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Anna Majewski Reflects on Kalamazoo College Experience

Anna Majewski playing softball.
Photo by Paul Penders

Anna Majewski graduated from Kalamazoo College in June with a degree in biology. She is currently working a temporary position at Post Consumer Brands in Battle Creek, Michigan. Beginning in November, she plans to work in a research lab at Pfizer.

"Kalamazoo College was very helpful in preparing me for my next steps after graduation, mainly because of the connections I made during my time there," Anna said. "Obviously, it has been an extremely strange time, but K has been helpful in reaching out to graduating students during this pandemic. All of my professors during my final term were extremely helpful with any questions or concerns I had as well as helping me find contacts and steps to take during the pandemic."

Anna's experiential education opportunities also proved valuable in her preparation for life after K. 

During the summer before her senior year, she interned at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, working as a research technician in the ColoRectal Surgical Department, investigating the rates of surgical site infections from 2016 to present. That experience, data, and analysis went into her SIP (Senior Individualized Project) as the research focused on retrieval and organization of patient data, which was analyzed to assess the effectiveness of new precautions taken in order to prevent surgical site infections and improve patient care.

Anna studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, studying the French language, political science, and politics at the University of Strasbourg.

"Staying with a host family increased my language skills and knowledge of French culture, specific to Strasbourg," she said. "I was able to do my integrative cultural project (ICRP) on French Impressionism, see many of the paintings studied, and discuss my project in real life at museums throughout Europe, even going to see the places where many of the artists got their inspiration. I was also able to take an art class while in France, where I was able to practice my own artwork. I had an amazing experience, learned many life skills and lessons while traveling around Europe, and still use or think about those experiences every day."

Anna described her study abroad experience and being on the softball team as the two most important elements of her K experience.

"I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to study abroad and play softball at K," she said. "Being a student-athlete taught me to be a leader and have a positive outlet away from school work. Studying abroad taught me that there is so much out there in the world and made me reflect on my life and time in Michigan and the United States. I became educated in so many valuable ways, which I would not have learned without that experience."

Anna was a catcher on the softball team and led the Hornets in batting average, hits, and doubles her sophomore year. She was second on the team in RBIs, doubles, triples, and runs scored as a junior. Her senior year was cut short after just two games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anna left her mark on the K record books, ranking in the top-10 in seven offensive categories, including second with 40 hits in a season (2018) and third with 25 RBIs in a season (2019).

"Playing a sport at K, you quickly learn to manage your time," she said. "I learned to enjoy what you are doing because you never know when it can be taken away. 

"I have so much hope in the softball program moving forward," Anna said. "Coach Duimstra puts endless work into the program and will do anything for her players. She has always been there as a friend, coach, and role model to look up to."

Anna is also quick to acknowledge the support of many professors at K.

"The biology department has always been extremely supportive of student-athletes and goes out of their way to help, in and out of the classroom," she said. "Dr. Morrison, a visiting professor my senior year, was always available to talk or Google Chat, and is one of the kindest and helpful people I have ever met. Tom Rice in the art department was always helpful and enjoyed sitting and talking about projects, art, or anything related or unrelated. I appreciated his open-mindedness, he always had good feedback for your artwork, and he was always understanding when it came to athletics if I had to leave early for a game."

While Anna is uncertain about her long-term plans, she enjoys working right now and looking forward to beginning her work at Pfizer next month.