The day after her high school graduation, Kate Hurlbut SC ’16 wasn’t hanging out with friends. She was sitting on a train headed away from her family and friends back in Arkansas, traveling toward an opportunity in Arizona through AmeriCorps to explore and conserve the state’s national parks and forests. Hurlbut rerouted trails that ran too close to native species, added drains where trails had blown out from flooding and worked to kill harmful beetles in order to save the Mexican Spotted Owl.
In addition to her work in Arizona, Hurlbut volunteered at a women’s shelter throughout her senior year. There she helped with childcare and paperwork and spent many hours talking with women, learning about spousal abuse and other struggles from people who had experienced such hardships themselves.
“I really loved being able to work with women and kids at the women’s shelter,” Hurlbut said. “I really got to know kind, brave and intelligent people through the shelter.”
Hurlbut’s passion for two very different fields embodies what Hurlbut sees as a typical Scripps student.
“My education isn’t just about one thing, and I feel like that’s really what defines people that come to Scripps,” she said.
Hurlbut’s interest in these often unassociated fields has prompted her plan to create her own major, linking her passions for environmental analysis and gender and women’s studies.