Evelyn Welch '19 explored her interests in biology, the medical field, and the arts at Geneseo. (SUNY Geneseo/ Keith Walters '11)
When Evelyn Welch ’19 toured Geneseo as she looked at colleges, it all “clicked.” “It felt like this is where I am supposed to be,” said Welch, of Latham, N.Y.
Welch has always been interested in the medical field, and chose to study biology and pursue a minor in human development to learn about the body and mind. She also loves to act, dance, and play music. She explored all her passions during her four years at Geneseo and found her career path along the way.
Welch has been a member of the Geneseo First Response team since fall 2017, spending a semester training before becoming an attendant that spring. She has responded to dozens of calls from fellow students and others on campus.
“I try to take as many shifts as possible to optimize my time,” said Welch. “As a first responder, I am trying to make the best out of someone’s worst day, as they are having a medical emergency. Being part of the Geneseo community motivates me to give all my energy. I improve myself to help others.”
Last summer, Welch was able to assist her mother after she passed out at their home. “When you realize that you can have such an effect on people you care for, it’s very powerful.”
Being a part of the First Response team, she said, has helped build her self-confidence and given her a clear direction after graduation. She will pursue her paramedic certification.
At Geneseo, Welch has received the Lydia Hees DeMarco ’29 Annual Music Scholarship, the Lawrence J. King Memorial Scholarship, as well as the Einhorn, Yaffee, Prescott Scholarship for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
As Welch focused on her interest in biology and helping others, she has also pursued her interest in the arts.
She has helped organize and performed in China Night all four years and Korea Night the past two. She plays violin in the Geneseo String Quartet and the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra and takes private violin lessons.
“There are so many opportunities at Geneseo,” she said, “to perform and be engaged, even if music and theater is not your major. I enjoy each of them and be the best I can be.”
In December 2017, Welch was chosen to perform a solo with the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra of the “Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto,” known as the “Chinese violin concerto.” Welch said playing the piece reminds her of her own history. She was abandoned as a baby in China and adopted by her family in the United States. On stage, her friends beside her in the orchestra and her family and friends in the audience, Welch looked around and said she “realized how happy I am to be here. I’m doing what I absolutely love. I have so many people around me that love me. Then the audience stood to applaud. I could not stop crying.”
It was a powerful moment for her, Welch said. Previously, she would have dreaded making the tiniest mistake, she said. This performance was not perfect, yet it was. When she is anxious, critical, or lacks confidence, she remembers that moment.
In the last four years, she said, she has learned to embrace learning, including mistakes. She said she has grown so much at Geneseo, in many ways from her varied experiences.
“I am so happy, I did this all here,” she said. “I have learned to be joyful in the moment.”