March 26, 2024

Owen McLaughlin’s decision to attend Great Bay Community College was intentional, purposeful, and logical.

A history major, he enrolled in summer 2022 and is preparing to transfer all the credits he earned at Great Bay to Gordon College, a private, four-year Christian school in Wenham, Mass., where he will enroll as a junior and pursue his bachelor’s degree.

McLaughlin, 21 of Seabrook, took a gap year after graduating from high school and turned to Great Bay when he was ready to go to college. “Great Bay is where it made the most sense for me to start my academic journey – it was close by, convenient, and cost effective. It was the first and only college I looked at.”

His decision to enroll at Great Bay made it practical and possible to pursue his larger goal of attending a four-year school. He chose Gordon College because it’s a Christian school “and my faith is important to me,” he said, and because it accepted his credits from Great Bay. “My success at Great Bay has given me the opportunity to continue my education and pursue my bachelor’s degree,” he said.

He learned about Great Bay through an open house and enrolled on the spot after talking with counselors and faculty members.

“I really like talking about the college from the perspective of a current student, to discuss what my journey has been like and answer questions,” he said. “Great Bay worked out really well for me. I had troubles in high school that were related to attendance, but since I have applied myself, I have done well at Great Bay. It’s the kind of place where you can do well if you make an effort. The professors are there to help you, and there’s a lot of help if you need it.”

McLaughlin is part of the support team that helps other students succeed. Throughout his time at Great Bay, McLaughlin has worked as a tutor in the writing center, helping his peers improve their writing skills. Other than math, he has tutored in the writing center for every class he has taken at Great Bay. While he doesn’t necessarily like to write – “you won’t catch me writing a novel in my free time,” he said – he is a proud and capable writer and enjoys sharing his skills and writing tips with other students.

He’s also active in the Student Government Association and appreciates the social opportunities and extra-curricular activities available at Great Bay. “There is a surprising number of things you can do,” he said. “I’ve made some really good friends and have gotten involved in a couple of clubs.”

In addition to the open house, among other upcoming Great Bay-related activities is his participation in the Intercollegiate American Revolution and Constitution History Bowl, a trivia tournament among student teams from New Hampshire community colleges. It will be April 5 in Manchester, and McLaughlin will be one of three members of the Great Bay team.

McLaughlin chose history as a major because it’s his favorite subject. His father majored in history, and it’s something he has always been passionate about. He hopes to teach history for his career, and he praised Social Sciences Professor Jordan Fansler, Program Coordinator and History Advisor, for his skills as a teacher and his mentorship.

“I really like Professor Fansler’s classes, because he lets us engage. We’ve had so many good conversations in his classes. Every single semester I have taken a class with him, and he’s helped me appreciate history even more.”