Max Kelbly

Photo of Max Kelby
Class of 2021
Major: Government & Foreign Affairs and History

For senior Max Kelbly, his time at Walsh University has been a journey of faith, discovery and accomplishment. Through his time with the Blouin Global Scholars and traveling on multiple Global Leaning Programs, Max has discovered an appreciation for the cultural perspectives that unite us, and a call to join the Catholic faith that inspires him.  

“I was familiar with Walsh, but it was the opportunity to be a part of the Blouin program that was the main reason I chose to come here. And it was the right decision,” said Max whose mother Ruthie Kelbly ’16 earned her Corporate Communications degree from Walsh. “I’ve met so many incredible people from a variety of backgrounds that have really helped to shape my time here at Walsh.”  

As a senior History and Government and Foreign Affairs major, Max is applying to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, a highly competitive fellowship that enables students to pursue academic endeavors overseas. If selected, Max will leave next fall to teach English in Tajikistan, which is located between China and Afghanistan.  
“I’m looking at several different career paths after graduation that are related to my interests, and one of them is following my love of languages and linguistics. In preparation for the Fulbright, I’ve been learning first year Persianthe predominant language of the country,” said Max. “I’ve focused a lot of my undergraduate research on the people and regions of Russia, Persiaand Central Asia.”   

Max is also writing a book through the Georgetown University Creator Institute which focuses on avoiding the issues of the first-time author while being a first-time author. His book, set to publish April 2021, will explore the importance of learning a second language in countries where second language education is decliningThe book will also provide practical evidence-based tips to learning a new language.   

“In the U.S., the number of schools offering a second language are declining,” said Max. “In this increasingly connected world, I think it’s more important now than ever to connect with other people through languages. My book will explore those reasons and offer readers some practical advice on how to successfully learn a second language on their own.”  

As a Br. Francis Blouin Global Scholar researching the issue of education, equity and opportunity, Max has also studied in Uganda.   

“Being in another culture is life changing. You get to experience first-hand new perspectives or issues that we don’t actively worry about in our own corner of the world. For example, it was eye opening to talk with people who live daily with the threat of war and deal with issues like the availability of mental health services as a part of war recovery. Those concerns are a part of their daily lives.”  

Active on campus as a member of both the Young Democrats and Young Republicans clubs, and President of the Dead Philosophers Society, Max is also completing an internship with the Downtown Cuyahoga Falls Partnership where he is creating an augmented reality downtown walking tour, complete with 3D images based on historical references. Currently, he is also interning on campus with the Office of Experiential Learning in the Camelot Music Career and Readiness Center.   

His time at Walsh also impacted his faith development in ways he never expected. Following his conversion to the Catholic faith, Max was able to participate in the 2019 President’s Pilgrimage visiting Catholic Holy Sites across Europe. The trip provided him with a unique opportunity to connect his love of history to exploring the cultural treasures and historical milestones of his new faith.  

I became Catholic while at Walsh,” said Max. “While there are a lot of steps to my conversion, my freshmen Theology class with Dr. Chad Gerber was simply life-changingThe way he could articulate his own faith, and how he lived his faith daily, was inspirational. He also provided the intellectual reasonings and historical background that really resonated with me. One thing I love about Walsh is the support I’ve received in exploring my faith.”  

Max Kelbly cites personal connections as the one common thread woven through his many experiences at Walsh. Through the Blouin program, campus organizations and his academic classes, Max has made the most of his time at Walsh by getting to know the members of his university community.   

“The connections I’ve made with students and faculty continue to impact my journey in ways I could’ve never imagined before I arrived on campus,” said Max. “Whether it was through my faith conversion or finding a professional calling that matches my interests, Walsh University has provided me with connections to people who are generally interested in getting to know me. Those connections are helping me to procure a career that will not only be successful, but also personally fulfilling. I don’t think I could ask for more from a university community.