For as long as Ellie Templeton ’21 can remember, she’s wanted to make a difference in the world.
Templeton’s made it a personal goal and has been working toward accomplishing it by immersing herself in matters of sustainability, climate change and renewable energy. She’s also been strategically educating others on these same topics. “The best way to form opinions and courses of action is to understand how the other side thinks,” Templeton says. “Hitting people with science and cold, hard facts is not always realistic, so my goal is to educate people in ways that resonate with them.”
Templeton initially chose Ursinus College not only for its personalized approach to the liberal arts, but also because she was looking for a close-knit learning environment where she could continue her ambitious objectives. “I appreciated the community aspect that the college cultivates and how easy it is to build relationships with professors and my peers,” she says.
An environmental studies and economics double major; Templeton has been questioned many times on how the seemingly disparate majors actually fit together quite well. She responds, “I believe that a firm understanding of economics can help shape my arguments for the environment since they are oftentimes at odds.” Further, she says, “My majors involve delving deep into issues that many people think are easy to grasp, but once they are unpacked, it can be much harder.”
Outside the classroom, Templeton maintains a robust schedule as co-captain of the cheerleading team, secretary of her class, a member of the Phi Alpha Psi sorority and a Sustainability Fellow with the office of sustainability. This program seeks to educate the campus community on environmental issues with the goal of lowering the overall carbon footprint and creating a more eco-friendly environment.
Although Templeton acknowledges each of these activities are quite different, she believed it was important to challenge herself to seek leadership roles on campus. She says, “When I first began my Ursinus journey, I had a lot of trouble taking charge and speaking my mind. These experiences have put me outside of my comfort zone and helped me develop into the leader I never imagined I could be.”
As Templeton’s junior year comes to a close, she remains appreciative of her unique UC experiences. Further, Templeton acknowledges that none of this would be possible without the financial support she received from the college, in the form of a named scholarship. She explains, “Scholarship support has allowed me to take on more than I ever would have thought was possible. For the last two semesters, I overloaded on classes, and surprisingly achieved the best GPAs that I have ever had, on top of my extracurriculars. This scholarship has given me the space to pursue more challenging classes and broaden my knowledge immensely. I am forever grateful for that!”
Where will Templeton go from here? She’s understandably still figuring out her exact career path, but is grateful that her time at Ursinus is preparing her with the tools for success, wherever she may land. She says, “The courses I’ve taken have helped me to not only realize what I am truly passionate about, but they’ve also equipped me with great problem-solving skills that could only be accomplished by doing.”