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IU Northwest News

Meet Collin Czilli

Scholarships enabled Portage City Council member and entrepreneur Collin Czilli to pursue his political, community service aspirations

Friday Aug 04, 2017

Collin Czilli, a 2017 graduate of Indiana University Northwest, is putting his degree to good use, making a difference for others.

At just 22 years old, the lifelong Portage resident whose degree is in political science, serves as a district representative for the Portage City Council, a role he’s held for two years. He also works in IU Northwest’s Office of Academic Success and Achievement Programs as a placement testing coordinator, and operates his own firm, South Shore Design and Consulting.

Czilli is grateful for the scholarships that made his higher education aspirations possible. He received a full tuition scholarship and the John and Patricia Ryan Scholarship to help him cover fees and books.

These scholarships meant he didn’t have to work to pay for school and could devote 100 percent of his energy to his studies. Not taking this privilege for granted, he focused on his political goals by volunteering on campaigns and eventually ran for office himself.

“Without either scholarship,” Czilli said, “I could not see myself in elected office now or being able to have the freedom to pursue my political and community service aspirations.”

Czilli plans to continue in an elected capacity beyond the end of his term in 2020, most likely by running for re-election to the city council in 2019, but possibly for another office if the opportunity presents itself. He is also the chair of the Portage Township Democratic Committee and works on various campaigns through his design and consulting firm.

Inspirational faculty

Czilli said the aspect of his time at IU Northwest that he appreciated most was the personal interaction he experienced with his professors.

“I was amazed at the level of interest that professors had in their individual students. It was very helpful in expanding on the classroom setting,” he said. “I also found the hands-on learning experiences to be invaluable.”

Especially for the busiest students, like Czilli, getting to know one’s professors is a benefit that cannot be overstated. Czilli said that getting to know them helped improve his experience and made it easier for him to get the help he needed to succeed.

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