His involvement on campus ranges from the Peer Assistants to the Sauna Society. He is well-versed in the customs and traditions here at Gustavus and has participated in several study abroad programs and choir trips. Adam Strand embodies the active Gustavus lifestyle.
The senior biology major and music minor was born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD, along with his two brothers, one of whom is his twin. He applied at Gustavus without knowing anything about it and chose to attend after a visit to campus. He has been actively involved on campus ever since his first year here.
Adam enjoys being a Peer Assistant, and this is his third year with the organization. “I love helping others … and the tight connections and bonds I have formed with all of the Peer Assistants,” Adam said.
The Curriculum II student is also one of the founders of the Sauna Society and currently serves as co-president. He is an active member of the Gustavus Choir and has participated in Chapel Choir and the JV Ultimate Frisbee Team.
His favorite tradition at Gustavus is Christmas in Christ Chapel. “It’s a lot of work, but it is very rewarding. I love singing with everyone, and ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ is pretty much the best thing ever,” Adam said.
Adam also completed a Research Experience Undergraduate (REU) at Washington University in St. Louis this past summer, in which he studied specific genes and their role in memory, sleep and learning. To do this extensive research project, Adam used Drosphila Melanogaster, commonly known as the fruit fly. “This meant I had to put a male and a female fly together, record them getting it on for ten minutes and then watch the video over and over again. It was a fun summer. I learned a lot to say the least,” Adam said.
Adam insists that music is his “main passion.” He’s an avid listener and has seen over 200 bands live in concert—his favorites are Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Mute Math. Adam has also attended popular music festivals like Lollapalooza in Chicago,IL, and the Virgin Music Festival in Baltimore, MD. His involvement in the various choirs here at Gustavus has taken him all over the U.S. Adam hopes to continue on with music well beyond his graduation in the spring.
As for his international interests, Adam has taken several opportunities to explore the wider world. During his sophomore January Interim Experience, Adam studied in Tanzania as part of a natural history course there. “I woke up on the seventh day of the trip to a leopard growling at me through the tent,” Adam said about his experience in Tanzania. “It was basically a safari for a month.” Adam plans to travel to India for a course on Buddhism this January.
As his senior year comes to a close in the spring and he heads off to medical school, there is little doubt that although Adam’s time at Gustavus has ended, his memories and experiences here will stay with him for the rest of his life. “I learned that this place has an excellent sense of community. Everyone cares about each other, and there is a strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork that is not found in many good schools,” Adam said.
Although the impact Gustavus has had on Adam Strand is great, perhaps the biggest impact will be that which he will leave on Gustavus.