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Fresh faces from the Class of 2017

Erynne Van Zee: a renaissance woman

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 03:01


Courtesy of Erynne Van Zee

Newly accepted Jumbo Erynne Van Zee’s interests include cello, Spanish and environmental activism.

While many high school seniors have their sights set on Tufts, only a small number of students received acceptance letters to join the Class of 2017 in the first round of Early Decision on December 15.

One of these incoming freshmen, Erynne Van Zee, cannot wait to join her class and the Tufts community this fall. Van Zee, who hails from Corvallis, Ore., decided on Tufts because of the strong support she expects from students, administrators and faculty in anything she decides to pursue on the Hill.

“I identified with the individual passions of each student in a collaborative pursuit for local and global impact,” Van Zee told the Daily in an email. “When I visited, everyone I talked to loved Tufts so much and seemed so happy there.”

Van Zee, who was born and raised in Corvallis, is ready to build on her considerable accomplishments there. She is currently the Student Council treasurer for Crescent Valley High School and the co−president of her school’s Students for Environmental Awareness chapter. Van Zee races with a Nordic ski team and plays the cello in the Corvallis Youth Symphony.

“Music has been a passion of mine for about nine years,” Van Zee said. “I rely on my cello to do a lot of community service around Corvallis, such as playing quartet music weekly at a soup kitchen for the homeless.”

Van Zee hopes to continue to play the cello, ski and work on environmental activism on campus next year, while exploring new activities.

“I also want to take my four years at Tufts as an opportunity to try something new and find new interests,” Van Zee said. She is interested in joining Tufts Engineers Without Borders and Tufts Global Health Network.

While Van Zee does not know yet in which major she will declare, but she is considering studying both environmental engineering and community health. She also has experience with multiple languages. Van Zee studied French from kindergarten through seventh grade, has studied Spanish since eighth grade and participated in an exchange program in Paraguay for two months in 2010. At Tufts, she is interested in adding Arabic to her resume.

Van Zee is considering studying abroad in Chile or Peru, to continue practicing Spanish, as well as in Morocco, to perfect her French and improve her Arabic. She eventually wants to look into a career in sustainable development and hopes to pursue this interest in these countries.

“I also saw Tufts has an exchange program to Nepal, which also seems very interesting and completely different from anything I’ve ever experienced before, so maybe I would go there instead. Who knows?” Van Zee said. “There are so many places to choose from.”

Because of her wide variety of interests, Van Zee’s largest concern about adjusting to college life is balancing everything she wants to do.

“Tufts has so many things going on that I want to join or experience, I just don’t know how I’ll fit it all in,” Van Zee said.

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