Senior plays rugby, balances bio & art
Audrey was studying in Cairo when the 2011 riots began, forcing her evacuation from the city and relocates to Athens for the duration of the semester.
- Student practices what she preaches
- Trail-blazing senior has a passion for film
- Senior double major enjoys adventure on and off the Hill
If you’re searching for the coolest kid on campus, look no further than Audrey Gourlie ’12. This dazzling senior, hailing from Concord, Mass., has certainly earned her stripes at Colby throughout her many unique experiences both on and off the Hill.
Audrey gets most of her on campus thrills through her involvement with the women’s rugby team. Her intimidating demeanor and impressive skills on the field make her a great asset to the team. Many first-year students would agree that Audrey has made them feel more comfortable on the team because of her relaxed and friendly air.
Audrey’s four-year experience with the rugby team has been a very positive one, and she has truly loved being a part of the club. “I love that you just get it all out on the field. It’s a time when you don’t have to be ladylike; In fact, you probably shouldn’t be ladylike,” Audrey said.
Outside of rugby, Audrey participates in Colby Cares About Kids, volunteers at Barrels and recently joined the Colby Dancers. She will have her debut performance this semester in a tap dance routine, an event that all on campus should be sure to attend.
As a biology major and art minor, Audrey possesses a wide range of academic interests. This year, she is working on an independent study with Assistant Professor of Biology Syed Tariq Ahmad investigating a technique of isolating fly neurons.
Audrey also focuses a lot of her energy on her art that will be exhibited in the Senior Art Show. Most of the time she can be found in Bixler working on various oil painting projects. “I love painting and am excited for the Art Show. Right now I’m working on a concentration on eyes,” she said.
Her artsy side manifests itself in the various pieces of jewelry and clothing that she has made and altered. She has a good eye in terms of what looks alluring and unique on clothing, which has yielded several distinct pieces. In fact, during her senior year of high school, Audrey even created her own prom dress.
“It took forever,” Audrey said. “I was working until the last minute, I never got time to iron it and one of the straps fell off as I was getting into the limo,” she said with a laugh.
Although many students have life-altering experiences while study abroad their junior year, Audrey’s was quite unique. Studying abroad in Egypt, she witnessed history in the making throughout the revolution in Cairo last January.
“We were there for 10 days before they evacuated us. Our curfew kept getting curtailed to earlier and earlier in the day. At one point we had to be back at the dorms at 2 p.m. Planes would fly overhead to signal when curfew was, although one night we snuck out and went to a friend’s apartment and watched some of the riots from the roof; it was really incredible to witness because it was before the police stepped down,” she said.
“One of the strangest things was to watch these intense face-offs between protestors and police on a street corner one night and then to see the same street corner the next day as if nothing had happened,” Audrey said.
Following several days of rioting, the university at which Audrey was studying strongly recommended that students evacuate and the school established three safe havens in Istanbul, Cyprus and Athens. “I didn’t know what destination I was headed for until I got on the plane,” Audrey recalled. “My ticket was a piece of paper with my seat number written in Sharpie. I still have it, of course.”
Eventually, after she settled into her new home for the semester, Audrey had a wonderful study abroad experience in Athens, Greece and remembers the food and professors fondly, although she sometimes wishes she had stayed in Egypt, despite the danger.
This JanPlan, Audrey plans to go abroad to Paraguay, where her sister is currently working in the San Pedro province through the Peace Corps. She was inspired by her sister’s work in Paraguay and plans to devote her final JanPlan to doing the same community service work.
In efforts to continue this positive impact on the world, Audrey is working with Associate Professor of English Anindyo Roy and Director of Personal Computing Support Services Rurik L. Spence to bring a laptop and a projector to a school in Paraguay as well as a laptop to another school in India. Audrey is currently working on raising money for this effort. She will be holding a fundraiser event in the Marchese Blue Light Pub for those over 21 on Wednesday, Nov. 2. There will be a 50/50 raffle at the pub, so grab a drink and buy a ticket on Wednesday.
Audrey is currently living off-campus, so be sure to keep your eye out for her in the rare moments when she’s on the Hill. She loves her living situation, not only because she gets to live in a house with all of her friends, but especially because her neighbors have a dog and a cat, a sight you don’t often see on campus.