Elizabeth Allred, an Asheville, North Carolina native, chose Environmental Studies and History as her majors. “In my case,” she says, “both of these disciplines appealed most to me.” She believes that both majors offered her the chance to pursue both interests. With respect to Environmental Studies, Environmental Ethics (Phil 340) and Ecological Psychology (Psych 311) were the most fascinating and rewarding classes. Additionally, doing undergraduate research was a valuable experience to further understand where her interests lie. Elizabeth mentions that several faculty members have greatly influenced her, including: Dr. Jo Koster of the English department; her adviser, Dr. Marsha Bollinger, from the Geology department; as well as Drs. Cornish, Silverman, and her other adviser, Dr. Ginger Williams, all from the History department.
Elizabeth chose Winthrop because of its diversity of undergraduate programs, because of its convenience, and because of its small-town atmosphere. As an incoming freshman, she was uncertain what passions to pursue. She says, “through a strong ACAD program, I was given the opportunity to determine which programs I liked best.”
Elizabeth states that because the Environmental Studies program encompasses a wide range of disciplines, it gives students the opportunity to discover their individual interests further. She likes the program because it can be tailored to each student’s interests. Currently, she is a member of the Winthrop Outdoor Adventure Club (WOAC), and attends large group with the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). While WOAC has given her the opportunity to experience the outdoors, RUF has, alternatively, given her the opportunity to meet new people in an inviting community atmosphere. Two years ago, Elizabeth had the opportunity to study in Greece for two weeks with a short-term program. In addition to studying about ancient Greek philosophy and art, she was able to experience Greek culture first hand. She says that, “perhaps the most memorable experience on the trip was our own swimming competition at our Olympian hotel.”
Elizabeth’s four years at Winthrop have been a transforming experience. She says that she came to live, to learn, and to grow, and now, “I feel as if I have grown. So my advice for you: seize the day and grab every opportunity you can. Challenge yourself.”
Kirsty Sanchez ’10 transferred to Winthrop her sophomore year and immediately knew it was the best decision of her collegiate career. “My first semester atWinthrop, I was assigned a project on New Urbanism and I fell in love with the subject,” she said. “Now I am at Clemson University, studying City and Regional Planning with a concentration in Environmental and Land-Use Planning.”
The Sumter, SC native participated in many opportunities to gain experience in her field through her affiliation with the Close Scholarship program, which is funded by the Springs Close Foundation. Sanchez was responsible for 112 volunteer hours each semester at Winthrop, and she completed most of her work at the Anne Springs Close Greenway, where she gained skills in being an environmental educator. “I participated in making displays for a grist mill that was constructed on the property and I also assisted in leading school groups that came to visit the Greenway,” she said. “I was even hired the summer of 2009 at the Greenway as their Nature Camp Director.”
Sanchez attributes her success to the interest her professors took in her success. “The Winthrop faculty is outstanding. The instructors have a wonderful relationship with the students,” she said. “I am looking forward to keeping in touch with them so that I can let them know where I wind up in the future.”