Brock Montgomery ’21, Grand Forks, N.D.
Please tell us about yourself.
I have three brothers – one older, two younger. I love to exercise, play golf, be at the lake, and dogs.
Why did you choose Concordia?
It’s close to home but also far enough away, I’d have the chance to keep playing hockey, and Concordia’s reputation.
How did you decide on your major?
I actually started in something completely different, engineering, and realized that I had no interest in that after an internship. My freshman year, I took intro to psychology and I loved it. Combining that with a desire to help people make their lives easier and more enjoyable led me to the major I chose.
What activities are you involved in?
Men’s Hockey, Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), and mental health advocate for SGA
Tell us about your role in the Student Government Association.
My role in student government is to provide mental health education, resources, and help for all students and members of our campus. I am also a resource for anyone who may have questions or needs regarding mental health.
What motivated you to be a mental health advocate?
There are so many people that secretly battle mental health issues every day and do not know where to turn for help or are too worried about finding help due to the stigma that surrounds mental health. For years, people have viewed having a mental illness as being weak and that is something I am very passionate about changing. Having some personal issues with this subject, I know how hard it can be and I want to find a way to create a world where all people who struggle with mental health can find help and return to a more enjoyable life. I want to create an environment where admitting one is struggling is seen as courageous and not weak. It takes a lot more strength and courage to admit you are struggling than to act like nothing is wrong.
In what ways can students protect their mental health, especially during the pandemic?
Making sure they set aside time for themselves, in whatever way that may be. Find time every day to do something that allows them to shut their brain off for a little bit and do something that makes them happy. It is also important to find ways and people they can talk to and physically interact with. Personally, I think exercise is extremely important in relieving stress and is a good way to not think about school for a while.
How has COVID-19 impacted you as a student-athlete?
The biggest impact is the unknown. I really like routine and having things change every day has been the biggest personal challenge. Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten to play with some really good people and not being able to see them every day has made daily life less enjoyable. Another big thing is trying to find new ways to challenge myself and keep myself driven every day. As an athlete, I love to compete and not being able to do that daily has been another difficult experience.
What is unique about the student-athlete experience at Concordia and Cobber men’s hockey?
I think the biggest thing is the opportunity and privilege we have to get to know and make so many friends in a unique environment.
In what ways has Concordia helped you grow?
I’ve been able to learn a lot about being a good person from my peers, which has inspired me to instill those aspects into my own life. Also, the high level of academic performance that is expected at Concordia makes you find new ways to improve yourself as a student.
Do you have a favorite professor or class?
Tough question. I have two. My favorite professors have been Dr. Mikel Olson and Dr. Mark Krejci, so it’s fitting that my two favorite classes have been Dr. Olson’s Behavioral Neuroscience and Dr. Krejci’s Abnormal Psychology class. The brain is so intriguing to me. It was cool to see how even the smallest change in chemicals and neurotransmitters can affect our behavior. In Behavioral Neuroscience, we also learned about the methods of action medicine and drugs have on the brain. It was super cool to understand how everything truly begins in the brain and without it working properly there are endless effects. It’s also fascinating how much humans still don’t know about the brain, especially mental illnesses and their causes and solutions.
What do you love most about Concordia?
The people. I’ve met a lot of amazing people.
What advice would you give to a prospective student?
Don’t be afraid to meet people. It will make your life much more enjoyable.
What are your postgraduation plans?
I plan to go to graduate school for physical therapy.
Would you like to add anything else?
Make sure you take care of yourself. As hard as it is to realize and accept, no one else is going to do it for you. Do not be afraid to ask for help; it doesn’t make you weak. Take care of yourself and be kind. “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. No matter what.”
Published February 2021