Meet Isaac Wayne
Sometimes you have to follow your passion wherever it leads – even if you have traveled the road once before.
That was true for Kent State University junior Isaac Wayne, who transferred from Sinclair Community College in Dayton last fall to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany.
Mr. Wayne, 22, attended Kent State briefly in 2014 after high school graduation, but he withdrew from the university due to health issues.
During his time away from Kent State, Mr. Wayne had the opportunity to work toward a future that includes following his passion for plants.
“I am able to pursue my passion here,” Mr. Wayne says. “The transition has been smooth. I’m trying to get all of my friends to move here and go to school with me!”
Plants have been Mr. Wayne’s passion since the age of 17. In 2015, after leaving Kent State, he lived in Lexington, Kentucky, and worked at a nursery there.
“Through the work I was doing, I realized I was interested in plants,” he says. “It opened my eyes to how interesting plants are.”
While attending Sinclair, Mr. Wayne took business communications, economics and art courses. His time at the community college helped him “get his foot in the door of academia.”
“Sinclair Community College was fine,” Mr. Wayne says. “It was nice and affordable, but it didn’t have the programs I needed. Specifically, I was looking for botany courses. Sinclair had biology and nursing classes, but nothing botanical – not even horticulture.”
Botany majors focus on the scientific study of plants and understanding how they provide basic needs, such as food and oxygen, as well as their beauty. Botanical research has applications in modern horticulture, agriculture, soil science, forestry, biotechnology and pharmacology.
Mr. Wayne says he is interested in ecosystem rehabilitation, evolutionary biology and lab research.
While attending Sinclair, Mr. Wayne longed to return to Kent State not only to study botany, but because he says, “There is no other college for me.”
“The thing that really attracted me to Kent is how open and passionate everyone is about different topics,” Mr. Wayne says. “I love how there are peaceful demonstrations going on. It does not matter whether I agree or disagree with the issues. And the university is very friendly to LGBT students, which is very important to me.”
Mr. Wayne said the 2017-18 school year went really well. His summer classes were difficult, but he is faring much better than he did his first time at Kent State in 2014. One secret to his success has been the use of tutoring and other resources that have helped him succeed academically and personally.
“I’ve been really impressed with the mental health services,” Mr. Wayne says. “Everyone is very helpful. The university staff makes sure that students know about the mental health services.”
Mr. Wayne not only loves the university, but he finds the city of Kent an attractive community – one that could end up being his future home.
“Once I graduate, I’ll probably end up staying here,” he says. “I’m in love with this town and with Kent State.”