Tessa Currie ‘09: From Carhartts to the classroom
Each Tuesday, senior Tessa Currie goes from her work on the Landscaping Crew to a class that requires “business attire.” “I change my clothes and shoes between the two,” she says, “but often times the dirt under my fingernails stays put. I enjoy the duality.”
The West Chester, Pennsylvania, native believes that work and academics don’t get much more intertwined than that. “I live for the connections between seemingly different parts of my life,” she says.
After one semester as a freshman patrolling campus on the Public Safety Crew, Tessa found herself on the Wellness Crew for three semesters. At the beginning of her junior year, she made herself a home at the Landscaping shed next to Bryson Gym, with crew bosses Tom LaMuraglia and Bruce Willever. Renee Fortner has since stepped in for Bruce, who retired earlier this year.
Now, Tessa is the leader of the Flower Crew, a sub-crew of Landscaping. She and her fellow crew members are in charge of all the formal flowerbeds on campus, including the design of new beds and new tree plantings. “I get to design landscapes that will be here long after I graduate,” she says.
Tessa’s graceful leadership in the workplace is undeniable. “You have to show interest and motivation in what you are doing,” she says. “Otherwise, you stay on the general crew the entire time.” She says she enjoys being a part of the largest crew on campus, but enjoys even more being able to work with only two or three colleagues at a time. “We take time to get to know each other. You get to know people you wouldn’t otherwise cross paths with.”
She says, “The Work Program is an integral part of what Wilson is about. Working on Landscaping keeps me going and gives me an excuse to get my hands dirty every day.”
Tessa recently finished her Natural Science Seminar focusing on the tensile strength of Yucca filamentosa cordage. She says her bosses were very supportive as she completed her research – they even had the entire Landscaping Crew attend her presentation.
She will be graduating in May with a major in biology and minor in psychology. Tessa plans to eventually go to graduate school and teach. But for now, Tessa says, “Landscaping has given me a set of skills that makes me hirable wherever I go.”
Share your story with us! We’d love to hear how the Triad prepared you for your life’s work.
National Wildlfie Federation Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Education
WWC top school in U.S. for recycling
Warren Wilson has received yet another No. 1 ranking for its continuing efforts in campus sustainability. The latest lofty recognition comes from the National Wildlife Federation, whose National Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Education names WWC the nation’s “Leading School for Waste Reduction and Recycling.” The ranking marks the second major recognition Warren Wilson has received in 2008 for its recycling/solid waste operations, run by a 20-student crew under the supervision of Jessica Wooten. Earlier this year, the Carolina Recycling Association, comprising both Carolinas, gave its first award for Outstanding College or University Recycling Program to Warren Wilson.
Oprah selects novel by MFA graduate for Book Club
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by MFA alumnus David Wroblewski ‘98 has been chosen by Oprah Winfrey as a 2008 Oprah Book Club pick . The book is getting rave reviews, including this one by Stephen King: "I flat-out loved The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. In the end, this isn't a novel about dogs or heartland America, it's a novel about the human heart and the mysteries that live there, understood but impossible to articulate.... I don't reread many books because life is too short. I will be re-reading this one."
We hope to catch up with David for an interview soon – stay tuned.
Tune into the Swannanoa Journal
The Swannanoa Journal has been given a new day and time on 88.7FM WNCW. You can now hear Warren Wilson students broadcasting articles on local, national and global issues of sustainability – environment, economics and community – every Thursday at 8 p.m. You can also listen to The Swannanoa Journal on Asheville’s 103.5FM WPVM every Saturday at noon. If you’re not in the local listening area, you can go straight to the source to hear the radio journals.
WWC launches new athletics website
Keep up with the latest news and scores from WWC sports at the online home of the Fighting Owls: warrenwilsonowls.com