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“I do it because I love it,” CJ Livengood is One of Ohio Northern’s Best

CJ Livengood showcasing his skills during a marching band performance. (Photo/Ohio Northern University)

It is challenging to be a college student, with the demanding workload of classes and balancing that with extracurricular activities and a social life. Becoming a well-rounded student can be a daunting, seemingly impossible task to some people.​

The long hours spent in the library studying for exams, reading textbooks and going to class leave little room for further ventures. It may only be reasonable to add one, maybe two extra activities on top of school work. Who has time for anything else?​

CJ Livengood is entering his fifth year in the pharmacy program here at ONU with a resume of activities that would scare away even the most ambitious of students.​

Joining the marching band on campus his freshman year, CJ made his way through the ranks and was given the band member of the year award, along with serving as the band's field commander in his fourth and final year playing for Ohio Northern. Livengood was as well a member of the university's percussion ensemble up until last year. He credits his experience in the marching band as his gateway to most of his other opportunities on campus.​

It all starts with marching band…I was recognized by people in the music department which lead to almost everything."

The exposure he received from performing in the marching band set CJ up for bigger things on campus. Allowing him the opportunity to feature his musical skills in productions and performances with the theater department. He Showcased his talents on the piano along with his voice in several productions.​

This exposure lead him to his first on-stage appearance in the university's production of Footloose. Livengood said, “It was some of the hardest performing I had ever done.” His success in the show paved the way for his role in Ohio Northern’s Holiday Spectacular, where he performed, “Baby it’s cold outside.” These roles culminated in CJ’s most recent and first starring role in college, as Billy Nolan in the university's production of Carrie: The Musical.

This time on stage was one activity CJ never thought he would be able to do again.​

Growing up in Norwalk, Ohio, a small town just south of Sandusky, CJ Livengood spent his high school days playing sports and performing in school musicals. Theater, a large part of his life in high school, was never in the plan for college. “After my last show in high school, I remember sitting there and thinking I would never perform again.”​

CJ not only showed off his musical side during his time at ONU but also his social and athletic sides. He has been a member of the Men’s Club Volleyball team, the Men's Track and Field team as well as a recent alumnus of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity here at ONU. 

His time spent in all of these activities has been “extremely rewarding,” says Livengood. The most rewarding aspects have been the people he has met. CJ says, “It is all about the friends that I have made during my time here...and the experiences that I have had with them.”​

CJ also highlighted his time spent traveling with the marching band, “The experiences that I have had traveling with the band have been beyond my dreams.”​

With a workload of a pharmacy student, CJ’s extra-curricular activities are even more impressive, but they do not come with a price. “I have pulled plenty of all-nighters…you only have so much time in the day, and it’s not like you can’t just get through all of the information you need to cover.”​

Managing his time has been the key to CJ’s success as a student and active member of the Ohio Northern Community. With the module schedule of the pharmacy college, students have exams every week, leaving little time for outside activities. It is a testament to CJ’s time management and dedication to his schooling and outside activities that he can accomplish so much.​

Livengood says, “To get it all done I force myself to study during breaks in the day…I often section out my day for the time of rehearsal and times for studying.”​

CJ is no stranger to hard work and time management. He was a three-sport athlete in high school along with participating in the school musicals, the band and religious life groups.​

“I’m kind of used to it by now. I’ve been doing this much all of my life…I don’t know how I do it, I just do it,” said Livengood.​

Even with his impressive dedication and focus on school work, Livengood states that he could not do any of this if it weren't for a few faculty members here at ONU that always have his back. CJ mentioned the support of the Assistant Dean of Pharmacy, Dr. Kelly M. Shields and Dr. Jeffery C. Allison, Professor of Pharmacy Practice. “It is nice to have those allies on the pharmacy side of things; it makes everything else easier,”​

With all of the support he has received and the friends that he has made during his time spent here at ONU CJ says that it has changed him forever. Performing in front of the Ohio Northern community has been some of his most memorable moments on stage.​

This year CJ has dropped several of his activities in preparation for one of his most challenging years as a pharmacy major. He says, “I felt like it was a good time to stop because I reached my goals...I’ve accomplished so much.”​

When asked why he chose to take on so much, CJ solely responded with, “I do it because I love it.”​

Going forward, CJ plans to focus on his school work and graduation the six-year pharmacy program here at ONU next year. After school, he is planning on working as a pharmacist, however, does not want to give up his musical side, hoping to audition for community theater in the future.​

With his time here at Ohio Northern winding down, CJ has taken the time to reflect on what the university has meant to him. He, humbly said, “The people that I have met here, literally getting to have hundreds of friends is crazy to me, it’s surreal because I am very normal, nothing spectacular.”​​

CJ Livengood will graduate Ohio Northern next year leaving the university a better place than he found it. From his exceptional work in the college of pharmacy, to his ever-growing list of extra-curricular activities, CJ has left his mark on the university. As well as the hundreds of people in the community that have had the chance to know him.

 
 

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