Student Spotlight: Michael Shutack
Major: Associate in Arts
Michael Shutack 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.”
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, where he is an English-Secondary Education major with an endorsement in Theater Arts Education. He has appeared in several plays and will direct one during the upcoming year; is president of the improv club; and is a writing tutor in Elmhurst’s Learning Center.
Shutack’s goal is to work as a teacher and audition and perform in his free time. 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, 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 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. For me, COD 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.”
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