Shannon Coulson ’15 is taking advantage of all Central has to offer. A biology and mathematics double major, Coulson’s time at Central has been packed with activity. She’s studied abroad in Wales, traveled to Belize and Costa Rica for a tropical ecology course and has been an SOS leader, softball player, sports information assistant and dance team member.
“Does it make it more difficult sometimes? Definitely. Are there nights when I don’t get very much sleep? Definitely. But I don’t regret it at all. It’s been totally worth it,” says Coulson.
While Coulson didn’t expect to be so involved when she first arrived at Central, being a softball player was her plan from the beginning. Going to the Division III national championships was a highlight of her career, and she also made the Academic All-Iowa Conference team twice. However, being on a team with phenomenal coaches and players is what she’ll miss most after leaving Central.
“Coach George (Wares ’76) is unbelievable in his ability to coach our team and his knowledge of the game,” says Coulson. “I love being on a team that’s so committed to working toward its end goals.”
But one sport wasn’t enough for Coulson. This year, she tried out for the dance team and made it. Although she has been a dancer since age three, Coulson decided to give up dance in college to focus on softball and academics. That all changed after a semester abroad in Wales. Not only did she have the time of her life while studying in Wales, but being abroad allowed her to participate in activities she didn’t think she had time for at Central. It didn’t take much to persuade Coulson to join the dance team, and she returned from Wales with a reignited passion for dance.
While she said she enjoys dance just as much as softball, being on the dance team has allowed Coulson to express herself in different ways.
“Dance has always been an outlet for my creative side. I wouldn’t consider myself a creative person, but dancing is how I express myself,” she says.
Coulson hopes to pursue a career in genetics and evolutionary medicine. She may even return to Wales to work with the company where she has interned during the past three summers, Kemin Industries.
“I’m nervous,” says Coulson. “I don’t want to leave all of my friends here, but I’m really excited, too. I’m ready to move on and see what else is out there.”