Michael Kutsner, a National Army Guardsman and health science major at Indian River State College (IRSC), is the June 2018 Florida College System Chancellor Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month. Kutsner was selected for his exemplary leadership skills, academic success and commitment to community service. The Florida College System in Tallahassee selects one student awardee per month from among candidates representing the 28 public colleges in the system.
Kutsner is presently pursuing an Associate in Science degree in Medical Lab Technology at IRSC. He is passionate about continuing his education, but that journey has not always been easy. In grade school, Kutsner struggled academically and experienced personal hardship. During this time, a teacher introduced him to an IRSC employee who ultimately became his mentor. Kutsner eventually enrolled in an IRSC retention program that exposed students to college for the first time. He began his postsecondary education career at IRSC in the high school program, earning his GED.
While enrolled in the GED program, Kutsner met his wife, Autumn, also a student. He and Autumn agreed to “switch off” work and school. Autumn enrolled in the Respiratory Therapy program, while Kutsner pursued a career in the military. Last year, after Autumn graduated, Kutsner moved ahead with his dream of becoming a Medical Lab Technologist.
Kutsner is not only passionate about pursuing his dream of becoming a Medical Lab Technologist, he is also focused on what can be done to better society. During times of disaster, Kutsner made sacrifices to assist others in need. He is part of the Florida National Army Guard and was on the front lines with his Guard unit protecting his community after Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.
“While many Floridians and vacationers were evacuating areas in Hurricane Irma’s path, you were moving in the opposite direction into harm’s way,” said Major General of the Florida National Guard Michael Calhoun said of Kutsner and his Guard unit. “Your commitment, compassion and demonstrated teamwork contributed directly to the success of the largest activation of Guardsmen in our state’s history.”
As a Chancellor’s Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month, Michael Kutsner will earn a $150 scholarship from the Florida College System to assist with tuition, fees and books.