Carrie Voss ’22, Forest Lake, Minn.
Major/Minor: Environmental and Sustainability Studies; Communication Studies
Why did you choose Concordia?
I chose to attend Concordia because it provided opportunities for me to grow in all aspects of my life. I am able to learn from amazing and passionate professors in a great academic program, participate in sports, clubs, and volunteer opportunities, all while being supported and uplifted in a Christian community.
Was there a defining moment in your search process?
I remember touring other college campuses and I couldn’t help but compare those schools to Concordia. Nothing made me feel more at home or welcomed than the faculty and students I had met while touring Concordia.
What do you value most about your Concordia experience?
There are countless things about Concordia that I value. Most of all, I value being surrounded by a group of students who encourage each other to be the best we can be, whether it’s in the classroom, community, or just being involved on campus. The friends, classmates, and professors who have continuously supported and uplifted me throughout my time at Concordia are what I value the most about my experience.
How did you decide on your major?
When deciding what to major in, I reflected on my passions and interests and realized that conserving and protecting the environment was something I loved to do. After researching the majors that Concordia offered, I knew that the environmental studies program would prepare me with lab and field experience to get sent out into the world with the skills and knowledge to work and protect what I’m most passionate about.
What activities are you involved in?
I’m involved in a lot of different areas on campus. I participate in Habitat for Humanity, Women’s Tennis, Athletes in Action, intramural sports, the Concordia Outdoor Recreation Club, and Cru. I also work as a student ambassador for the Office of Admission and I am the 2021 Homecoming Committee Chair.
What led you to apply to be this year’s Homecoming Chair?
I’ve been a part of the Homecoming Committee for two years and have a deep appreciation for what it provides for our campus, students, and alumni. I gained so many experiences on the Homecoming Committee that have helped me in all aspects of life. I applied to be the Homecoming Chair because I wanted to lead the committee to create a Homecoming week where we can gather and create memories. Especially after the past year of minimal in-person events, I wanted to use my love and excitement for Homecoming, alongside 30 other students, to create a week where Cobbers can celebrate Concordia and all it has to offer.
How do you balance academics and campus involvement at the college level?
Balance? You tell me. There can be times where life gets a little hectic, but ultimately I know that one of the best things about Concordia is the ability to be dedicated to academics while also being involved in sports and clubs. In my experience, my professors and advisors have been amazing at working alongside me to make sure I can succeed in both academics and have the ability and time to succeed in my extracurriculars as well. I’ve learned how to plan out my schedule so I can see in advance if certain weeks will require extra studying. It’s still a work in progress.
Have you had a Pivotal Experience in Applied Knowledge (PEAK) opportunity and, if so, what did you learn during that experience?
Yes, my PEAK opportunities were incredible. One of my PEAKs was working with local North Dakota and Minnesota hunters and conservationists. We designed and printed informational pamphlets that allowed us to educate local hunters about how microplastics are affecting Midwest waterfowl and how they can help. Not only did this allow our group to share our research, but it allowed us to connect the link between lab research and those in the field. I learned so much throughout the PEAK and how important it is to bring awareness to the issues that we research. It gave me the experience to participate in citizen science research, which taught me skills in interacting with the public, sharing research, and getting the public interested and connected to environmental and sustainability issues.
Tell us about your role as the 2021 Homecoming Chair.
As the 2021 Homecoming Chair, my role is to lead eight different committees and to plan, organize, and lead different Homecoming festivities such as Coronation, the Homecoming Parade, and much more. I work alongside an executive team that assists in overseeing the committee, as well as helps me lead weekly meetings to guide the committee through the planning process. I work closely with the Office of Alumni Relations as well as the committee members to support them in any way they may need. Given the past year, I wanted to step into this role to plan fun events for current Cobbers but also include alumni that weren’t able to celebrate with us last year – especially because we’ll be celebrating the 100th celebration of Homecoming at Concordia College.
What is something you look forward to doing in your role as the 2021 Homecoming Chair?
I look forward to a lot of things about being the 2021 Homecoming Chair. I’m so excited to see all the hard work and determination that the Homecoming Committee has put into these events and to see that hard work pay off. I am also so excited to lead the committee alongside my executive members as we open the parade walking down Eighth Street waving Concordia flags. Walking in the parade as a senior to close out my time on the Homecoming Committee will be memorable for me. The parade was the first event I planned my sophomore year, so it has a special place in my heart.
Have you had a favorite professor or class and why?
I have loved so many of my classes and professors, but one of my favorite courses I’ve taken was a research seminar with Dr. Sweatman exploring the prevalence of microplastic ingestion in Midwest waterfowl. The small class size created a super fun and unique experience for me. Dr. Sweatman was one of the best professors I’ve had. She is so helpful inside and outside of the classroom and is invested in each of her students and wants the best for each of us and it truly shows. Overall, that seminar was one of my favorite courses I’ve ever taken at Concordia.
What has been your favorite memory so far at Concordia?
My favorite memory at Concordia so far has been on a Habitat for Humanity fall break trip out to Tacoma, Wash. We were able to serve in a variety of capacities by putting up walls of a new house, painting, shingling, and doing other tasks alongside new friends. I was humbled and encouraged by my classmates on the trip as we took time to serve the community and each other by learning alongside and supporting one another even when the workdays got long. The trip allowed me to connect with Cobbers that I had never met and come back to campus as close friends with great memories.
What advice would you give to a student considering Concordia?
If I could offer advice to an incoming student, I would say to trust your gut. It can be overwhelming at first looking at all the different schools and figuring out where you are going to spend the next four years of your life, but trust your gut and don’t let the pressures of other people sway your decision. Find a college where you feel at home and embrace all the experiences it has to offer you.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I’ll either be continuing my education at grad school or finding a job in natural resource management.
Published September 2021
Hear Carrie talk about Homecoming planning during this episode of Cobbersations: