Peace Corp Bound
Libby, a senior from Scarborough, Maine, had a hunch Green Mountain College was the right place at first sight.
“I just knew. I think most people feel that way about GMC,” she said.
Libby is fulfilling aspirations she’s held as long as she can remember by majoring in biology and minoring in animal studies.
“Ever since I was little I loved the outdoors and science,” she said, “I’ve always been close to the wilderness and found peace outside.”
“I had a “lab” in my basement. I would make ‘potions,’” she said. “When I discovered that wildlife and field biology were academic disciplines, I thought, ‘Oh, my god; I can be outside in the dirt with the bugs and wild creatures and do scientific research!’”
“Researching in biology and uncovering new things about the world is a small way to give back for all that’s been given me,” she said.
Libby’s semester at Alaska Pacific University through the Eco League program last spring showed her a place she likely wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
“I found a divine love and respect for Alaska,” she said, “It’s a harsh yet beautiful wilderness that I want to be a part of.”
This summer, after graduation, she’ll be a Naturalist Guide in Denali National Park.
Libby is a well-known face in the GMC community. She is a member of the Sustainability Floor; was captain of the women’s cross country team; president of the Bio/ Enviro Club; and a work-study employee in botany, aiding with invasive-species pulls in the natural areas around campus.
Libby also received some life-changing news recently, an invitation from the Peace Corps to be a biology teacher in a rural community in Kenya, Africa.
“I was absolutely beside myself,” she said, “not because I didn’t think I would get selected necessarily just because now it’s reality. I’m going.”
Although she isn’t entirely sure about what her living and working situation will be like during her time there, she is fully committed to the experience. “Two years of service is just a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things,” she said, “I know that it will change me as person but I’m truly excited for personal growth that will come from the ups and downs of the experience.”
Looking back, Libby is grateful to the many people who encouraged here along the way, especially her advisor prof. Meriel Brooks.
“I have to give a shout-out to Meriel. She’s an incredible researcher and person and was an excellent supporter throughout my independent research study I conducted this semester on white-tailed deer genetics in Vermont. I took my first biology class with her, so she’s known me for a long time and is just as excited for my future as I am, I think,” she said.
Her advice to current students?
“Take all the opportunities GMC offers you. The close-knit community is wonderful and I wouldn’t trade my time spent here for the world,” she said.
By Tim Halteman ‘15