A service trip to Zambia inspired Kirsten Walsh ’17 to study international environmental issues. A year later, she was running in an ultra-marathon to help raise funds for clean-water programs in Ethiopia and traveling to Rwanda to teach English to officers in the Rwandan Defense Force. Learn more about this environmental-science major and ROTC member, from the trip that started it all to her thoughts on letting go, and discover her study-abroad blog.
Clubs and organizations:
Alpha Lambda Delta.
On choosing a major:
In 2012 I took a service trip to Zambia, [where I worked to] help provide access to clean drinking water. I have been interested in international environmental issues ever since. Environmental science at Dickinson is such an interdisciplinary subject; I really enjoy [learning about] different perspectives on managing natural resources.
On choosing Dickinson:
I chose to attend Dickinson because here, I’m able to pursue all of my interests and I am not defined by just one thing. Initially, I was drawn to Dickinson because of its field hockey and Army ROTC programs, but since my first year, I’ve discovered a love for my classes, Peddler coffee and exploring the Carlisle area.
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
Love Actually ... Notting Hill ... anything British!
Having the opportunity to run an ultra-marathon with my friend Daren Wendell to raise money for clean-water projects in Ethiopia. Daren had been running across the U.S. for his campaign, so my 28.5 miles was just a drop in the bucket for him!
As a kid, I wanted to be …
When I was in elementary school, my dad was stationed in Hawaii, so naturally, I wanted to be a dolphin trainer.
After graduation, I hope to commission as an officer in the U.S. Army. I’d love to incorporate my science degree and be stationed somewhere overseas!
I’m a pretty avid painter/doodler/crafter. I love making artwork for my friends.
In a perfect world …
… everyone would have the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures. Also, there would be an abundance of dark chocolate and coconut water.
Most important thing I’ve learned so far:
It’s OK to move on. This past fall I had an untimely back injury that required me to stop playing field hockey. Though it was a difficult decision, my experience with it was unforgettable, and leaving the team opened many new doors, including running an ultra-marathon and the opportunity to study abroad in Copenhagen.
What I did this summer:
Last June I traveled to Rwanda through the Army ROTC Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) program. My team taught English to their officers in the Rwandan Defense Force. I was the team’s Public Affairs Officer and documented our team’s mission with photography and several articles.
What I'm doing now:
This semester I am studying abroad in Denmark through the Danish Institute of Study Abroad (DIS). I was selected to represent the Environmental Science of the Arctic Program as an official student-blogger for the semester, and my blog is featured on DIS’s website for prospective students, study abroad advisors, etc.
Published September 24, 2015