Kelsea Burch '11


 Kelsea Burch completed a Political Science major and Women's
 Studies minor during her time at Marist. An avid hiker, she is shown
 at left in the Quinault Rainforest In Olympic National Park in
 Washington state.

Q: What kind of work do you do now?
 My "work" life can be summarized in one word - unconventional! 
 Seasonally, I work at the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill
 running their Girls' Leadership Worldwide program.  At other times, I sing in an acoustic duet with my boyfriend, travel, work trade on off-the-grid organic farms and adventure in the great outdoors.
Q: Which aspects of your Marist experience have proven most useful to your professional life?

I found my interactions and relationships with liberal arts department professors to be the most beneficial part of my Marist experience.  These individuals fostered intimate classroom environments that encouraged me to grapple with new ideas and thus solidify my own values.  Most importantly, they created a space where I could voice a dissenting opinion and learn to respectfully disagree with others - one of the skills I strive to bring to the girls' leadership programming.

Q: What advice would you have for students just starting out on their college careers?

I urge college students to challenge themselves, step outside their comfort zones and become the most well-rounded and independent individuals they possibly can.  Pressure to fall in line with a specialized academic and career path bombards from all directions and does not guarantee "success".  You can never go wrong following your passions, being able to understand the larger picture and being able to adapt.  You may have one plan and life may have another - if you enjoy each step of the way it won't matter if these paths diverge.