Sarah LerchSarah Lerch graduated in 2012 and was a chemistry and physics double major from Spring Valley, N.Y. Meet more Goshen students and read their stories.


Sarah first heard about Goshen from the people she trusts most: her family. If two generations before her had enjoyed Goshen College so much, why wouldn’t she?

“My family has a history here, and I knew there was a good science program. Goshen has a lot of lab equipment for such a small school, and I knew that the size also meant professors could be attentive to each student individually.”

Just how attentive?

“I’ve been to most of their houses for meals. I know all of my profs really, really well.”


For Goshen College students, lab experience does not end on campus. Sarah knew that if she wanted even more research opportunities to prepare her for graduate school, Goshen had the connections. With a facility like Notre Dame University so close by, all she had to do was ask.

“Any student who wants more time in the lab can get it. I’ve been closely involved with lots of projects at Goshen, and this year I started working with a professor at Notre Dame. We’re doing research in nanospectroscopy, exploring technique and procedures. Most grad schools would be stunned by this kind of experience.”

In the Notre Dame lab, Sarah is the only undergraduate scientist. Learning alongside three doctoral-level research experts, she’s working towards her future.


Sarah has big dreams. Not only does she plan to attend graduate school to study material science, she wants to make a meaningful and peace-centered contribution to the world. A liberal arts education at Goshen College sealed the deal.

“Through classes like oral communication and women in literature, I’ve become better at thinking and expressing my ideas. During my Study-Service Term, I volunteered at a women’s co-op in Nicaragua where they make paper. In my career as a scientist, I want to work with materials that are environmentally friendly. It’s important to be responsible and globally-oriented.”

– written by Anna Ruth ’12, photos by Alex Pletcher ’14

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