By Aliya Merhi
Elm Staff Writer
After graduating in 2006 and then spending six years away from Washington College, Nina Burton returned to work at the Career Center two years ago as the office manager and event coordinator.
During her time away from WC, Burton spent a year serving with the Peace Corps in West Africa and two years serving AmeriCorps and worked for non-profit organizations across the country.
Burton was working at Georgetown University in D.C., but she had grown tired of the city life and commuting every day. Looking for a “quieter pace,” she returned to Chestertown and now lives by the water.
She started as part time employee in the Athletics Information Office where she was asked to work as a temporary College Advancement staff member to help organize Alumni Weekend. Her boss, Director of Alumni Relations and Leadership Annual Giving Rebekah Hardy, was a fellow alumna that she knew during her time as a student.
Hardy said, “There were 700 people on campus including alumni, families, faculty and staff, and she was able to calmly yet confidently assure the weekend went as smoothly as possible.”
Between her great work and a recommendation that Hardy sent to the rest of the College, Burton landed her current job in the Career Center.
As a student, Burton majored in human development. She was one of the first two non-education certification human development majors at WC, and she also graduated with a history minor. Additionally she worked in the Sports Information Department and was involved with several clubs including Catholic ministry and equestrian team.
She enjoyed the administrative side of sports like the statistics, public relations, and organization. The connections she made as a student are still helping her today eight years later.
John Beck in the Advancement Office and Carol Landis in the President’s Office are a few of the alumni who were students around the same time. “It’s neat to be here as staff members together and have a history and share the alma mater,” said Burton. “Now that I’ve been around Washington College in a few different capacities and for quite a few years, it’s neat watching it change and grow.”
The Career Center will soon be moving to the Larrabee Arts Center in the center of campus, which is a huge difference from when she was a student here. She said the Career Center “was a two person shop that was in the old Spanish house, which doesn’t even exist anymore.”
Gibson Center for the Arts, Chester Hall, Sassafras Hall, and the Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium are a few of the other buildings that have been built since 2006. One of the dorms she lived in was 100 Gibson, which is no longer being used as a dorm and is, instead, the new art building. She also lived in Harford Hall, the Western Shore, and Kent House as well as living off campus.
WC is a tradition in Burton’s family. Her father is an alumnus of the Class of 1976 and also lived in Kent. As a student, Burton was able to find his name on the wall in the dorm building. Her grandfather was also involved in WC as a board member in the 1960s, which is how her father found out about WC and in turn shared the school with her.
Another change she has observed is with the rise in the number of students each year. There were about 1,200 students in 2006, but when her father was here in 1976 there were a mere 600 students. She has been able to see the changes on campus over the years and has been back on campus these past two years observing the changes and even contributing to them once again.
Hardy said, “She’s always been passionate about her pride for WC, and it was clear she wanted to find a permanent place here. It’s so comforting to know we have such a wonderful advocate in Nina, and we’re so proud to count her among our successful alumni.”