Five Minutes with Erin Pavloski ‘13, Visiting Assistant Professor of Natural and Physical Sciences

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Professor Erin PavloskiErin Pavloski ’13 recently joined the OC faculty to serve as visiting assistant professor of natural and physical sciences. While she is new to the College’s faculty, she has been a member of the College family for years, earning her degree in environmental science and biology and graduating among the top five in her class. She then earned her master’s degree in fisheries and wildlife and a graduate certificate in community engagement.

Professor Pavloski currently teaches courses that satisfy the College’s science experience requirement in its liberal arts curriculum, including environmental science. She greatly values natural resource education, outreach and collaboration, and she looks forward to helping students develop skills in the classroom and gain in-field experiences that will benefit them in their future careers. Embracing the College’s tenet to Be More and Do Good, Professor Pavloski hopes to inspire each student in her classes to think globally and act locally.

Why do you love The University of Olivet?
There are so many reasons why I love The University of Olivet, but I think the freedom you have in creating your own experience as a student here is at the top of the list. Through OC’s liberal arts curriculum, you’re able to take classes that interest you, but you may not have thought of taking before. For me, that included Poetry Writing with Professor Kirk Hendershott-Kraetzer; I hadn’t written many poems before, but it turned out to be very enjoyable. There are also many clubs and organizations to join on campus, and if there is one that you want to create, you can do it! If you make the most of that freedom, join clubs, and go to campus events, you’ll have a great experience here at OC.

What is your favorite memory from your time at OC?
My favorite memories were made with my now-husband, Daine Pavloski ’13, and the lifelong friends we found here. Even after graduation, being able to visit their new towns and be there for important life moments like seeing them get married has been so much fun! All of these great times in our lives were possible because of OC.

What is your teaching style like?
I really want students to make connections not just to the course material, but the world around them. I work to use real-world or local examples and get students out in the field whenever possible. Especially in environmental science, I hope that each student embraces the concept of, “Think globally, act locally,” and makes conscious changes in their own life to help our planet.

What do you encourage students to attend OC?

Professor Erin Pavloski '13 with her husband and fellow The University of Olivet professor, Daine Pavloski '13.
Professor Erin Pavloski ’13 with her husband and fellow The University of Olivet professor, Daine Pavloski ’13.

In my opinion, there truly is no other place like The University of Olivet. If you’re looking for a college experience that really feels like a community, OC is the place for you. You are not going to fade away into a crowded lecture hall — you will know your professors and other students in your classes.

The liberal arts education that includes service learning and the The University of Olivet Compact is so important and valuable because it’s beyond career preparation, it helps you become a well-rounded person. At OC, you can pursue your interests with the support of faculty and staff that are there to help you succeed whenever you need them. The overall experience I had at OC has served me well and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

What advice do you share with students?
Always ask questions and seek out new opportunities to follow your career interests. An adviser told me once when I was seeking internship experiences, “The worst that can happen is ‘no,’ and really how bad is that?” So what if you ask or apply and they say yes? You never know where an opportunity may lead you or how it can change your life later down the road.

What do you look forward to in your role?
Although I am very new to my role here at OC, I look forward to helping students connect to those career-building opportunities. I learned a lot about what I truly wanted to do with my life (and what I really didn’t — also extremely useful) from my experiences when I was at OC, and I hope that current students will do the same.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?
I have farming families on both sides, so I grew up pulling garden tractors and throwing hay bales each summer! There is also a Michigan Centennial Farm in my family (established in 1881), which is really special to us. I also love being outdoors and near the Great Lakes — I grew up a Yooper on the east side, so I could get to Superior, Michigan, or Huron within 30 minutes. Grand Marais along Lake Superior and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are probably my favorite places in Michigan. My husband and I were married there in a pine forest — nothing better!

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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