It’s a well known fact that Gustavus students have a strong dedication to involvement, both up on the hill and in the greater community as well. Emma Strand is no exception to this characterization. The senior communication studies major, who hails from Woodbury, Minn. has been actively involved both on campus and off ever since the beginning of her student career as a Gustie.
Although several members of Emma’s extended family attended Gustavus, her own reasons for choosing Gustavus do not involve this legacy. Upon visiting for the first time as a high schooler, Emma had that “moment” in which she realized Gustavus was the right place for her.
While she did visit several other liberal arts colleges before making her final decision five years ago, the inviting and comfortable atmosphere on the hill, as well as the friendliness of other Gusties, played major roles in helping her come to a decision.
Emma’s involvement on campus reaches far and wide. One of her favorite responsibilities on-campus is her role as a Gustie Greeter. As a third-year Greeter, Emma describes her experience as completely positive and rewarding, and she particularly enjoys getting to know her Greeter groups each year.
“Emma is always a positive role model as a Greeter. She has such great leadership skills and really knows how to balance everything life sends her way. She was clearly a Girl Scout. Also, rumor has it she loves Dive-ing on Friday nights” fellow Greeter and Sophomore Mathematics Major Kristen Campbell said.
In addition to her role as a Gustie Greeter, Emma also participates actively in Gustavus Choir. Her experience with choir has been a great learning experience, as she had never sung in a formal choir prior to Gustavus.
“I loved singing and decided to audition, and am now very involved in it,” Emma said. While her formal experience with choir is a newfound hobby, her passion for singing has always been there: “I enjoy singing and being around music. … It has always been very relaxing for me” Emma said.
Emma also serves as the lead coordinator for Big Partner Little Partner. “It is a great program with many volunteers and participants, which is why I have invested so much time in it” Strand said.
She also works as a host in the Career Center, and she serves as a member of the Communication Studies Board.
As far as her involvement in the world beyond Gustavus, Emma has studied abroad. She traveled to London for her January Interim Experience in 2009, and she will be traveling with the Gustavus Choir to Italy this January.
The London trip, in which participants were largely from the University of St. Thomas, allowed her to get to know many new people. “Our class became very close. …We had to learn to use the Tube system together!” Emma said. Her positive experience with this trip has increased her excitement and anticipation for her trip to Italy. “It will be a different experience to be with close friends,” Emma said.
As the second semester of her senior year approaches, Emma is focusing on her future career aspirations. In the summer of 2010, the communication studies major interned with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, an experience which she enjoyed thoroughly. She is currently interested in marketing and working in the community.
There is no doubt that her participation in and experience with prominent organizations on campus, as well as her vibrant personality, will help her in her future endeavors.
“She is the greatest listener I know, and she gives the greatest advice. We often joke that she’s my life coach. She’s an extremely caring and thoughtful person,” fellow Greeter and close friend Senior Communication Studies Major Bergit Nerheim said.
Emma, who enjoys spending time with friends and socializing in the Market Place, offers some advice to her future and younger fellow Gusties: “Savor every moment, don’t be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone,” Emma said.”