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Living the liberal arts life

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February 19, 2016

By Annie Dittberner '17

Haley ChatelaineIf you asked College of Saint Benedict senior Haley Chatelaine what on-campus activities she is involved in, she might not be able to tell you. 

Instead, she will laugh and say, "I can never keep track." 

Chatelaine, a chemistry major from Lakeville, Minnesota, is captain of the Blazer Swim and Dive team, president of Chemistry Club, tutor at the math skills center, on the Honors Planning and Advisory Council and on the leadership team for Benedictine Friends. 

While each day is different for Chatelaine, she usually wakes up every morning to finish homework. Then, she either tutors or attends lab and depending on the day, swim practice, meetings, trombone lessons and more homework complete Chatelaine's busy schedule. 

For Chatelaine, being involved in so many activities doesn't seem like a chore. Instead, it's been one of the highlights of her time at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. 

"Being involved in these things has introduced me to so many people," she said. "It's rewarding to learn that I actually am able to balance what I want and to do it to the best of my ability." 

Choosing a major 

When Chatelaine began her first year at Saint Ben's, she recognized her interests in the sciences but was hesitant to declare a major. 

"I've always taken advantage of asking for help," she said. "The professors here want to help you, and it's important to figure out what your questions are and to ask those questions." 

So, with the help of professors in the chemistry department, Chatelaine decided to major in chemistry. 

"A lot of students hear the word chemistry and assume that it's going to be challenging," she said. "But it's important to understand that there are different facets of chemistry, and there will be things you like and things you won't like. 

"I learned that I don't need to be physician to make difference. Working in a lab and conducting research can have the same impact." 

Looking ahead 

Following graduation, Chatelaine plans to attend a Ph.D. program in food science to work on enhancing nutrition properties with foods. 

"I want to focus on assessing and optimizing the bioavailability of nutrients in food products by investigating them as soft materials," she said. 

According to Chatelaine, her all-around involvement in the arts, sciences, athletics and spirituality has made a lasting impact on her student experience. 

"At times it has been difficult to trust that what I'm doing right now is going to end up being okay in the future," she said. "But I'm confident that it will pay off."