December 11, 2008 I just finished running around campus to deliver recommendation packets to three faculty members that I've known the best since I've been at Hamilton. Most of the graduate schools I'm applying to required three recommendations (one being academic), so I had to think about who could write about the skills I've developed and the experiences I've had in college.
The first person I chose was Andrew Jillings, who is the director of the outdoor leadership program. Andrew runs the Adirondack Adventure (AA) wilderness orientation program and the outing club. I've worked as an AA leader for him and as a student intern the summer between my sophomore and junior years. Over the summer I helped run the program by getting equipment ready (which involved setting up tents, organizing hundreds of packets of macaroni and cheese, taking stock of kayaks, etc), talking to parents on the phone, organizing mountains of paperwork, and taking an occasional break for Monopoly or Indian food. I've always gone to him for advice on things ranging from how to fix my bike, to where to hike in the Adirondacks, to my thesis, to discussions on emergency medicine.
Next up was Diann Lynch, my EMT supervisor, an RN at the health center, and my mom-in-standing when I'm at Hamilton. Diann keeps all the EMT's in line and informed with constant emails about trainings, equipment, shift trades, and EMTs' Birthdays. Being an EMT and running an agency like ours requires a huge amount of upkeep and organization, and it would never happen without her. Because of her I'm constantly up-to-date and certified every which way - not to mention stocked up on candy (Diann leaves it in our office for the pick-me-up we need after 3am calls). I often stop in to chat with her about EMT updates and life happenings, and she's always there to offer a listening ear. The EMT's just had our annual Secret Santa party, complete with a sundae bar and the exchange of gifts. Although being an EMT can be hard work, Diann always supports us and rewards us at the end of the day.
I also asked for a recommendation from my Psychology 101, Marriage and Family, and Counseling professor, Kelly Landry. Kelly's classes have always been extremely interesting to me, and taking her counseling class really prompted me to look into school counseling as a career. Every semester you can always see students walking around campus carrying huge rolled-up posters to Kelly's Marriage and Family class for the famous genogram assignment. Each student in her class has to make a big genogram (essentially a family tree) documenting how people are related to each other, how close they are to each other, and something than you can trace throughout your family. Her classes always relate to real-life scenarios, and are a lot of fun. Her classes often have a lot of people in them because they are so popular, but Kelly always knows every person and has a line of people waiting to chat with her when class is over.
If you're reading this, thanks! I've always been really grateful to have this kind of support on campus and know such helpful and interesting people.