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Colby-Sawyer Graduates Embark on Promising Journeys to Graduate School and Beyond

Colby-Sawyer’s newest alumni received their degrees at Commencement on May 9 and are already moving on to the next phases of their lives. Every Colby-Sawyer student completes at least one internship, and many grads have already accepted job offers from their internship sites. Others are locating job opportunities with the experience gained from yearlong Capstone studies, third-year community based projects, or teaching and nursing practicums. And for those pursuing advanced degrees, Colby-Sawyer’s programs in pre-law, pre-med, pre-veterinary medicine and pre-physical therapy have prepared them for graduate school. The immersive education that is the hallmark of Colby-Sawyer has prepared this year’s graduates for their next steps.

Here are just a few of the many ways members of the Class of 2015 are shaping their futures, whether through employment or graduate school. They have some advice for the incoming class, too.

English major Ge Huang from Nanchong, China, will fulfill her life-long goal and attend the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism this fall. Huang cites Colby-Sawyer’s interdisciplinary approach to education as informing her scholarship, especially her research of banned Chinese literature, which earned her the English Capstone Award.

Huang gained valuable experience in journalism while at Colby-Sawyer, serving as a reporter for the college’s student newspaper, The Courier, and the Kearsarge-Sunapee region’s weekly newspaper, The InterTown Record. “Being a journalist requires a wide range of knowledge to pull from in different situations,” Huang said. “I am very appreciative that my liberal arts education has given me a solid foundation in that arena.”

Huang studied in France, interned in Thailand and volunteered in Nepal with the Wesson Honors Program while at Colby-Sawyer. She hopes to specialize in international journalism and report on human rights issues.

Kyle Nelson, a business administration major from Milford, N.H., has accepted a job as a financial representative for Fidelity Investments, one of the largest mutual funds and financial services companies in the world. He identifies the Business Administration Department’s alumni network and Colby-Sawyer’s small class sizes as instrumental to his success. “At Colby-Sawyer, students receive individualized attention and their questions and concerns can always be heard,” he said.

Specific courses that influenced Nelson’s career choice include the Investment Management class, which visits Wall Street and oversees the Suzanne '66 and John Hammond Student Managed Investment Fund. The fund provides students with the opportunity to trade stocks and understand the workings of the market through direct experience. The fund has a current value of more than $400,000 and was named international champions in the undergraduate Value Investing category at the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) Forum III in 2013.

Nelson recommends that incoming students network: He found both his internship and position with Fidelity Investment through alumni. “Networking is key,” Nelson said. “You can build professional relationships from it and also make some friends along the way.”

Lindsey McCurry of Vernon, Conn., graduated with a B.S. in nursing and will work as a registered nurse for the medical hematology/oncology inpatient unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She attributes much of her success to Colby-Sawyer’s rigorous nursing program. The clinical rotations and simulation exercises that McCurry and all nursing students complete at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center help ensure that Colby-Sawyer remains the top-performing nursing program in New Hampshire, with NCLEX-RN pass rates that far surpass state and national averages.

McCurry advises future Colby-Sawyer nursing students to not give up. “The long hours completing coursework and studying is well worth the outcome of graduating from Colby-Sawyer’s Nursing Department,” said McCurry.

Boston College Law School and The University of North Carolina School of Law accepted Bernard Botchway, a history and political studies major from Accra, Ghana, and Botchway chose BC. He says his liberal arts education at Colby-Sawyer gave him “the latitude to explore various interests and opportunities.” AUnited Nations Fellow and president of Colby-Sawyer’s Student Government Association, Botchway attributes much of his learning to the courses he took with distinguished faculty, including a legal course taught by Colby-Sawyer President and Professor of Humanities Thomas C. Galligan Jr.

Botchway intends to practice law in the United States before transitioning to international law and policy. He has created a strict schedule for himself so that he can run for parliament in Ghana by the 2024 elections.

Child development major Paige O’Malley, from Dedham, Mass., has joined Teach for America to teach for two years at an Oklahoma City public school. O’Malley plans to apply the skills she developed during her practicums and internships at Colby-Sawyer, including her work at the Windy Hill School, the college’s early childhood laboratory school that allows child development majors to research and implement activities for young children.

O’Malley knows she brings to Teach for America firsthand experience with children, which will allow her to positively impact students from low-income families. “I feel confident in the resources and relationships I have made at Colby-Sawyer and will continue to use them throughout my time in Oklahoma,” said O’Malley.

In addition to creating meaningful relationships with her students, O’Malley will work to complete her master’s degree in the next two years.

Graduates leave Colby-Sawyer ready to build their professional careers and adult lives from the foundational opportunities the college has offered them. Many describe Commencement as an entry into the so-called “real world,” but the Class of 2015 and their ambitious plans demonstrate that the world students have been living and thriving in at Colby-Sawyer is just as real as the one they now embrace.

- Jaclyn Goddette '16

Jaclyn Goddette is an intern with Colby-Sawyer's Office of College Communications.

About Colby-Sawyer College

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. The College's faculty, staff and students strive for excellence in an engaged teaching and learning community that fosters students' academic, intellectual, and personal growth. With a strong emphasis on learning outcomes, including breadth and depth of knowledge, self-growth, creative and critical thinking, and effective communication, Colby-Sawyer prepares students to thrive post-graduation and make a positive impact upon a dynamic, diverse, and interdependent world.

Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the College's vibrant teaching and learning community at