Mic Wronkoski '11
Mic Wronkoski, a jack-of-all-trades with a reliable smile, will be a proud individual on graduation day—like the rest of his colleagues. But for him, there is something different. Being a somewhat older undergraduate, Mic will have more to look back on—more to appreciate in his time spent assembling a “variety pack of experience,” as he would call it. These experiences have lead Mic to embrace the benefits of living compassionately at the community level—something that has its roots in a small, yet impactful, place.
Mic grew up in Salisbury Center, New York where he fell in love with the outdoors. “Everyday it was pretty much: finish school, then go play in the woods,” says Wronkoski. Unlike many small towns, Salisbury Center attracted a wide range of personalities from various cultures. “I grew up near the campus of a bible college where people all around the world were coming to this tiny little school to become ministers,” says Wronkoski. “The main thing that I take away from my upbringing was becoming used to meeting people from different places and with diverse backgrounds.”
After high school, Mic took some time off to work—and did everything from roofing, restoring windows and building fireplaces to selling salsa and hummus with his friends in Florida. “I enjoyed doing those things, but you kind of beat your brains out doing it after awhile,” says Wronkoski. “I was looking for something that was more stimulating… I wanted to find something with a broader meaning.”
“Broader,” indeed, was the nature of Wronkoski’s next step. “I got an associate’s degree in general studies at Fulton-Montgomery Community College,” says Wronkoski through a chuckle. “I wanted to get a little bit of everything.” While it helped Mic refine his interest in environmental studies, the experience wasn’t without its disadvantages. “Basically, community college had no real sense of community at all,” he says.
GMC seemed to fill that gap for Mic, where he is now completing what will be his second college degree in environmental studies with a focus in outdoor recreation. Coming to GMC was not just another step in Mic’s education; it was also a chance to become part of a new community.
“Having to come into a new place, meet new people, and find your place within that place has been an incredible experience for me; it has stretched me out a little bit,” says Wronkoski. Eventually, he would embrace the concept of tight community as his personal responsibility. Mic became a resident assistant his sophomore year after working in Residence Life beforehand. “I wanted to become a little more involved on campus,” he says. Since then, Mic has proven be a valuable part of the R.A. staff and has developed a close-knit relationship with his floor.
While the importance of community can be taken for granted as a luxury of one’s college days, Mic sees it as an essential element of his variety pack—which he hopes to incorporate into his career. “I would love to be outside—working as a park ranger or something similar.” Whatever he decides to do, it will be an endeavor that is enriched by Mic’s sincerity and his varied experiences as a hard worker, a committed and well-rounded student, and—perhaps more so than anything else—a solid and admirable community member.
By Chad Skiles '12