After a recent move to northern New Mexico, Eve Bruneau '00 is now a surgeon for the Navajo Nation. Learn how the passions she cultivated while at Berkshire led her to this exciting opportunity.
What are your fondest memories of Berkshire?
My fondest memories of Berkshire include winning the New England soccer championship my junior year, breaking the school record with three other fabulous girls on the 4x400m relay, and hiking Mount Katahdin (Maine) in February 2000. The Berkshire Wilderness Adventure (BWA) team sparked my interest in backpacking and hiking. It was an an incredible experience to camp out in the snowy mountains with your best friends and mentors, and somehow manage to still stay warm at -35 degrees! I have taken those outdoors skills and have put them to use while doing field biology in the Rockies, camping in the Southwest, or romping around in the Costa Rican rainforest.
What are the most important life lessons that you learned as a student?
As a student at Berkshire, I was fortunate to live and study with people from all over the world. Diversity is important, and I value the friendships I have made over the years with people from all different backgrounds and cultures.
Can you tell us about your career and hobbies, and why you are passionate about them?
I never planned on becoming a surgeon. My dream when I graduated from Berkshire was to become an archeaologist. In college my goals changed, and I ended up becoming a field biologist, studying plan-pollinator interactions in Colorado. But I missed working directly with people, and ultimately decided on a career in medicine. Now I can bring my love of the outdoors and surgical career together since I moved to Northern New Mexico to provide care for the Navajo Nation. I get to ride my mountain bike, ski, and hike through the valleys that I once studied.
How did Berkshire help you shape and pursue your goals?
While at Berkshire, I took advantage of the outdoor programs. Biology class was held outside most days, weather permitting. Frank Barros was my biology teacher, and he helped encourage me to pursue further studies in the field biology. I remember my first dissection in his classroom, a fetal pig. Fast forward 20 years and now I am putting those skills to use as a surgeon!
What advice would you give to today's students?
Take advantage of all the opportunities that Berkshire has to offer. When I started college, I felt very prepared for my classes. The AP and advanced courses in high school put me ahead of the curve. Students should cherish their time under the Mountain. Berkshire's campus is one of the most beautiful in the country. It is not everyday that you get 400 acres to roam.