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Building Something Wonderful

Michelle Kramer Sherven '96

Michelle Kramer Sherven ’96, President, Western Environmental Testing Laboratory

Major: Environmental studies

What I love about my work: The people and the challenges they present! I love being a woman in this industry, too. Can’t beat playing the same game as the guys and doing it so well, they never think twice about you being a woman.

Major challenges: Keeping up with the industry changes and making sure clients are 100-percent pleased all the time.

How a Dickinson education prepared me: It instilled in me that no matter what you do, it’s important to connect, communicate and work with your surrounding community. Integration is vital to survival on all levels, and I couldn’t be more grateful I walked away with that lesson. 

Why I chose Dickinson: It has a fantastic reputation as well as location. I liked the idea of smaller, intimate classes. Plus, the campus is beautiful.

My favorite professor: Candie Wilderman, the greatest and most enthusiastic environmental-science professor!

My favorite activity at Dickinson: The field trips we went on through the geology and environmental-science departments. Nothing helps more than applying the techniques, processes and ideas learned in class than a hands-on experience.

My favorite spot on campus: The library. It kept the focus going long after my brain was ready to shut down.

What I’m most proud of at Dickinson: Walking away with an experience that made me want to do more. When I graduated, I was ready to jump into the world and build my own “something wonderful.”

What I’m most proud of today: My business and my family. Both are two of the hardest, but most rewarding, things a person can build and nurture in life. 

How I stay connected to Dickinson: I keep in touch with my classmates on a regular basis, participate in annual giving and read Dickinson Magazine.

What strive for accountability means to me: I’ve always taken every aspect of a situation into consideration. It sounds simple, but it really comes down to knowing that every action has a reaction, a consequence, and builds onto something else. Nothing truly goes unnoticed, and no deed can be undone. I can strive to make a difference, to build something meaningful, to take care of my business and my family. In order to do that, and do it properly, I have to take into account that everything I do has an effect. It’s a foundation of morals and ideals that keep me on track, focused and at personal and professional peace with everything.

Published September 22, 2010