Environmental Studies

Shalyn Stack

My hometown when I was a student was

Clinton Township, MI

I graduated in

2014

I studied

Anthropology and Environmental Studies

I currently live in

Alma, MI

I am now

AmeriCorps*VISTA at Delta College

Since graduating from Alma

Right after graduation, I went to Ghost Ranch, New Mexico for two weeks and took a water color painting class. I think it was a really good way to unwind after being in college for four years. When I returned, I took a job in Ann Arbor working for a non-profit on an environmental campaign. It was just a summer job, but they had offered me a position in the fall. It wasn’t what I wanted to do and I was keeping my options open.

I applied for a variety of different AmeriCorps*VISTA positions that would begin in the fall. I was offered a VISTA position at Delta College, where I would be the program director of a mentoring program called Public Achievement. I now split my time between Delta College and Washington Elementary in Bay City as an AmeriCorps*VISTA. Public Achievement (PA) is a program that empowers youth to be active in their community through civic engagement and public service. Delta College students act as mentors to the elementary students, teaching them leadership, problem solving and critical thinking skills

My Alma education

One thing I took from Alma is the ability to think critically. I think my liberal arts education enabled me to look at a situation, analyze it, mold it and then formulate my own opinion or solution. My education wasn’t just learning from a textbook, and that’s something that I really appreciate. Alma taught me to be innovative, which has helped me when working with college and elementary students.

My favorite place(s) on campus included

the DOW Greenhouse, the Clack Art Center, the Library, the Theta Chi fraternity house and my sorority house, Kappa Iota. 

My favorite professors(s) included

The professors that inspired me the most were: Dr. Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund, Prof. Murray Borrello and Dr. Dana Aspinall

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

Some of my most vivid memories from Alma were the travel spring terms in which I enrolled. I went on three travel spring terms during my time at Alma. My first when I was a sophomore and we went to Ecuador. The second when I was a junior and we went to Peru and my third, when I was a senior and we went to Germany and Poland.

Another transformative memory from Alma was when Dr. Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund and I developed an Anthropology club and a chapter of the Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honorary Society on campus. I was president of the Anthropology Club for two years, and it was amazing to see it develop!

My off-campus study experience(s) included

I was fortunate enough to be able to do three travel spring terms. Every experience was very different, but  equally enriching. On my last spring term, my class went to Germany and Poland to study the Holocaust and Cold War in Berlin. We went to Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of the largest concentration camps during the Holocaust. It was a very surreal experience for me. My family is from Poland, and I actually had eight family members die at Auschwitz during WWII. I felt so lucky to have been able to have that experience; it was unlike anything I have ever done in my entire life, and I probably wouldn’t have had that experience if it wasn’t for Alma