Sophie Adams '18

    Sophie Adams ’18

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    Which part of your liberal arts education at SMC has been the most valuable to you?

    Simply put, the extracurricular opportunities and the incredible people that lead them at Saint Michael’s are what got me to my career today. The opportunities to be involved in bettering the college community through the Student Association and in the Adventure Sports Center developed my interpersonal and public speaking skills, and they encouraged me to value community enrichment as a worthy career goal. Those positions and my relationships with their directors (specifically Kerri Leach, Grace Kelly, Eben Widlund, and Todd Wright) built my confidence tremendously to pursue positions and goals I never would have seen as possible in myself (e.g., ice climbing?!).

    These opportunities allowed me to prioritize a balance between my academics, my hobbies, and my passions which translated to promoting a positive work-life balance. This type of education allows students to not only get the job but get the promotion and build sustainable and thriving communities within their job environment. In the modern professional world, I truly believe that the multifaceted personalities that Saint Michael’s attracts and develops become leaders in their offices and communities, as well as more well-rounded and happier individuals. These have allowed me to pursue multiple leadership positions in a male-dominated agency, and they have helped me make connections across wide varieties of difference.

    Was there a particular lecture, course, book, professor, staff member or extracurricular activity that made an indelible impact on your career path or life, or shaped who you are now?

    Classes like Environment and Society, Philosophy of Science, Technology, and the Environment, Dialogue across Difference, and Economic Thought and Policy were foundational to my perspective and motivation to pursue a career as a public servant in a government agency that is on the frontline of the climate crisis. The imaginative and passionate professors from those classes, along with specific professors like Patricia Siplon, helped encourage me to pursue first a teaching fellowship abroad, and then a career in public service. I reference the science and community impacts from the education I received in those classes almost daily, either in briefing state emergency managers on climate change and the local impacts we can expect here in Idaho or crafting specific outreach with underserved communities to help warn of weather hazards like wildfires and winter storms.

    My Saint Michael’s education, and specifically those classes, amplified the importance of a community-based approach to solving problems, and how that can be a valid career objective to make meaning in your life, more so than just accumulating wealth or notoriety.