Student Spotlight: Michael Shutack
Major: Associate in Arts
Michael Shutack is a funny guy. But he can be serious when it comes to College of DuPage.
“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.”
Shutack 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 was great! It really inspired me to do my best,” he said.
Shutack earned his Associate in Arts degree and received the Elmhurst College Transfer Scholarship. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English-Secondary Education with an endorsement in Theater Arts Education. While at Elmhurst, he appeared in several plays as well as directed, was president of the improv club and was a writing tutor in Elmhurst’s Learning Center.
After completing his student teaching experience at Glenbard North High School, Shutack was hired at the school as a part-time English teacher. He also will assist with the after-school theater program while pursuing a master’s degree at DePaul University.
Shutack would like to do more acting and directing in community theater. He was influenced by a former high-profile College of DuPage student who had the career Shutack 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 and went to the same schools.
“Don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to be the next John Belushi. I’d rather be the first Michael Shutack 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.”
Wherever his career takes him, Shutack is happy with his choice of starting at College of DuPage.
“Whether it was in a classroom, during play rehearsal or from talking with a new friend, I learned more and more helpful information every day I was at COD,” he said. “For me, COD turned out to be a big step in the right direction. I have come so far and accomplished so much in the last few years. But I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the education, the experience and the support I gained from College of DuPage.”
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