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Profiles

Erin Koster

Class of 2007
Major/Minor: History & American Studies/Secondary Education Certification

Being on the crew team it taught me time management skills as a student athlete, gave me the ability to be a leader and more than anything how to work as a team. All of these skills are ones I’ve used post college and I think having the experience as a collegiate athlete has always been an asset as employers know the dedication and commitment that it took.

How has your liberal arts education influenced you? How do you apply your LAE in your current career?

I work on the program design and curriculum for about 20 career & leadership programs for students and my my liberal arts education has been instrumental. While everyday is different, I am collaborating with colleagues or partners, running training sessions, working with our marketing team on special events and helping to draft curriculum across multiple career interests. Washington College’s focus on writing and speaking in their classes might have pushed me slightly outside of my comfort zone at first, but as a teacher and running programs for over 300 students I’ve become much more comfortable speaking to large audiences.

A big part of the projects I work on for our programs are related to college and career success and while working on developing these lessons I’ve truly been able to appreciate my liberal arts education especially the small classes, ease in scheduling classes, ability to double major & study abroad and have personal relationships with my professors.

Who was your favorite faculty/staff member? Story?

How can I pick just one? I had so many wonderful professors and mentors while at WAC. A few I’d like to mention are Dr. O’Connor in the education department, Dr. Wilson in the History Department, Adam Goodheart at the C.V. Starr Center and Mike Davenport the Rowing Coach.

One of my favorite classes was Adam Goodheart’s Chestertown’s America. I absolutely loved learning more about Chestertown and the Eastern Shore though this hands on and very interactive class. I’ve always loved experiential learning and currently work for a organization that promotes that and this class was an immersion into the local community. The history major in me loved going to the county records through the local records reading old wills and estate probates from the 1800s, creating arguments for habeaus corpus court case for Judge Carmichael and most importantly doing research on the Chestertown Tea Party for my final paper. Adam used some of my research for an essay he wrote that was published in The American Scholar on did the Chestertown Tea Party actually happen or is it just local lore. His hands on history approach and mentorship made a lasting impact as did so many of my professors. I am truly grateful for the relationships I had with my profess ors and the advice and opportunity they gave me.

What is your favorite Washington College memory?

I guess since I can’t just say all 4 years, I would have to go with a memory from senior year when I felt like the phrase student athlete was the theme of the day. I was a coxswain on the women’s rowing team and we had the Caspersen Cup Regatta, was home on the Chester River and Washington College’s Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society was also hosting the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. Luckily timing worked out with the regatta in the morning where I was able to cox the Women’s V8 and V4 where we won both races and then the conference was able to schedule the panel I was to appear on in the afternoon so I could present a paper related to my thesis on Irish Domestic Servants in the United States. The best part was since I wasn’t able to be at the regatta awards ceremony , my friends on the crew team brought me my medals for after my presentation!

That day with both victories in the water and in presenting at an academic conference highlight to me the magic of Washington College the ability to be highly involved in many aspects of campus.

 Did your Senior Capstone Experience (or thesis project) have a major influence on your future career or your personal growth? If so, please explain what your SCE entailed and how it influenced who or where you are today.

My Senior Capstone Experience had a major impact on me post college. I wrote my History & American Studies thesis on Irish American domestic servants in the United States. The Comegys Bight Fellowship also helped with my research and being able to visit archives. After WAC I went to Ireland and completed a MA in Irish History with a focus on the Irish Diaspora at University College Cork. While I’m not actively doing historical research those skills have been instrumental in any of my jobs!

 

Campus Involvement
  • Coxswain - Women’s Rowing & Captain Senior Year
  • Zeta Tau Alpha
  • Phi Alpha Theta
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Comegys Bight Fellow
  • Study Abroad: University College Cork
  • Admissions Tour Guide
Sports

Women’s Rowing

 

How did your experience in Athletics influence your college experience?

 Being a member of the crew team was a huge part of my college experience. As a coxswain I was the little, feisty person who lead the boat, both in terms of steering and being the voice that told the rowers what to do. I wouldn’t trade the 4 years of early morning practices, cold spring mornings on the Chester, amazing victories, upsetting losses and wonderful teammates for anything. Being on the crew team it taught me time management skills as a student athlete, gave me the ability to be a leader and more than anything how to work as a team. All of these skills are ones I’ve used post college and I think having the experience as a collegiate athlete has always been an asset as employers know the dedicated and commitment that it took. 

Graduate School

University College Cork - Cork, Ireland MA: Historical Research-Irish Diaspora



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