For Erin Solley, this year is shaping up to be one that is picture perfect, quite literally.
The junior sport management major is documenting her 2012 college experience, one frame at a time, one day at a time.
As part of her “365 photos” project, which started New Year’s Day, Erin is uploading online one photo that summarizes the essence of each day of her life for a full year. “So far, I have photos of the things I do in my daily activities and of my family and friends,” she says. “The day I got my wisdom teeth out, for example, I took a picture of my dog resting his head on my lap, looking up at me with a sympathetic expression.”
Considering all of Erin’s extracurricular activities, the photos of her upcoming days will likely capture her wearing a myriad of different hats. “I am trying to get the most from my time on campus — to meet and connect with as many people as I can, hear a wide range of viewpoints, and put myself out there in personal relationships,” she says.
Strong work, on and off campus
One of the many things that attracted Erin to Alvernia in the first place was Alternative Breaks, a program that organizes weekend and week-long service and immersion trips for students to help the undeserved. This summer, as part of Alternative Breaks, Erin and six fellow students and a staff site leader will don construction gear and head for a week-long retreat in rural Appalachian West Virginia, where they will help impoverished homeowners whose houses are in need of repair.
“In preparation, we are asking how much experience we all have with power tools, because we know we definitely will be doing some hands-on construction work,” Erin laughs.
Erin does a lot of hands-on work on Alvernia’s campus as well. As special events committee chair of the Campus Activities Board, she attends the National Association of Campus Activities conference and helps select the coffeehouse singers, comedians, novelty speakers and other specialty acts that perform for students.
She also plays field hockey, helps educate first-year students on preventing sexual assault through a new health and wellness peer sexual assault prevention group and represents the class of 2013 as a student government class representative. All while juggling a part-time job at a local restaurant.
“Goals” for a bright future
The secret to Erin’s success? Effective time management. “There are a lot of things that interest me, and in order for me to get a chance to do all of them, I need to be organized and stay on top of it all,” she says. “I work ahead of time, and I would be lost without my planner, where I write down all my plans and assignments.”
After her 365th photo has been snapped and her rich college days at Alvernia come to a close, Erin plans to take her zest for life into a career in the communications aspect of sport management, possibly after attending graduate school. “I would like to do public relations or event planning in the sport field; I really want to work in the National Hockey League,” she says. “I am a huge Flyers fan. I play field hockey, and I wish I could play ice hockey.”
Erin’s advice for young students aspiring to build an undergraduate resume as impressive as hers: “get involved with as much as you can outside the classroom,” she says. “You will learn so much more.”
— Elizabeth Shimer Bowers