Sophomore Nehemiah Cannon plays left guard for the Eagles. A standout football player at Central Catholic High School in Toledo, he has always found the tight-knit feel of a locker room comforting and appreciates the closeness and camaraderie that come with being around a group of people working hard to achieve similar goals. He sees direct parallels between being on a football team and being a student at Ashland University.
What was it about AU that made you feel welcome? When I visited Ashland on my recruiting trip, I could tell there was a family atmosphere, not just with the football team, but all the students. That’s important to me. I like feeling part of a team, and I get that with football and being a student here. I come from a small high school, and there’s something about seeing the same people every day and hanging out with friends. It makes things easier. There’s a trust.
In what ways has Ashland University taught you how to think? Ashland teaches you to have an open mind. Professors and advisors help you create your own plan, but it’s really up to you to develop the plan you want.
How will learning how to think benefit you in the future? By having an open mind and coming up with a plan, I’ll be able to set my life up the way I want. Learning how to think opens up options.
How has AU made your experience tailored to you as an individual? Being a small campus, there’s a lot of one-on-one interaction with professors. Professors get to know the students. You aren’t just a number. When you have all of that, your experience is unique to you.
How has your time at AU transformed you? I’m more of an outspoken person now. I use my voice more, and a lot of that comes from being in small classes. You have to participate.
As an individual, what is the biggest difference from the time you set foot on campus to now? I’m more responsible now. Everyone has worked with me to help balance football and my education.
How did AU help you create a success plan for reaching your goals? By working closely with my advisor, and getting more into marketing. I’m starting to see what my future might look like. The classes are great, and I hope to join more clubs like the Marketing Club, which was put on hold because of COVID.
You are a marketing major. How did you get interested in that? That’s a funny story. I actually started getting interested in marketing from the show Black-ish. A character on the show (Dre) is in marketing and advertising. I just liked hearing about all the projects he’d do at work.
How has AU helped you prepare for your future? The classes, the professors, my advisor, that’s all part of it. You learn hands-on things that will help in your career. There’s Career Day in the Business Communications class. It’s all about getting ready for the first big job. I want to get an internship, and I know Ashland will help me get that.
Do you see yourself relying on the AU community for support throughout your career? Yes. I always hear professors say to students to come back to visit. I’ll definitely do that, and take advantage of Ashland’s alumni program.
If a current high school senior is considering attending AU or another university, what would you tell them about AU to help them make the decision to become an Eagle? Ashland is focused on the person. At a bigger college, there might be 100-200 students in a class. Professors might not even see a student raise their hand. And, after class, if you want to speak to a professor, there might be 50 students in front of you. Ashland focuses on each student. That’s important as you learn.
How has AU demonstrated that they have faith in you? By trusting me to do something with what I’m being taught. Professors trust students to use the information we’re receiving and doing something successful with it.
What internship or other applied learning experience have you had and how it benefited you? This is a big year for me. I want to get some field experience, and I’ll work with my advisor to help get an internship.
What experience have you had at AU that’s helped you learn to be a leader? Small classes help with that because it forces you to participate. Professors want to hear from students, and because of that, you gain confidence. That helps with leadership.