Joanna Epp, who graduated in 2016 with an environmental science major and a Spanish minor, is truly an interdisciplinary student. She is a viola player, a co-leader of EcoPAX and a member of the women’s tennis team.
What do you like most about Goshen and why?
I love the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of activities. Even though I’m studying the sciences, I still have the opportunity to play tennis, be in the orchestra and even work in the accounting department! Having worked in a variety of departments at the college, I feel like I have a more comprehensive view of GC and a greater appreciation for the amazing faculty and staff.
Why did you choose to come to Goshen College?
I visited Goshen with a friend who was very interested in GC. That visit put Goshen on my radar, even though I didn’t think I’d end up here. However, I took a year off between high school and college and during that time I came to realize that what I was really looking for was a smaller school. I really liked Goshen’s core values and the friendly atmosphere at GC, so I decided GC was the right school for me. I’ve been very happy with this decision.
How has Goshen College influenced your faith or worldview?
The classes I’ve taken have challenged me to think through and really take ownership of my faith and worldview. There are so many wonderful people at GC who love to discuss faith and big ideas, which has helped me to really grow in my faith. During my freshman year, I got connected with a church in Goshen through a friend on my floor. I’ve now been attending this church for over two years and have slowly gotten more involved, and I really enjoy it.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
I love learning about the environment and being outdoors, which is one of the main reasons I chose to study environmental science. On the other hand, I also love baking and culinary arts in general. My big dream is to open a sustainable bakery, combining my two interests. The cool thing about a liberal arts degree is that I’m learning a lot beyond just environmental science, so I feel OK being uncertain about my future.
What advice would you give a prospective student?
It’s so important to figure out what qualities are most important to you in a college and seek those out. If I hadn’t taken a year off and realized what was important to me, I’d probably be at a big university that wasn’t right for me at all. I also think that everyone should get involved in clubs and extracurricular activities. I’ve had such a positive and meaningful experience getting involved in activities beyond just classes.
What is an influential experience you’ve had outside the classroom?
I would say one of the most influential experiences I’ve had while at GC is becoming part of the larger Goshen city community. I think it is so awesome that there is such a supportive and cool community outside of the college, and I love how friendly everyone is!
What are you looking forward to?
I’m headed to Peru on Study-Service Term in the spring semester and I’m really excited. Since I spent time abroad in voluntary service before college, I already know how much I love it, so I am really looking forward to this opportunity.