Student Profile: Shalyn Stack
Whether she’s preparing to trek through the Amazon or wading through resources in the Alma College library, Shalyn Stack’s passion for anthropology never wavers.
“Studying anthropology helps you become a lifelong learner because it’s such a multidisciplinary field,” she says. “I can’t imagine majoring in anything else because I’d only learn a portion of what I really want to know.”
Stack is a member of Amnesty International, Forgotten Children of Eastern Europe, Climbing Club, Center for Responsible Leadership and Kappa Iota. She also has organized an Alma chapter of Lambda Alpha, the national anthropology honorary.
“Anthropology has opened my eyes and showed me how it applies to every aspect of life,” she says. “Now that it’s a major at Alma, I feel like we need to create more opportunities relating to it.”
The Clinton Township senior has gained a wealth of hands-on experience and gotten a glimpse of what her future will look like. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in ethnobotany.
“I really like studying plants,” she says. “There are so many different kinds, and they can be used for so many different things. I am especially interested in the potential medical applications of different plants and their effects on the human body.”
Stack got a head start on research when she traveled to Ecuador to study medicinal plants with an indigenous tribe in the Amazon during Spring Term.
“It’s my life dream to live with an indigenous culture in the Amazon and study plants and herbal remedies, so this trip was really a dream come true,” she says. “I’ll have lived out one of my biggest life goals at the age of 19.”