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Student Spotlight: Michael Restaino

Michael Restaino

Michael Restaino
Major: Associate in Arts

Michael Restaino is a funny guy, but he's serious about his studies at College of DuPage. His goal is to translate his love of performing into a career.

"I decided to come to COD for the same reason as everyone else: the Chaparral is an awesome mascot!" he said. "But seriously, COD provides a great education for a great price. It was the smartest decision I could have made."

Restaino also was named a Presidential Scholar, which includes a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD's Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

"Being a presidential scholar is great! If my GPA is below 3.5, I lose my scholarship. Needless to say, it really inspires me to do my best," he said.

Currently he's pursuing an Associate in Arts degree, with the hopes of double majoring in theater and secondary education. Teaching may be his backup plan, but he will fully pursue a career on stage. He's been influence by a former high-profile College of DuPage student who had the career Restaino would like to follow.

"John Belushi has had the greatest impact on my life, but don't mistake this for something about my favorite celebrity," he said. "I have been living in John Belushi’s shadow for many years and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Belushi and I have a lot in common. We have the same hometowns, we went to the same schools, and now I strive to be on 'Saturday Night Live' just like him.

"Don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to be the next John Belushi. I'd rather be the first Michael Restaino or Michael whatever I change my name to. However, for many years I have used John’s life as a guide to success. In one way or another, Belushi has influenced every decision I’ve made as a performer and a person. I have no idea what he was like off camera, but I assume a man as talented and funny as John would be a great person to be around. At the end of my career, if I’m not a success, hopefully I’ll still be a great person to be around just like him."

While Restaino is still undecided about where to transfer, he has a few universities in mind but is always revising that list. He also would like to become a member of Second City.

Wherever his career takes him, Restaino is happy with his choice to start at College of DuPage.

"Whether it’s in a classroom, during play rehearsal, or from talking with a new friend, I am learning more and more helpful information each day. For me, COD has turned out to be a big step in the right direction," he said. "I would advise other students to just apply. COD is a great choice -- if you don’t mind living with your parents."

More about the Theater program