High Impact


Playing on the men's soccer team, travel/study in the Czech Republic, and serving an environmental studies internship for the Hoosic River Watershed Association are just a few of this recent grad's high-impact experiences at MCLA.

Luke Davis '11 of Bedford, Mass., chose MCLA because of its size and the fact that the cost was within his budget. He also liked the idea of smaller classes and teacher-to-student ratios. But, the fact that he could play soccer for the College was a major plus.

"Aside from my classes, I would say playing soccer for MCLA was one of my favorite experiences," Davis said. "I have made a lot of friends through the program and I believe soccer has made me more committed and disciplined throughout my MCLA education."  

Davis began his college career unsure of what major he should pursue. After taking a variety of courses during his first semester, he decided to enter MCLA's environmental studies program.

"I have always enjoyed the outdoors and natural settings, so I decided why not chose a major that interests me in the same way," he said. "I found the environmental studies program to be pretty interesting and enjoyable.  I think the labs associated with some of the classes are very important. Being able to leave the classroom to see what you have learned about the environment - especially in the Berkshires - was extremely rewarding.  My professors made these kinds of labs interesting and educational."

Last summer and fall, Davis served an internship for the Hoosic River Watershed Association (HooRWA) in nearby Williamstown, where he surveyed culverts and bridges in the area.

"I would assess the condition of the culvert, to see if it was adequately sized for the stream, whether there was natural or manmade debris - such as branches or outlet/inlet drops - and to see if there was stream substrate within the culvert, or if it was only concrete," Davis explained. "Essentially, I looked to see how compatible the culvert/bridge was to the surrounding natural stream habitat."

The work he did was important because the data he collected will be considered if a stream crossing is reconstructed. Should a culvert need repair, it will be constructed to better allow for natural water flow and for the migration of aquatic wildlife.

While not what he envisions for a career, "As a short-term project, I found it to be very appealing and enjoyable," Davis said. "I had a great experience and I really feel as though I contributed to the organization.  I think the work reference I made with HooRWA will be very important for future employers."

Just prior to beginning this internship, Davis traveled abroad to Prague, in the Czech Republic.

"The experience was amazing," he said. "It was the first time I had been to Europe and seen another culture. I was able to travel around and see some of the historic sites. I learned some of the language and I met a number of locals. I gained a greater worldly perspective and I feel more comfortable traveling and trying new things."  

Davis graduated in December. He is considering graduate school to study wildlife biology or wildlife management.