This week’s Gustie of the Week is an involved student on campus, a friendly face and ambitious senior Rachel Belvedere.
Gustavus has been a family school for Belvedere and she wasn’t sure if she would have her own narrative with such a family legacy, but all of this changed once she visited campus.
“I wanted to have college be an experience I defined, and I wasn’t sure if that would happen at the school that my parents, aunts and grandma had all attended. But once I toured Gustavus, sat in on a class and talked with professors, I knew this was a community I wanted to be a part of. I remember feeling at home with so many friendly faces and feeling the excitement of opportunities on campus and beyond,” Belvedere said.
Belvedere is a Geography and Environmental Studies double major who is greatly involved on campus.
“Over my [four] years at Gustavus I have been involved with Gustie Greeters, the Environmental Action Coalition, Feminist Bible Study, Multifaith Leadership Council, Gustavus Women in Leadership, The President’s Environmental Sustainability Council, and intramural hockey. I’ve also cherished my involvement with music, I played french horn my first year, the Nobel Conference, and Habitat for Humanity,” Belvedere said.
Belvedere is admired by many students on campus, especially her closest friends.
“One of my favorite qualities about Rachel is how selfless she is. She truly gives her all to the things and people she loves,” Senior Amy Rose said.
Belvedere is also known for her supportive nature and determined mindset.
“Everything she does is with the intention of helping other people. She also is incredibly encouraging. She has been my biggest fan and supports me in everything I do, pushes me to work hard and try new things, and lifts me up when I’m down. Something else I admire about her is her passion and drive. She is one of the hardest working and most dedicated people I know. Having her as my best friend has been one of the biggest blessings and I know so many others feel the same,” Rose said.
“What makes Rachel a great “Gustie of the Week” is how much she cares about this campus and the people here. She cares deeply about the people and organizations of the school now, and wants to see them be successful in the future. Her desire to help make a difference in any way she can is apparent in her presence at Gustavus. Her love for this school is far-reaching and long lasting; and we’re lucky to have a Gustie like her around,” Rose said.
Gustavus has been a place where Belvedere has felt part of the community and connected to her fellow classmates.
“I love the passion and connectedness of the Gustavus community. I am continually impressed by professors and staff that invest in my education and holistic wellbeing as well as friends and peers that challenge me to work collaboratively and inspire me to pursue justice in the world. I’m grateful to be connected to so many amazing Gusties – past, present, and future,” Belvedere said.
“One of my fondest memories at Gustavus that I believe informed a lot of things I did throughout my time here was being a part of Siri Erickson’s Science and Religion [First Term Seminar] class my first semester. This class challenged me to ask questions, awakened my passion for interfaith work, and gave me a space to reflect on things that are important to me, including spirituality, science, and feminism. Siri will always be one of my greatest mentors – she introduced me to different ways of knowing (like process Theology) and has inspired me with her true leadership and care for others,” Belvedere said.
As for post-graduation, Belvedere is interested in combining her interests to work for a company that supports environmental sustainability.
“I am really interested in the intersections of sustainable food systems, climate change, and migration. I would love to work with an organization that’s working in one or all of these areas,” Belvedere said.