In Class

August 22, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Junior Loves Math, Theater and the Environment


Sarah Pinter loves math, theater, and the environment.

Sarah Pinter loves math, theater, and the environment.

By Cecilia Ellis ’17

Junior Sarah Pinter is a Math Statistics major, with a minor in Plant Biology, and a certificate in Environmental Studies. A demanding workload has never slowed Pinter down, however.

With dreams of graduate school in biometrics and working for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, she also finds time for an avocation in theater.

“I feel I get lost after a while if it feels like I’m just going to class and doing nothing else.”

In the fall of 2013, Pinter participated in Ohio University’s Scholar’s Program. The Scholar’s Program is offered to freshman as an alternative learning community. It places a group of academically talented and curious students together for several classes each week in an effort to foster close, personal relationships between the students as well as their professors.

“Almost everyone that I’m still friends with today was a part of Scholars!” Pinter says. “Along with the social aspect, I really liked having a class that was so engaging. I felt that was such a worthwhile experience—being able to make connections with people and really be challenged by people who saw the potential in you.”  A colloquium is offered in the spring for all students who’ve participated, an opportunity that Pinter embraces.

Finding a Minor by Accident

Although she’s always loved statistics, Pinter found her minor and certificate through happenstance.

“I really loved statistics in high school, I just thought it was a really fascinating subject. The rest of it was all, honestly, an accident. I was signing up for classes freshman year and pretty much everything was filled. I needed a class at a certain time of day that could fill a requirement…. BIOS 2750, Ecology in the 21st Century, was one of the only classes that would fit, so I signed up for that and ended up really loving it! I picked up the certificate that following semester and the PBIO minor just this past semester.”

Her resulting involvement with the Environmental & Plant Biology Department has opened numerous doors, such as the chance to study abroad over winter break and ring in the New Year in the Bahamas with Dr. Harvey Ballard’s Botany and Geology program.

The Lost Flamingo Company

An unparalleled and palpable sense of community is what Pinter credits for her desire to attend OHIO, but her own specific niche was found at the Lost Flamingo Company.

Over the last two years, Pinter has been involved with the Lost Flamingo Company theater group on campus. Now she is president of the group. When asked about how that came to be, she chuckles modestly. “I did a kind of a ‘create-your-own-position’ type thing. I saw a desperate need for somebody to be in charge of fundraising because our fundraising tactics were, in a word, abysmal. I really felt like something needed to be done about it, so I took charge.” She organized fundraising tactics, headed projects aimed at receiving sponsorships (Pinter is responsible for the The Flamingo Friend Sponsorship program, which made nearly $1,000 this year for the company), and made T-shirts to sell for their annual performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Even if she has chosen not to major in it, Pinter’s love of theater stemmed from childhood.

“I have loved theater since I was a little kid. I wanted it to be part of my life, I just didn’t know how. Finding Lost Flamingo Company here showed me that there’s always going to be a community with similar interests, whether that’s theater or anything else.” The Lost Flamingo Company was the perfect fit. “It’s all about giving everybody a chance to experience theater, majors and non-majors. Just opening it up so that people who are like me, who still have that dream of being part of it but don’t know how will have a way to participate.”

The LFC puts on three plays in the fall, as well as the traditional performance of Rocky Horror, and in the spring they have two plays and a musical.

Pinter is also a member of the Ohio University Women’s Ensemble, a chorale group of women who are, hopefully, on their way to the OMEA Conference this fall, as well as working with the Chorale Union, doing the cantata Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Her acting and singing skills further led her to open Opera Theater Department auditions, which resulted in her involvement there this past semester. The larger group has a much more structured system than the Lost Flamingo Company, but Pinter says she loved the time she spent with them as a chorus girl in last spring’s production of The Pirates of Penzance.

Summer: Theater and Calculus III

For this summer, Pinter had a work-study position within the Ohio Valley Summer Theater – which meant working in the theater’s costume department and attending its practicum sessions, all while simultaneously taking Calculus III during OHIO’s second summer session.

The Ohio Valley Summer Theater is an annual summer program that works with the Ohio University School of Theater. Several OHIO professors and graduates work within the program, such as Aurora Held, an OHIO alumna who is directing this summer’s production, and Dayton Willison, Pinter’s adviser and a professional costumer. This year’s show was Mary Poppins.

As far as advice for prospective theater students, Pinter is quick to stress the intensity of the program.

“It is not an easy program, it’s training actors to be competitive. They work tirelessly.” However, like Pinter herself, she assures everyone that there can be a place for them within the theater, even if they don’t want to major in it. Don’t be discouraged from trying new organizations, especially if it’s something you’ve cared about for a long time,” she emphasized. “Being involved, next to getting good grades, is the most important thing you can do on campus. Being involved with an organization you care about is very important, even the times that it stresses you out, it’s worth it to have something that you care about passionately.”

Pinter’s future plans include grad school, with Oregon’s and Wisconsin’s State schools on her radar for their reputable Biometry programs, specifically biology statistics with an environmental focus. The dream job would be working for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but in order to get there Pinter says she’s prepared to work her way up. She’ll try to start with government work with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration…”or just working for private companies that have an interest in the environment. I’d like eventually to work my way from a researcher into the administrative end, but I want to take a kind of tour of everything before I set myself onto one path into one thing.” Closer on the horizon, however, is a stack of scholarship applications and plans for the Lost Flamingo Company’s fall schedule.

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