counselor, but I’d also love to work with troubled youth in a juvenile detention setting.”

Malone is thankful that LWC helped and continues to help him in reaching his full potential.

“More than anything you are encouraged to be yourself at LWC,” said Malone. “The faculty and staff are always there to support you and want to see you succeed in life. If I had it all to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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