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“Any leadership role makes your college experience unique because you obviously don’t have to do this before you graduate. Being an EPIC Mentor has provided me with more perspective in my life. I see different viewpoints and the diversity of people’s backgrounds,” Triston commented.

Since a young age, Triston Turner has developed a strong appreciation for nature and the environment. Growing up three hours away in Pueblo, Colorado, he would travel to Gunnison often for family fishing trips, whether that be on ice in the winter at Blue Mesa or wading through the Taylor River during the summer. His familiarity with the valley’s outdoor recreational opportunities and passion for environmental stewardship made Western’s Environment & Sustainability degree combined with a 3+2 Master’s in Environmental Management a right choice for him. As he works toward his master’s degree, Triston is also involved with EPIC Mentors, the Organics Guild, and the Honors Program.

By his third year of college, Triston thought he had things figured out, but his whole perspective on life took a sudden shift after embarking on Western’s six-week-long Mountains and Rivers course. After backpacking for three weeks in three Colorado wilderness areas, rafting the Green River in Utah and tending to a thistle farm in Paonia, Colorado, Triston returned to campus seeing the world in a different light.

In addition to finding great value in the outdoors, Triston also finds great value in leadership. Therefore, he became an Experienced Peers Initiating Connections (EPIC) Mentor upon his fourth year at Western. EPIC Mentors provide guidance for first-year and transfer students with program information, academic support and campus involvement. Triston’s role as an EPIC Mentor brought him closer with both students and faculty while also finetuning his leadership skills.

“Any leadership role makes your college experience unique because you obviously don’t have to do this before you graduate. Being an EPIC Mentor has provided me with more perspective in my life. I see different viewpoints and the diversity of people’s backgrounds,” Triston commented.

Triston is unsure where exactly his next step in life after graduation will take him, but he is certain that it will involve his degree, the environment and giving back to the community.

“I am glad I picked Western. Western has really allowed me to seek academic freedom and pursue the things I am passionate about. I am grateful for the opportunity,” he summarizes.

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