A momentary silence floods the room when Erin Burch is asked to depict a story, a prominent experience that has subsisted in her heart throughout her four years at Green Mountain College. This is not an easy task. “There’s so much going on,” says Erin, and indeed this has been a continual trend in her life.
Erin Burch is a senior environmental studies major from Connecticut here at GMC. By now it’s quite clear that she has not wasted an ounce of time in exploring the possibilities within a four-year academic career. Her time at GMC has only nurtured her spirit for academic scholarship, music, and even division III athletics.
"I got a call from the Green Mountain soccer coach," says Erin. "She mentioned environmental studies, the outdoors, the mountains, snowshoeing, and it was all my interests in one. And of course she wanted me play soccer for her!" After this, Green Mountain College was the only school Erin Burch applied to. As a senior, Erin has been a varsity soccer standout for four years.
Though athletics have remained prominent in Erin’s life for several years, she’s hard-pressed to find any element that rivals thirteen years of musical experience. “I always want music to be in my life,” says Erin “music is something I never want to lose.” For thirteen years Erin has played the bass clarinet and is currently a member of the GMC band. Also a self-taught piano player, Erin has been writing songs and has even led djembe drummers during a college belly dancing performance.
Extracurricular activities however, such as Erin’s recent involvement in Americorps and the Youth Bureau, have not hindered the academic success of this enthusiastic scholar. After being nominated by prof. Jen Sellers (psychology), Erin received an honorable mention from the Udall Foundation this past year. The Udall Scholarship honorable mention is given to a total of just fifty applicants out of over 500 nominations. The scholarship emphasizes a commitment to careers related to the environment, and this is exactly what Erin Burch foresees in her future.
“Ideally I would like to find myself teaching environmental studies in a non-traditional educational environment, in the out of doors using experiential and project-based fieldwork that appeals to many different learning styles and interests,” she says.
So when I ask Erin to depict a story, a prominent experience at GMC, she replies, “Two summers ago I worked for Jim Graves [pulling] invasive species. His enthusiasm for what he does just blows my mind. I’ve had so much fun working for him and it really just made me appreciate loving your job.”
By Zak Stark '15