Senior KC Collins is highly engaged on campus as a double major in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education (WLEE) and Environmental Studies with minors in Geology and Ecology. From Marietta, GA KC is also a midfielder on the BC Tornados Women’s Lacrosse team. She received 1st Team West Division from USA South in the 2021 post season and was honored by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association, earning a spot on the Division III Academic Honor Roll.
When Coach Kristin Rosato reached out to KC, inviting her to visit campus, KC was drawn to Brevard College because of the sense of connection and attention she received during the admissions process. She said, “I remember applying and then getting a personal phone call from my Admissions Counselor a few days later to let me know I’d been accepted. She called me probably once a month until I arrived on campus and I didn’t receive that level of care or attention from any other school.” Another draw was the beauty on and around campus, especially King’s Creek and the surrounding mountains. KC said, “It’s hard to not get a good view on campus!”
As a student in the WLEE program, KC was influenced most by the Immersion Semester where she learned more about herself as a member of a group and as a leader. She said, “There are few experiences quite like the Immersion Semester and all the hard work and expeditions are incredibly formative for skills, leadership, and teaching ability. I frequently draw on my experiences that semester in my current classes, work, and athletics.”
KC welcomed the challenge of becoming an undergraduate Teaching Assistant for several classes where she takes on a great deal of responsibility. This role also allows Collins to work with WLEE professor, Dr. Will Hobbs and other professors from around the country on a research project conducting a census of outdoor academic programs in the U.S. They recently presented their research at the 15th biennial Coalition for Education in the Outdoors Research Symposium in Black Mountain, NC and have submitted manuscripts for publication to the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership. Collins co-lead with Professor Ryan Degarmo this semester’s Immersion course on a 5-day sea kayaking trip off the coast of South Carolina and upon graduating will serve as Expedition Intern for Dr. Jennifer Kafsky’s upcoming Voice of the Rivers Intensive Learning course on the Haw and Cape Fear Rivers. KC is grateful for the support and dedication of her professors. She said, “It’s so clear that they care about you as an individual and want you to get the most out of your time at Brevard, and will go out of their way to make sure it happens. I don’t think I would have been able to be a part of all of these opportunities and manage academics and athletics at most other schools.”
After graduation and the Voice of the Rivers expedition, KC’s next steps include serving as Assistant Outdoor Adventure Director at Falling Creek Camp in Zirconia, NC, a role she is well prepared for because of the experiential education at Brevard College. Collins said, “Both majors trained me in key skills and knowledge that will propel me into the field I land in. Through the WLEE program, I’ve lived my passion for adventure sports and learned how to turn that into a career. Through the Environmental Studies major, I’ve taken a deep dive into science and learned about how all the organisms that make up the natural world interact with each other. I’m passionate about both majors and am prepared for a wide range of career opportunities. I’ve been so lucky to call Brevard home for four years.”