While she initially was attracted to MCLA because of the many outdoor activities the Berkshires have to offer, Nashua Rose '13 of Marblehead, Mass., soon found she was expanding her horizons as an enthusiastic participant on campus, as well.
"I have always been a quiet person and had to take my time before getting involved in something," Rose explained. "But, at MCLA, it was like I was comfortable with getting involved on campus even before I got here. By joining a few clubs and getting to know some of the staff, it became easier for me to get involved."
An interdisciplinary studies major with concentrations in social work and Spanish, Rose enjoys such off-campus activities as hiking, skiing, camping, as well as all that the area's lakes and rivers have to offer. She also has been involved with the LEAD Academy, the Hoosac Advisory Board, the Ski Club, and has served as treasurer of Environuts and as a peer advisor.
As a peer advisor this year, "I have enjoyed getting to know my advisees along with other peer advisors. Being an advisor has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and showed me how many leadership roles there are at MCLA," she said.
Currently, Rose is running to become a 2013 Class Senator. A future social worker, she urges other students to become active on campus because of the many opportunities that come from that involvement.
"The biggest thing I have gained since becoming involved on campus is learning how to work with others, whether it is as an e-board member or just in a group during a class," Rose said.
In January 2010, Rose took a trip that changed the course of her education when she visited Spain with her MCLA travel study class.
"I had an amazing time," she said. "What stood out to me in Spain was how much I enjoyed speaking Spanish. After Spain, I changed my majors and minors around so that I could learn more Spanish and possibly be able to immerse myself in a Spanish-speaking country for a semester."
Besides traveling to Spain and the contributions she makes on campus, Rose recently volunteered her time and efforts to a community service project in Central America, where she traveled with a group of MCLA students to Belize for an Alternative Spring Break.
During the 10-day trip, the group replanted a variety of fruit trees lost in a hurricane last year for the residents of a village that relies on them for nutrition.
"The reward of going to Belize was to be able to understand more about how people live with what they have, and how they live as simply as they do," she said. "It made me think about everything that I have and don't use."