Andrea (Rockafellow) Edelman

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Andrea Edelman always thought she would be a writer, but one class at Montcalm Community College changed her mind.

“In 2008, I took Beginning Photography with Mr. James Kusmierski on a whim, to fill in my class schedule. That’s when it happened; I fell in love with the art of photography. I believe it was the combination of Mr. Kusmierski’s encouraging praise for his students’ work, and the ‘old world’ feel of shuffling into a dark room, holding my undeveloped film, that captivated me most. Either way, I was hooked,” Edelman says.

“Now, I am eternally grateful that it was a film class,” she adds. “If I hadn’t taken that introductory class, I would never have appreciated the delicate art form that photography can be when you’re manipulating raw film.”

Edelman already enjoyed her time spent at MCC, but having found a craft to pursue, she says she fell more in love with the college.

“My experiences at MCC set the bar very high for my continued education,” she says. “Over time, I learned that this seemingly humble two-year college had the most enthusiastic instructors, the smallest class sizes, the most welcoming environment and it was all close to home.”

Edelman’s educational journey continued when she transferred from MCC to Central Michigan University where she studied photojournalism. She graduated with honors in December 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a photojournalism emphasis.

“While my love of photography had continued to bloom, over the course of my years at CMU I had lost all passion for the journalism side,” Edelman says.

Despite this change in direction, after graduation she followed the photos and worked as a traveling photographer and sales consultant for Lifetouch. She soon realized that being a saleswoman was not the right line of work for her, and after three years, she sought a job closer to home that would allow her to pursue her own photography business.

Edelman now works part-time as a Student Success Center lab assistant at MCC and she operates Andi With An Eye Photography where she specializes in local senior portraits, newborn pictures and weddings.

“I am so happy to be where I am right now, close to home and surrounded by the amazing institution that got me started,” she says.

“I tell high school graduates who are trying to decide if they should go straight to a four-year university or start at a local community college that going to a place like MCC could be the best choice for them,” she adds. “I am so thankful for my brief year at MCC. It was just enough time to earn my associate degree and discover my passion.”


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