• Talented Actor

    Finds Role in Medicine

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  • Finding Your Future at Berry

    Speaking Your Mind

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  • Heads to Grad School

    Physics Major

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An environmental trailblazer in California

As the assistant deputy director for climate and energy at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Angie Lottes ’09 plays a pivotal role in fighting catastrophic wildfires on the West Coast. A love for the natural world, intellectual drive and work opportunities at Berry laid the foundation to this challenging—and rewarding—career.

When Angie began her freshman year at Berry, she started off in biology. But she soon discovered her interests more closely aligned with environmental science and tailored her courses to pursuits that would expose her to ecological studies and concerns. While diving into academic work, Angie got hands-on experience in ongoing campus endeavors like the Longleaf Pine Project, which seeks to re-establish a fire-maintained Mountain Longleaf ecosystem. She participated in the maintenance of frequent controlled (prescribed) burns that reduce the likelihood of wildfires in managed areas.

“For me, having classes on the edge of a huge native forest and fire ecology lab was transformational,” Angie says. “In addition to learning technical skills that I could use in future jobs like how to mix and spray herbicide, scratch fire lines, fill and use a drip torch, or prepare solutions for lab experiments, I also observed important processes like preparing prescribed fire plans and other management processes. This was useful in applying for jobs after graduation in terms of understanding opportunities and filling my resume, and also in understanding what work in the land management sector would entail.”

Professor of Biology Martin Cipollini, who championed Angie’s career interests, supervised her work on the Longleaf Pine Project and the prescribed burn team. “Angie is a great person and was instrumental in helping me get my Longleaf Pine Project off to a good start,” he says. “She was really enthusiastic and a hard worker in the field.”

After graduating from Berry, Angie worked on prescribed fire crews with the Nature Conservancy and earned a master’s degree in environmental systems from Humboldt State University. Additional studies and work with the Watershed Research and Training Center in California took her to the next level and her role as an environmental steward with CAL FIRE.

Angie offers advice for future Berry students: “Get out and travel. Not only will it help you interact better with the world, it may make you appreciate your Berry experience even more.”

Theatre star is set to succeed

In October, the Berry College Theatre Company competed at the Southeastern Theatre Conference Professional State Audition Screenings. Out of almost 300 auditionees, Berry student Hannah Avery received the highest score.

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Political science grad raises the bar at Berry and beyond

Like many college students, 2015 graduate Amanda Petersen Barney came to Berry with a plan. She entered as a communication major with the intent of becoming a journalist, but after taking several political science and government classes she discovered a real interest in the law. Now, Amanda works as an associate attorney with Becker & House, PLLC in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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A picture perfect start for this small business owner

2019 grad Mary Thrailkill is a small business owner with a big passion for art. As the founder and artist behind Mary Thrailkill Art & Design, she spends her time creating beautiful paintings and illustrations that inspire an appreciation for the world around us.

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Combining a love of nature and a passion for people

For as long as 2018 grad Emmie Cornell can remember, she has loved learning about the environment. It’s only natural that her chosen career path would take her to a nonprofit in West Virginia where she currently works as the watershed manager for the Friends of Blackwater conservation organization.

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Serving on and off the court

Berry alumna Sarah Steffan wasn’t one to limit herself. Instead, she found the common thread in all of her interests: a dedication to improving the lives of others.

“I know my path seems scattered or unconventional, but the driving force behind my changes has always been people,” Sarah said.

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Finding purpose in fellowship

Recent graduate Kevin Grier was never one to sit still.

As a business management major, he gained real-world experience through a variety of positions at Berry. He worked for Viking Furniture, Enrollment Management, Residence Life, the Cage Center, and Physical Plant.

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Communication grads keep the ball rolling

Berry College Athletics’ dynamic duo, Adekale Ande and Bryce Koon, found parallel paths after graduating in 2019.

Adekale accepted an offer to work as an athletic communications graduate assistant at Lenoir-Rhyne University. He is also pursuing a Master of Arts degree in University Leadership. He feels at home in his new position thanks to his work and involvement at Berry.

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Disney dreams do come true

Being surrounded by 27,000 acres of idyllic forests, pastures, and castles of our own, it’s hard for anyone to lose their love for fairy tales and the wonders of imagination here at Berry. 2019 graduate Ally Smith used her passion for the Walt Disney Company and the resources provided by Berry to turn her desire to work for the Mouse into a reality.

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Sarah Sprague aces Berry

Just days after graduating from Berry in May, Sarah Sprague picked up her life and moved to Miami, Florida. There the exercise science major/psychology minor is now pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.

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