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In The Light

Caitlin Cunningham

Published: Friday, February 15, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 12:02


Caitlin Cunningham


Caitlin Cunningham, a Los Angeles native who spent the majority of her childhood in Singapore, was initially drawn to Colgate because of its east coast location.

“The overall vibe of the school was really friendly, and it was snowy—I’ve never lived in a place remotely that snowy,”Cunningham said. Now, in her senior year, Cunningham balances a concentration in Geology while remaining heavily involved in two dance groups, and also works at Cooley Science Library.

Cunningham’s academic engagement in the field of Geology has continued into the summers following both her sophomore and junior years. After her sophomore year she assisted Amy Leventer with her Antartica ice core samples. Her duties pertained to organizing ice core samples and making slides, allowing her to analyze diatoms to study climate change.

“She [Leventer] really got me interested into the research aspect of geology,” Cunningham said. The summer following her junior year, Cunningham’s research began with a six-week field camp during which she collected samples for her senior thesis with advisor William Peck. She then spent another six weeks on campus preparing the samples.\

“I spent a lot of time in the rock room, which is one of my favorite places on campus. It’s really nerdy but a lot of fun,” Cunningham said.

Outside of academia, Cunningham explained her most loved activity is Groove Dance Group.

“I was lucky enough and honored to be voted captain for senior year with one of my best friends, Oliva Marchetti,” Cunningham added. The group not only performs at Dancesfest, one of the most popular events on campus occurring at the end of each semester, but as co-captain she organizes the logistics of the entire event with the help of her fellow Groove members. Cunningham also stays busy with her participation in Kumbaa, Colgate’s hip-hop group.

As for next year, Cunningham is in the process of interviewing for jobs as an entry-level geologist at an environmental firm. She hopes to work for a firm specifically involved with remediation of hazardous wastes ideally in either Boston or Washington D.C.

“I’m especially going to miss Groove, my dance group,” Cunningham stated when asked about life after Colgate. She will also miss being surrounded by so many people who possess similar interests.

Cunningham urges students to take class and participate in groups that truly interest them.

“I’ve devoted the most time to things that I really love,” Cunningham said. 

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