Samantha LaPlante

Samantha LaPlante’s internship in 3D scanning taught her practical skills and moved her toward her career goal of working with artifacts in a museum or becoming an archivist. 

Samantha, a junior from Springfield, Vermont, and archaeology, geography, and applied anthropology (AGAA) major with a minor in history, participated in 3D scanning internships under Professor Matthew Moriarty on the Castleton campus. Her work was funded as part of the archaeological investigations at Granger House on the Castleton campus. 

As part of her paid internship, Samantha created digital copies of artifacts found from excavations at the Granger House. These digital artifacts were uploaded onto Castleton University’s Sketchfab account. The artifacts are primarily ceramic pieces and glass bottles, but a couple of other notable items have also turned up, including a clay smoking pipe, a 1798 U.S one-cent coin, and a bone toothbrush.  

“Digitalizing the artifacts found during the Granger House excavation is a great way to make them more accessible to people, including those outside the Castleton community,” she said. “The digital artifact of the clay pipe, for example, is a replica that can be downloaded, and 3D printed, creating a nearly exact copy of the pipe but out of a less fragile material.” 

Samantha said that learning the ins and outs of 3D scanners is important as this is a field that will only grow and that these skills will pay off in the future. 

“Being able to see an artifact go from the sifter at the Granger House to being cleaned in the lab, and then being able to scan and create a 3D digital copy of the artifact is amazing,” she said. “Creating the 3D scans of the artifacts is such a rewarding job as each artifact has its own challenges, but in the end, the goal is to get them as true to life as possible on screen.” 

Moriarty said learning to use a 3D scanner and going through the lengthy post-processing necessary to produce a high-quality 3D model is something that takes a lot of dedication and practice.  

“Samantha has done an outstanding job of that over the past year, really mastering some state-of-the-art technology. She has already published dozens of 3D models in our online database, with many more in the queue, and one of her recent contributions – a 3D model of a beautiful brass fish from Castleton’s Christine Price Collection – was recently featured in Sketchfab’s Cultural Heritage and History Weekly Top 10,” Moriarty said.  

Moriarty added that Samantha’s work is meaningful for both her academic progress and the project outcomes. 

“Samantha’s work with artifacts from Granger House will be particularly useful as we present the results of our investigations. For many people, seeing an object in full-color 3D or handling a 3D-printed copy can help them understand why the history and archaeology of a place really matters. We plan to create both virtual and hands-on exhibits focused on the home’s inhabitants when the work is done and Samantha’s contributions will certainly be displayed prominently,” he said.  

Max Tempel

Max Tempel came to Castleton University as a transfer student, and he decided to stay for a while.  

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in  media and communication with a concentration in public relations and a marketing minor in 2020, Max chose Castleton to continue his education by pursuing a master of business administration degree with a concentration in leading organizational change. 

Max, who  lives in Averill Park, New York, works full-time for Northwestern Mutual as an associate financial advisor. He chose to continue his education at Castleton because it offered affordability and convenience.  

“I have always had an end goal of achieving the MBA. It is the prestige business degree, and I felt it would put me on another level,” he said. “When looking into MBA programs, I picked up that Castleton had one of the best rates in the country for an MBA. I also noticed that Castleton ran its program fully online, and courses were eight-week blocks. This offered a very time-effective and cost-effective opportunity to continue my education.” 

Finding a flexible solution to pursue his MBA was important because he had to balance full-time work with his studies and a remaining year of eligibility on the wrestling team. The endeavor has been well worth it. 

“Graduate school has broadened my knowledge of the business field, and my classmates have changed my perspective on things in many ways,” he said. “I believe you get pushed by classmates more than you would as an undergrad. They help you learn just as much of the coursework and professor does. It has been a very rewarding experience thus far.” 

Max says he will cherish the many memories that Castleton brought into his life and will forever be grateful to call Castleton a second home.  

“My favorite thing about Castleton is the people. I met so many great people and leaders throughout my time there,” he said. “Whether it was my peers, staff, professors, or coaches, they all had a great impact on my life from the first day I arrived. The Castleton Way and community are truly a unique and powerful influence.” 

Ryan Cooney

Ryan has always been interested in aviation but hadn’t considered it as a career until after his first year in college. He started out studying government and international politics elsewhere, took a year off, and then found Vermont Tech. “I realized I wanted to make a change, and being a pilot sounded like a really great way to spend a career.”  

Ryan chose Vermont Tech because it was “close to home, affordable, and provided a quality education. The high placement of graduates within my field of study was also a huge reason behind coming here.”  

He found the transition from one college to another easier than he imagined. “It showed me how I could make decisions that altered what I’d thought I’d wanted to with life. It was a real leap of faith. I’m happy with the change I made and wouldn’t change it at all.”  

Of his classes, Ryan says they are “fantastic at preparing you for almost any career in aviation. The faculty are excellent. Craig Popkess, in particular, has some great experiences he shares with students. His classes are some of my favorites as he always presents the material in fun and engaging ways.”  

Now readying to graduate, with the hope of flying cargo planes with UPS or FedEx one day, Ryan found the faculty here “very supportive. Bonnie Lord in the library took me on as a work-study student on day one. Robin Guillian, program director, helped me to get an internship with the airport operations team at Burlington International Airport, and helped me get hired on as a tutor. Jason Enser, dean of students, even recommended that I apply to be the student trustee on the VSCS Board of Trustees — a position I was very happy to apply for and be accepted to.”  

Ryan’s advice to incoming students: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help; the pilot group is tightknit. And try to get the internship with airport ops — “it’s fun and an exciting opportunity.” 

He adds: “If you’re on the fence about whether aviation is for you or not, come and take a flight with a student. Once you get in the plane, I guarantee you’ll want to do what we do every day.”  

Roslyn Parker

For Roslyn, “transitioning from high school to college was a dream come true.” During high school, she wanted to get out as soon as possible, and a family friend told her about the VAST program.” Vermont Academy of Science and Technology, also known as VAST, is an accelerated program that allows high school students to take a full year of college-level classes at Vermont Tech. 

The process of getting accepted into the program gave Rosyln a glimpse of what the job application process is like. “There was a tour of the campus, then a test, and finally an interview,” she said. “The interview was the hardest part for me, but I got through it and was so happy to be accepted. That was my ticket into Vermont Tech. From the get-go I knew what major I wanted to pursue, and I decided to go for a four-year degree.”  

Roslyn chose Vermont Tech because it was close to where she lived, which allowed her to be a commuter student. “It was nice to be able to go back home every day after classes and eat dinner with my family,” she said. “I also chose Vermont Tech because of the small campus, friendly environment, and amazing teachers. The small classes allow for more individual learning help for students. This was very helpful and integral in my success in understanding my studies.”  

With a passion for computers, video games, and exposure to programming in high school, studying computer software engineering was a natural fit for her “The first programming language I learned was python,” Rosyln said.  “In high school, I took a game design class where I made a game that had different levels. The main character was a cat and it had to eat mice and run away from dogs. In order to complete a level, the cat would have to eat all the mice. This was where my love for computer software engineering truly blossomed.”  

Roslyn found the teachers here approachable and supportive. “When I needed help, I would email the class teacher and they were always quick to respond and were very helpful.” She also found the library was a great place for quiet, productive study time, and said it is where she spent most of her time between classes.  

Roslyn hopes to get a job as a developer/software engineer on a business operations team or working on automation projects for a company. “Automation is one of my many passions in software engineering. Automating a process makes someone’s life easier and it is a gratifying experience to have a working program that positively affects someone else’s workflow.”  

Roslyn now works remotely as a business operations developer with Red River. She interned at the company in summer 2019, an experience that led her to discover her passion for automation, she said, and she is currently working on another automation project that will help with the process of testing. 

Her advice to incoming students: “Be yourself and explore and discover what you are passionate about. And, if you have a question, ask it. If you are struggling with something, take time to struggle but don’t get caught up in it. Once you have struggled some and get stuck, ask a question to help you move forward. Stay organized and stay focused; time management is key.” 

Amber Wescott

Amber transferred to Vermont Tech after a year at the Community College of Vermont. “I chose Vermont Tech because it was small, local, and the job placement rate was high,” she said. “And knowing that when I graduated, I would have a job was really reassuring.” 

Amber chose the dental hygiene program because it embodies all of her interests: education, health, science, and medicine. “I also wanted a career that would allow me to give back to my community,” she said. 

She found the shift from CCV a bit challenging, as the program’s schedule and workload were more rigorous. “It helped having faculty and staff that cared about me and my academic success,” she said, and it also helped that “every class is small, hands-on, and most importantly, pertinent to my career.”  

Amber also found a lot of support every step of the way, beginning with Shawn McElwain in admissions. “We had many conversations before I enrolled, and he helped me get in touch with the right people to apply and register,” she said. “He was the first face I saw once I was accepted and visited the campus, and I have always appreciated his warm, friendly way.”  

Amber also received support through the TRIO program, which helps students who, like Amber, are the first generation in their family to attend college TRIO provides academic tutoring and career services during the academic year, as well as support to help with the transition to college. “The tutoring I received from Jackie Burke helped me to turn in my best work and win scholarships!” she said. “And Karry Booska helped me to prepare a dynamite resume that highlights the best of me and helped me with interviewing skills. The time spent with her helped me to land my dream job!”  

Amber’s next goal is to work toward her bachelor’s degree in the field, and her ultimate goal: “to help propel the field of dental hygiene to its fullest potential. The health paradigm is slowly changing to one of preventive versus restorative care. Hygienists are going to need to be key players in making this change happen. I see myself working on legislation to change health policies and to increase the scope of practice for dental hygienists.”  

“I love serving my community. I have had my fair share of difficult times, and I remember being so relieved and appreciative that someone was helping me. I love knowing that I am making someone else’s life a little easier in those difficult times. I also love improving people’s health. I love seeing that ‘ah-ha’ moment on people’s faces when they have made the connection that their oral health affects their overall health and vice versa.”  

Laura Gypson

Laura has worked with young children as an early childhood teacher for ten years. She started in the field because she loves children, although she “truly had no idea how inspiring this field was until I had the opportunity to work in a classroom,” she said. “To see how children find their way, build their first social connections, learn their first words, and connect to the world around them within an early childhood classroom is incredible. The first five years of life is such an important part of shaping each individual and being a teacher of those first years is so rewarding.” 

Laura earned her associate degree in Liberal Studies at Community College of Vermont (CCV) in 2013, which allowed her to become a teacher at Hilltop Montessori School in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she still works now. While going back to school was always a goal, the push for early childhood teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree and a teacher’s license in Vermont was just the push she needed to take the step. “It felt like the right thing to do now to stay in the field,” she said. 

She turned to CCV, where staff introduced her to the CCV to NVU Pathway for a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. “The CCV to NVU pathway was very easy for me, and I already had the experience hours I needed,” she said. Laura started in fall 2020, and “it was a pretty seamless start. I had been out of school for seven years and thought it might be tough to go back. But it’s been easy!” 

The program’s structure is “designed for a student like me working full-time in the field and looking to advance and get that teaching license!” she said. “Sitting down to class work and assignments at night and on the weekend feels like an extension of so much I have already built into my years of teaching.” 

Laura also credits ECE advisor Heather Duhamel as “an amazing advisor who helps at every turn. From finding financial aid and registering for classes to coursework throughout the semester, she’s always there to help.” 

There’s a strong sense of community among the ten students in her group, too. “We are all moving through the program together, and we know all about each other’s background,” she said. “The class discussions are really engaging and build off of prior semesters, too.” 

Laura will graduate in spring 2022 with her bachelor’s degree along with a minor in anthropology and sociology. Initially worried about the cost and how working and going to school at the same time would work, she’s found “it’s been very doable for sure.” Laura has kept the costs affordable thanks to the scholarships and grants she’s received and is “making it work — without taking out loans.” 

Looking ahead, Laura feels her work may shift into taking on more classroom responsibility after she graduates. She feels she will be well prepared to do so after the five semesters of designing lesson plans and studying child development, along with the submission of a portfolio of her work to the state of Vermont through Northern Vermont University, she said. “I could see myself heading in the direction of a program director, early learning specialist, or licensed pre-k teacher in a public school. I also have every intention of continuing on and obtaining my master’s degree as well.” 

Laura’s career as an early childhood educator has “become one of the most important things in my life,” she said. “Watching children grow up in my community after being their teacher is one of the most rewarding and driving parts of my work. There is nothing more wonderful than hearing from children and their families that my classroom was a nurturing, welcoming, and inspiring place to be.” 

“As much as I knew I wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree and teaching license, I lacked the right direction to head in until I found NVU,” Laura said. “Realizing that a short year from now, I will have a bachelor’s degree and will be a licensed teacher in Vermont with a deep and rich knowledge of early childhood education fills me with so much excitement.”  

“It also makes me want to shout out to all the amazing early childhood education teachers in Vermont,” Laura said. “You can do this — you can push forward and get that degree, get that license, and help grow the early childhood education field of teachers here in our state. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.” 

Maria Brosseau

Maria’s undergraduate program with NVU culminated with the perfect experience for a political science major with a minor in pre-law — an internship with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy through his Burlington, Vermont office. 

The semester-long internship “exceeded my expectations,” Maria said. “I had a grand dream about how politics could work, and this internship met that.” 

Remote because of the pandemic, Maria was one of three interns who together prepared the daily news brief for staff, as well as worked with constituent calls and emails and tracked them in the system. She attended both Washington, D.C., and Vermont staff meetings, and helped draft letters of support for Vermont organizations as part of their grant application process. Senator Leahy “really works for the constituents of Vermont” on issues and helps secure federal funding for the state, she said. 

One of the highlights of Maria’s internship was helping to draft a letter for a Vermonter that was entered into the Congressional Record. 

Maria “has always had a passion for politics and government and a desire to help others to make the world a little better,” she said. And she adds that her professor and advisor Dr. David Plazek was “key to my journey at NVU and fostered my interest in political science. He also encouraged me to apply for the internship,” she said. 

Maria shared that she applied to quite a few schools before choosing NVU. “As a first-gen college student with the intention of going to law school, I wanted to get a bang for my buck” and not graduate with debt, she said. 

The college application process was a little challenging for Maria “But once I got here, it was so easy. Everyone was helpful and quick to respond to her questions — both professors and staff, she said. 

“NVU has been great,” she said. “It’s provided me with many of the same opportunities as other four-year universities, with the bonus of small class sizes and engaged professors quick to help with internship connections and career-building opportunities. It’s helped me to get where I am now.” 

Today, Maria is busy studying for the LSAT and expects to begin law school in fall 2022. “As of now, I am leaning toward a focus in civil rights law,” she said, “but I know law school will open up my horizons to many different types of law and areas of interest!” 

Jordan Zach

You won’t find Jordan Zach on campus as much as the average student at Northern Vermont University’s Lyndon campus. 

As an Outdoor Education, Leadership, and Tourism (OELT) major with a concentration in adventure education, Jordan spends much of his time outside, in class backpacking and paddling activities and leading student outing club trips. 

As a professional mountain biker, Jordan enjoys being close to Kingdom Trails, a popular trail system for cyclists and skiers. The location was one reason Jordan chose NVU-Lyndon. 

“Why not go to a college where you can study the outdoors and also be immersed in the outdoors so completely?” said Jordan, who is from Brooklyn, Connecticut. 

“Compared to other colleges with a similar degree, I liked the high-end quality of NVU’s program. The things we focus on here let you really dive into being a leader rather than just going into the outdoors and being an educator. They teach you how to be a true leader,” he said. 

Jordan was offered options to lead early in the OELT program. During the immersion semester, students lead week-long trips with peers and professors, planning meals and logistics, and preparing gear. Jordan’s group hiked sections of Vermont’s Long Trail, canoed in the Adirondacks, and backpacked in the White Mountains. 

“The immersion semester was definitely a highlight, having all those days in the backcountry and preparing for trips. It was a challenge, and I learned a ton from it,” said Jordan, who also  pursued an associate degree in business administration at NVU. 

One benefit of the immersion semester for Jordan was getting to know the OELT faculty. “You become very close to the professors,” he said. 

Faculty support for students and enthusiasm for the field are valuable. “You go to their classes excited rather than dreading class,” Jordan said. “And you can send them text messages or walk into their offices and talk about anything.” 

The skills courses and Jordan’s other real-world experiences in the program have motivated him to meet big goals. “They’ve shaped me into someone completely different than who I was before college, someone with stronger leadership skills and higher ambitions,” he said. 

Jordan has used his skills and ambition in his work at Kingdom Cycling and Experiences, a job he found through faculty connections. The talents he has developed at NVU got him promoted to manager of the business. He plans a career in marketing and sales in the cycling industry, and in his final semester had an internship in the field. 

At NVU, Jordan pursued other opportunities to build skills to be career-ready — serving as president of NVU’s Outing Club, which organizes recreational activities, and as a trail manager maintaining campus mountain bike trails. He recently formed NVU’s student enduro team, which competes in New England mountain bike races. 

OELT students can also get ahead by earning national certifications in their field through NVU classes and programs that focus on preparing for certification exams. Jordan became certified in Leave No Trace and Wilderness First Responder through NVU. 

As an NVU student, Jordan found his path and possible destinations after graduation, and that goes beyond academics. 

“I like the big picture of NVU, where it’s situated and the quality of the education you get. It’s more than just getting a college degree. It’s really building a life for yourself,” he said. “The professors have so many different connections. They’ll help you get where you want to be.” 

Addie White

Addie has “done theater” their whole life. Yet when Addie enrolled at NVU, they expected to pursue either an anthropology or wellness and alternative medicine degree program. Then Addie took an acting class during their second semester and loved it: “I felt such a connection.”  

The following year, Addie switched to the performance, arts, and technology degree program — right before COVID-19 hit. “Theater during COVID became an interpersonal impersonal thing,” Addie said. “It had this restriction that we had to adapt to. I learned so much from doing theater in quarantine that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.” 

The theater project that took shape during quarantine in fall 2020 became a national award-winning piece and Addie was part of the team of students who developed it. Called “The Monument,” the piece was selected for presentation at the Region 1 American College Theater Festival and then took home a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award at the national level. 

For Addie, the production “blossomed into this amazing, impactful piece that we were able to share with so many people because it wasn’t in person. And it went a lot farther than anyone imagined.” 

The project exemplifies what the PAT students are gaining in this program “We’re not just studying one thing,” Addie said. “We’re doing set design, studying literature — everything that goes into creating plays and movies, every aspect of performance art. We’re learning how to push the envelope, how to create art and theater in new ways, not just in the ways that have been done before. It’s so unique. It’s amazing. I love it.” 

Their first full year in the PAT program completed, Addie knows they want to keep doing this work. “I really want to be an actor, and I want to carry the spirit of this program into the industry,” which Addie explains as “a nurturing space to step out of the box.” 

Addie describes the PAT program as non-competitive and grounded in the idea that everyone has something to offer. After graduation, Addie plans to help create more spaces that are open and inclusive like this program. 

Addie, who grew up in South Burlington and transferred to NVU from another small college, says, “The environment here is so conducive to success. All of the professors are committed to their students. They are genuinely invested in my success and know me. It’s a real community.” 

Zijie Wan

Fulfilling one of his life-long dreams of studying abroad in the United States, Zijie “Frank” Wan came all the way from the Jiangxi Province of China to achieve his business administration degree at Castleton. 

“I like this small campus, which makes me feel very comfortable to live and study with students here,” Frank said. “Castleton provides me a better environment to study because it is so peaceful, which is really good for your education.” 

Before enrolling at Castleton, he was initially daunted by the language and cultural differences, but quickly discovered the endless resources available to him as an international student on campus.  

As a student, Frank served as vice president of the Chinese club and helped to plan and host a Chinese New Year party. He also took on tutoring duties, as he taught an American student the Chinese language in preparation for his study abroad trip to China. 

“Castleton changed a variety of my shortcomings such as time management and laziness,” Frank said. “Castleton also gave me plenty of opportunities and working experience.” 

Devin Tingle

A Florida native, Devin started college wanting to study chemical engineering but found that major just didn’t fit what he wanted to do in the future. He ended up changing schools, changing majors, attending community college for a bit, and then he found Vermont Tech, which offers a four-year program in renewable energy “It ended up being the perfect opportunity for me,” he said. 

Devin found a welcoming community here, filled with opportunities to get involved, take the lead, and make connections. He became the president of the Planeswalkers club, a member of the Adventurers’ Guild and the Anime club, a resident assistant, and held a work-study position in the Alumni Relations department. 

Another selling point for Vermont Tech was the internship opportunity students have here. Devin jumped right into this, interning with AllEarth Renewables his first summer in Vermont. He worked as a field technician, doing installs, repairs, and inspections of the company’s solar trackers — “a really cool experience; the solar trackers produce a whole lot of power!”

Devin says he felt challenged and empowered at Vermont Tech, and built strong relationships with alumni, professors, and fellow students. “It’s been a fantastic experience! Vermont Tech helps you to build your community.”

After graduation, Devin headed West, landing in Beaverton, Oregon, where he’s working as a semiconductor install technician at the production facilities of Intel, while he works on making connections in the renewable energy field. He’s confident that work opportunities will increase as businesses rebound after COVID, and he positioned himself on the west coast because “a lot of the work in this field starts here.”

Devin’s short-term goal: to work in hydroelectric power. His longer-term goal: to get involved in research and development to improve the efficiency of current renewable energy sources, as well as develop new ones. “I really enjoy hydro power — especially tidal and river generators.”

Bobby Saba

Bobby Saba knew he wanted to chase storms his first year in the program. He reached out to his advisor, who connected him with the SUNY-Oswego Storm Observation Program. Bobby applied and was invited to join them on their spring trip to the Midwest. “It was a bucket list experience!” Bobby said.

Today, atmospheric sciences students can take part in the annual storm-chasing trip, and “that conversation three years ago led to this,” he said. “It’s so great!”

It’s also an example of the kind of opportunities that develop thanks to the close relationships here, he said. For Bobby, that included being encouraged to apply for the NOAA Hollings Scholarship his second year — an honor he received, along with the financial award and research opportunity that came with it.

It was the atmospheric sciences program that brought Bobby to campus from Massachusetts, and “having an equally strong broadcast program was great,” he said. He decided to attend NVU during the campus tour and says he “wouldn’t change it for the world.”

“Here, if you want to get involved you can — there are so many jobs, clubs, and activities,” Bobby said. And Bobby’s gotten involved in many — even playing on the men’s tennis team his final year because he hadn’t yet played a sport on campus!

Two-year president of the NVU-Lyndon student chapter of the American Meteorological Society, Bobby says the Lyndon chapter “is unmatched” among student chapters. The highlight of the club is putting on the annual Northeastern Storm Conference, the largest and longest-running student-run weather conference in the country, which draws roughly 300 students, faculty, and professionals from around the nation each year.

After chasing storms, conducting lightning research, and taking part in tornado research with the Storm Prediction Center, Bobby is readying to graduate and pursue his passion. In fall 2022, he will begin his master’s in meteorology in Oklahoma, where he was awarded a fully funded assistantship and will be advised by a member of the National Severe Storms Lab. “I’ll get to do a lot of field work — and will get to go chase tornadoes!”

Kameryn Norse

Kameryn Norse knew she wanted to stay in-state when it came to choosing where to attend college. Castleton was the right fit for Norse, a Bristol, Vermont, native, based on the sense that she would be more than just a number.

“Compared to UVM where I went on a tour with like 300 people sitting with me, as soon as I stepped on campus at Castleton, it just felt like where I needed to be. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true,” she said.

As a first-generation Latina student, Kameryn worked closely with the TRIO program.

“I believe that all my success can be attributed to the TRIO program,” she said. “They showed me that my past does not dictate where I can go and how to utilize certain resources to help me grow both as a learner as well as an individual in the world.”

Those skills supported Kameryn, a global studies major, when she was studying abroad in Bilbao, Spain. Beyond navigating cultural differences, Kameryn took away a better understanding of how others live, and how challenges she saw at home presented abroad.

“Problems that we see close to home like poverty, and some things that we deal with in the Castleton area, they’re everywhere. Being able to see that and name that and understand that, as a Global Studies major, it was nice to see everything in play in the world, in the real world, in different places,” she said.

Having witnessed inequality and education disparity at home and abroad, Kameryn was fueled to follow her desire to make communities more equitable. She applied to work with Teach For America, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation’s most promising future leaders.” She recently accepted a two-year contract working in the greater Cleveland, Ohio, area teaching K-8 special education.  

“Before I had a name for things like systemic racism, educational inequity, socioeconomic inequity, it seemed that there were always people that just got things and some people that didn’t. That’s always been something that I’ve been interested in, understanding how people can work together to make the quality of life better for everyone. As I’ve continued to grow as a learner and as an individual, I’ve learned that education is a really big part of that,” she said. “Providing quality education, at every single age level, is super important to playing into how someone turns out in life, I believe, and the opportunities they have available to them in life. When I saw Teach For America and the work they do, and just the general message of educational equity, I knew that was exactly where I was supposed to be – where I want to be – and where I’d wake up every day just knowing that what I’m doing is helping somebody else.”

Kameryn believes in education as a tool to better individuals’ lives and the greater communities that they call home.

“I think about all the problems that we’re facing in the world today from voter suppression to climate change, and there’s such a level of misinformation that education at any level could help. The more educated minds we have working toward the issues, the better off our world is going to be. Working for Teach For America, where they want every single student to have access to the same opportunities, I couldn’t find a better way to be spending my time” she said.

Her advice to incoming first-year students? Try everything.

“Take every opportunity that you can on campus, whether that be taking part in a club, joining the student newspaper, or going on a trip with CAB. Make all the connections that you can, and use all the resources you have available to you,” she said. “It’s going to be gone one day, and if you can say yes to everything and participate in as much as you can, you’re going to grow immensely, and you’re going to learn so much from the people around you.”