October 17, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Alumni News | Rice Enjoys Safety Manager Role, Reflects on Student, Army, Study Abroad Experiences

Colin Rice seated on the driveway with Windsor Castle in the background, London, England.

Colin Rice at Windsor Castle in London, England, around New Year’s 2018.

By Richard Morris ’20
History-Pre-Law Major, English Minor

Ohio University alum Colin Rice ’12 spent several years abroad, both in the Army and as a student, before eventually landing a job at Bellisio Foods, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of frozen foods.

Rice has spent the last four years working out of Jackson, Ohio, the site of Bellisio’s largest warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution center. He recently participated in the Career and Internship Fair sponsored by the Career and Leadership Development Center.

At Bellisio, he is employed as a Safety Manager, which requires the facilitation and management of “a harm-free experience for our employees, contractors, and visitors.” The company has continuously provided him with the necessary resources and opportunities to grow and improve within his role, and he has taken advantage of this to “ensure that we maintain a proactive culture of safety at the Jackson Manufacturing Center.”

“Bellisio Foods Inc. has a great culture. They develop their own, and they invest in the well-being of their people,” said Rice, noting that he has greatly enjoyed the last four years. He plans to extend his role within the company in the future, adding, “It is hard to say where life will take us.”

His Ohio Experience

Rice, who earned a B.S.S. from University College, describes his years spent at Ohio University, where he studied history and anthropology, as a beneficial and rewarding period in his life. Not a typical four-year student, he spent a number of years shifting between his duties as a student and those as a member of the Army and National Guard.

His years as an undergraduate helped shape his worldview. Having the opportunity to “work closely with young professionals from all walks of life and from around the world,” Rice developed the cultural sensitivity, communication skills, and collaborative spirit that would be essential to his success.

Rice made special note of two professors who had a profound impact on his life: Dr. Hogan Sherrow and Dr. Nancy Tatarek. He praised them for being helpful mentors in his academic experience.

“Both professors heavily influenced my insatiable desire to understand the world and systems around me,” Rice said.

Military Service

Rice had an extended stint in the U.S. Army. He enlisted in 2005 and spent a number of years alternating between basic training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, college at Ohio University, the Ohio Army National Guard, Fort Bliss in Texas, where he completed his training, and several other places across the country.

In 2010, he spent just over 11 months stationed around Basra, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. He also had opportunities to travel to Ireland, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, and Germany before ending his service in 2012 at the Rank of E-5/Sergeant.

Rice remarked that his time in the Army taught him “a sense of selfless service, loyalty, and a commitment to never accept failure.” He attributes much of his success both in his career and scholarly pursuits to the lessons and responsibilities he learned during his experiences.

Experiences in Beijing, China

Once Rice finished his degree at Ohio University in 2012, he comments that he felt a little lost as to what his next move would be. Feeling that he was not ready to pursue a full time career yet, he looked around for various opportunities to further his education. His search ended with an international MBA program at the Beijing Institute of Technology, where he received a scholarship from the Chinese government.

During his year in China, Rice explored many of the northern and northwestern regions of the country. He admitted that it was rough getting around at first because of his unfamiliarity with Mandarin, but he came to view it as an adventure. His adjustment to the new culture, he said, was made a lot easier by his earlier time spent in Iraq as a member of the Army.

Rice visited a number of the country’s most famous landmarks, such as the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army at the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang. His most memorable experience, though, was climbing Mount Hua, located near Xi’an.

“The food and people were amazing,” he remarked, adding that he was truly blessed to have the opportunity to study abroad.

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