I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without my time at Lewis & Clark.
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
My visit to campus really solidified my decision. I met students that were involved in campus life and passionate about their studies and extracurriculars. I sat in on an intro level class, spent a night in the dorms, and explored some of the clubs and teams that were of interest to me. I breathed in the enticing fresh air of the Pacific Northwest and looked around at the beautiful lively forested campus and felt at home. I could really see myself there.
What have you been doing since graduation?
Since graduation, I’ve been traveling a winding road of self discovery with little expectation of the outcomes. I graduated a semester ahead of my class feeling rather lost and suddenly didn’t have any plans for the future or a sense of purpose. So I was haphazardly throwing out applications when one stuck, and before I knew it I was moving to Bozeman, Montana, to lead a trail crew with Montana Conservation Corps. I had never done anything like this before, but it turned out to be an extremely fulfilling experience with a wonderful community of people. After the season ended, I elected to stay in the area and have the full winter experience working at the local ski hill. This job was also a little out of pocket for me as I had had few encounters with skiing entering into it, but it resulted in quite a fun winter and many valuable moments of growth. Who knows where this road will take me next, but I’ve only begun to scratch the surface for all of the places I want to go and things I want to try.
How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your job?
I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without my time at Lewis & Clark. I didn’t just leave L&C with the knowledge from my classes inserted into my brain, but I left a changed person with a new perspective. I had a better understanding of myself, other people, and the world beyond. Moving into close quarters with strangers, living each day as a student athlete, having heavy discussions over controversial topics, and studying online during the pandemic made me a stronger, more compassionate, inspired person. Lewis & Clark gave me the self confidence to jump off the deep end and go places I never thought I could. Because of the growth I went through, I have made a difference in other people’s lives as a responsible and passionate leader.
What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?
The most important thing I learned was how to accept support from people and build meaningful relationships. Before going to college, I relied heavily on my family as my support system and wasn’t comfortable opening up to new people or turning to them for help. Moving far from home with many new responsibilities forced me to form new connections. Lewis & Clark was a great place to do so. I learned how to be vulnerable and exchange trust, whether that was by admitting to my tutor or professor that I didn’t know the first thing about how to complete an assignment or by sharing my dreams and insecurities with my roommates and friends.
Why did you major in biology?
Biology always seemed like it was in the cards for me. I have a strong interest in and aptitude for science and math. That paired with my love of nature and my desire to do right by it had my decision made before I came to Lewis & Clark. While I was at L&C, I found my biology professors to be extremely knowledgeable and inspiring, keeping me engaged in the major.
How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?
I still follow many Lewis & Clark accounts on Instagram including pages on Student Engagement, College Outdoors, and Athletics. It’s nice to stay in the loop about what’s going on on campus. However, I’d say the main way I stay connected to Lewis & Clark is through all of the friendships I made while I was there. Staying in touch with current students and fellow alumni by rehashing old memories and sharing what we’re up to is what keeps my connection to the time I spent at Lewis & Clark alive.
What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?
My favorite class was Organic Chemistry with Casey Jones. My friends thought I was crazy for taking it because it wasn’t a requirement for my major or anything; it really was just my fun elective class. What I loved about it was how different it was from any other course I took. It allowed me to use my brain in many different ways by intertwining math, science, and art. I enjoyed learning about the details of compounds and how they function, but also drawing the reactions was fun for me. I found working through the challenges of the course satisfying, but not too stressful as it was outside my major. It further expanded my knowledge by overlapping occasionally with other biology, math, and physics courses I had taken.
Where did you find your community on campus?
There are two main places that I found my community on campus. The first was through my randomly assigned first-year roommates. It started out as brief conversations in the room and joining each other for dinners. I stayed close with these roommates and we got to know each other’s friends that we’d found through classes, College Outdoors New Student Trips, or happenstance. The people that mattered stuck together through all of our years at L&C for jam sessions, secret santa gift exchanges, game nights, and ice cream runs.
The other place that I found my community was through the crew team. We bonded through mornings in the weight room, afternoons training on the water, and weekends competing together towards the same goal. Over the years people would come and go from the team, but we all had a common passion and we knew we had each other’s backs.