Andrew Virnig, former captain of the Saint Michael's Fire Squad and a 2013 graduate of the college, was named Saint Michael's College Admission Counselor. He began work in mid-July.
"I was attracted to this job for the same reason I was attracted to the college as a student - Saint Michael's helped me step out of my shell and become a leader," Virnig said. "I want to give that experience to future students, help them find the right fit, which for me was Saint Michael's College."
Virnig, who graduated with a degree in psychology, will be a recruiter for the college, travelling to his home state of Minnesota, as well as to Maine, Western Massachusetts and parts of Connecticut to tell the Saint Michael's story. He will also plan travel for other recruiters, attend college fairs, visit high schools, and read applications of prospective students during application season.
Virnig, the son of Lorilee and Michael Virnig of Minnetonka, MN, graduated from Minnetonka High School as an AP Scholar before coming to Saint Michael’s. He was named recipient of the SMC Sutton Scholarship for 2012 and 2013, for service to the community, demonstrated leadership in Fire & Rescue, and successful academic achievement.
Virnig was not only Captain of the Fire Unit, he was also a leader in the Saint Michael's Wilderness Program. As such he passed the exacting tests to become a Wilderness First Responder and took the AMGA Rock-climbing program for Single Pitch Instructors (SPI). He led students on climbing and hiking, rock-climbing and snow shoe expeditions. He was a cross-country runner in high school, did snowboarding, skiing and biking, but he became a dedicated climber and hiker through his experience in the SMC Wilderness program.
Saint Michael's Fire Squad Captain
As Fire Captain, Virnig had a range or responsibilities which amounted to a 40-hour a week commitment, making sure all the shifts were covered, 24/7 and 365 days a year, organizing training of the squad members, and more. He represented the unit at New England Chief conferences, where he learned that the Saint Michael's Fire Squad was one of the only college squads that covered a wide range of territory, not just their campuses. The Saint Michael's fire program covers Winooski and Colchester, and cooperates with other towns in the county. He will continue to participate in the Fire Squad as much as time allows.