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On the CoverRhys McKinstry, UM alumnus, shares his reflections on graduating from UM in the time of COVID-19.
Rhys McKinstry, a senior from Richland, Washington, graduated from UM this May with bachelor’s degrees in geography and geosciences, as well as a professional certificate in geographic information systems. Attracted to UM as a freshman for its proximity to skiing, camping and an impressive football team, McKinstry was awarded a Western Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship to attend UM. Looking back on his time at on campus, Mckinstry says he treasured the one-on-one attention from professors and the large amount of free tutoring. “I also really enjoyed having geoscience and geography class field trips in beautiful nearby places such as Glacier National Park and the Sapphire mountain range,” he says. McKinstry will begin work as a civil engineering technician at Tetra Tech in Missoula this summer. He eventually plans to pursue a master's degree in geotechnical engineering and hopes one day to work as a civil engineer for the U.S. Forest Service. “I was really looking forward to walking to class on the Oval on those 70-degree spring days and geoscience field trips,” he says. “I'll definitely miss my time as a student at UM.”