Kimmy Kraeer Barron '07
I work as a Marine Mammal Trainer at the National Aquarium. This was my dream since I was in grade school and it took an incredible amount of hard work to get here, but I've been with the aquarium since 2007 and the dolphins are my family. I love communicating and building relationships with a different species, and the bonds I've formed with these animals are the highlight of my career. I also love getting to share my knowledge with guests, teaching people about these amazing ambassadors for their species and inspiring them to care for our oceans!
I think I took every class Dr. Connaughton offered, but my favorite was the two-week long ecology of coastal Maine course. We stayed at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Acadia, and each day we were outside hiking, exploring tide pools, and learning about the unique ecology of the region.
Fondest WC Memory
It's impossible to choose just one! I have so many amazing memories of being on the swim team throughout college; some of my teammates are still my closest friends. Being able to experience so many different things on campus was also a plus — I was active not only on the swim team but also in theater (I might have been the only Bio major who was in Writers' Theater and Riverside Players), Campus Christian Fellowship, and the Student Environmental Alliance.
Let’s Hear It for the Liberal Arts
The skills I acquired on the swim team definitely didn't hurt! I use so many things I learned in college — hard skills like a solid background in biology and the ability to effectively communicate through writing, but also softer skills like teamwork, setting and meeting goals, and time management.
Enjoy the learning process! Seriously, once you graduate you have to actively seek out learning opportunities if you want to continue to learn about the world around you. I never thought much about it at the time (we've been in school all our lives!), but having an expert share their knowledge with you is an incredible experience. Easy to take for granted in college, but definitely missed once classroom style learning becomes something you don't experience on a regular basis anymore.