“All my professors have had a huge impact on me, and they’ve definitely changed how I see the world.”
Deirdre Graham, ’16 was born in Waterbury, Conn., and has lived in many places around the state, but she considers Poultney her home base. “I connect most to here,” she said.
Deirdre’s discovery of Green Mountain College was serendipitous; while on a snowboarding trip in the region with her family, her mother happened upon GMC on a map. “My mom said, ‘Look! It’s an environmental studies and liberal arts school!’ I visited twice after that in the springtime. There were people playing guitar on the hill, everyone was active at the Cerridwen Farm, and the river was beautiful,” she said. “I knew it was the place I needed to be.”
After originally majoring in environmental studies at community college, Deirdre forged her path to a sociology/anthropology major at Green Mountain College with an Asian studies minor. While taking the Indigenous America course with Professor Mark Dailey, Deirdre had an epiphany: “I love Mark Dailey’s definition of anthropology: ‘A comparative exploration of human diversity across time and space from biological and cultural perspectives.’ When anyone asks me, ‘What’s anthropology?’ that’s my answer,” she said.
Deirdre’s involvement in campus and community culture is juxtaposed with her studies of culture at large. She tutors in sociology/anthropology at the Calhoun Learning Center; serves on the College Programming Board (CPB) which makes decisions on events and music occurring on campus, teaches a Kundalini yoga class, lives on the Creative Arts and Living Floor and sings in the GMC choir and student-run a cappella group. She also likes to take part in the “ceramic community” of students molding hands-on creations for fun; and, volunteers at Poultney’s Young At Heart senior center.
“Tutoring has introduced me to different communities and students I wouldn’t have otherwise known,” she said. “And the CPB has opened my eyes to how much power students hold. We have a big say in what happens on campus.”
Deirdre is interested in graduate school after earning her degree from GMC, but the future is wide open. “I want to continue my education because I know there’s so much more to unpack.”
Her journey to the anthropology world would not have been possible without her professors. “The whole sociology/anthropology department has a wealth of knowledge. All my professors have had a huge impact on me, and they’ve definitely changed how I see the world,” she said. “I think it’s safe to say they’ve changed my life.”