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Grace Perrin

Thursday, July 07, 2022 12:00 AM

Grace Perrin
Grace Perrin
While Grace Perrin considers studying Mandarin Chinese in high school time well spent, it was Python, a computer programming language, that opened up a whole new world for the 22-year-old.

“Debugging code can seem like a mundane task to some,” says Perrin, “but the end result gives me such pride, knowing I put a lot of hard work into it.”

Enrolling at Macomb after being homeschooled from grades K-12, Perrin was initially drawn to the college by a tuition rate lower than that at a four-year university and the close proximity to her home and jobs in Sterling Heights. But she discovered it also offered a chance to connect with likeminded individuals.

“I was sad when the college had to shut their physical doors during the pandemic,” says Perrin. “I loved being on campus among other students who were attending Macomb with the same purpose: to learn.”

Graduating in May, Perrin was invited to be one of the speakers at commencement in recognition of her hard work, apparent by her grades and faculty recommendations.

“I was honored and excited to be chosen a commencement speaker,” says Perrin, who earned an associate degree in Information Technology – Programming. “I relished the opportunity to share my passion for Macomb with fellow graduates and students.”

Following her other passions
In addition to full-time college studies, Perrin also works at both a Panera location and her local library to finance her college education. While free time is scarce and friends are many, gaming and geocaching also get their share of her attention.

“(Geocaching) includes using a GPS to navigate specific coordinates,” relates Perrin. “It has been compared to a worldwide scavenger hunt, and it has quickly become a father-daughter bonding activity. Together, we have found a number of cool containers, including a fake log, a fake bolt and a fake birdhouse.”

In her speech, Perrin encouraged everyone in the audience to “pursue your passions…Life is too short to take the easy route.”

A path back to Macomb
For Perrin, the “easy” route would have been to stay on the path she was on that would lead to a career as a computer programmer. But because of her experience at Macomb, Perrin decided to expand her goals to include mathematics.

“I was inspired by my professors at Macomb, specifically Professor (Maciej) Halfaf and Professor (Kurt) Birkle to pursue teaching what I enjoy,” offers Perrin. “And that would be mathematics, specifically calculus.”

Perrin will begin classes at Wayne State University this fall, where she intends to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, followed by a master’s and Ph.D. in mathematics. Her final destination, she hopes, will be teaching math at Macomb.

“Over the three years I have spent as a student at Macomb,” offers Perrin, “I have grown to love the college and the faculty and all that it stands for.”