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Student Spotlight: Aly Pierik '14 | British Colombia, Canada

I arrived at COA with an interest in medicine and public health. It's been really great to take advantage of the connections that COA has.

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Student Spotlight: Erickson Smith '15 | Hyde Park, Massachusetts

Human Ecology is a perspective, not a discipline. It will remain incredibly relevant to my life because it is the way I will see the world. It has given me a habit of inquisitiveness, to question everything and not be satisfied with the first answer.

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Student Spotlight: Yuka Takemon '14 | Chiba, Japan

This is a new field, and the people working in it are pioneers. It was awesome to be part of the frontier. It was a great experience and it was reassuring to know COA helped me get there.

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Student Spotlight: Nathan Thanki '14 | Belfast, Northern Ireland

Self-direction is the practice of independent inquiry. At COA, there is self-direction with prods along the way.

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Student Spotlight: Polly McAdam '14 | Springvale, Maine

My classes made me realize what I value. I've been able to follow threads between all my courses, and further explore one idea while learning something else.

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Student Spotlight: Khristian Mendez '15 | Guatemala City, Guatemala

I have learned how to ask the right questions and be diligent about my time and choices. There are so many things you can do here, it is hard to choose.

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Student Spotlight: Lauren Benzaquen '14 | Las Vegas, Nevada

The story I'm working on is drawing from some theories by philosophers and in literature and art. I feel that at COA I had this permission to take these different courses that I've really been interested in.

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Student Spotlight: Jesse Karpinnen | Finland

Why did you choose to come to COA?It was an excellent combination of things I wanted from a college. It was close to nature and not a mainstream school. COA considers all its students individuals, rather than part of a huge institutional machinery.

Do you work on or off campus? If yes, where?I work with the marine mammal research group Allied Whale. I mainly work with Humpback Whale identification, but occasionally in the field.

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Student Spotlight: Zuri De Souza '14 | Pune, India

The professors were so knowledgeable and open-minded to the direction of individual projects. They knew the difference between guiding someone and just giving them the answer.

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Student Spotlight: Gabriela Niejadlik | Sussex, New Jersey

What country or state would you like to visit?France, India, California and Oregon. I hope to travel as much as I can.

What is your dream occupation?An artist, a writer and a photographer. Some combination of the three would be great.

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Student Spotlight: Katie O'Brien | Ann Arbor, Michigan

What do you see yourself doing after COA?Maybe going to grad school for fisheries, maybe travelling.

What is happiness to you?Being on the water

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