Plaid Works

Grace Hearth: Exploring Coral Reefs in Hawaii

“My favorite part about Alma is the community it builds through commonality. We are big enough to find your niche, but small enough to come together as a whole. You hear people say Go Scots all the time like it is a greeting or send off because we are all proud to be in this great community.”

Through her studies of biology, Grace Hearth of Cadillac has been able to explore the world, and much more.

Through a recent Spring Term course, Hearth, a senior at Alma College, studied organisms of the coral reefs in Hawaii. She has also studied the Galapagos lava lizard in the Galapagos islands.  As a student leader with the Alma Alternative Breaks program, Hearth has had the opportunity to visit three other U.S. states, as well as various parts of Michigan.

“Academically, Alma has challenged me and made me feel like I am not only ready but that I will succeed in graduate school and beyond. Alma has also allowed me to brush up on skills like traveling, planning, organizing and more,” Hearth said.

Like almost half of Alma College students, Hearth participates in athletics, as a member of the Scots’ track and field team. She is a member of the Alma Student Athletic Advisory Committee, a group of student-athletes who provide insight into their own experiences, including the rules and procedures that go into sports on campus.

For the past two years, Hearth has also worked at the Alma College Chapel. She first started during her junior year as a worship coordinator, organizing services and activities, before moving up to chapel administrator and project manager this past year.

“I came into college very nervous and timid. Alma has allowed me to break out of that shell I formed, coming to a new place alone, through the different ways I am able to get involved here,” Hearth said.

“This school prepared me well for the different things I want to be able to accomplish after leaving. I started on one career path, now I’m in a totally different spot that is so fun and amazing, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Plus, it’s great waking up to bagpipes every so often; makes you miss them when you are home.”

After graduation, Hearth plans on taking a gap year, for either an internship abroad or job shadowing different veterinarians throughout the U.S. She eventually hopes to attend veterinarian school and work with exotic animals in conservation projects or nonprofit animal rescues.

“Honestly, all of this could change within the year, because the opportunities that I have been given are endless.”

Story published on January 05, 2021