Senior Spotlight: Erin Winterton

By Michael Linnell
University Communications Director

MINOT, N.D. – Erin Winterton came to Minot State reserved both socially and as a student.

It took much of her first year at the University to begin to transform. That included a change in degree for the senior chemistry education major from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

“At Minot State I have come out of my shell as both a person and a student,” she said. “The faculty and staff have helped me find my passion for both science and teaching. I really opened up socially after my second year when I got involved in the school clubs outside of track & field. Being as involved as I was, I learned the importance of prioritizing and organization.

“Originally, I came to MSU for athletic training, but found a love for chemistry and education after my first year.”

She credits the chemistry department for the change in major. To decide to teach the subject ­— that seed was planted much earlier.

“The staff in the chemistry department were a huge deciding factor when I chose chemistry education. The small staff created a family that I felt I belonged in,” Winterton said. “As far as education, I was told by others for most of my high school career that I would make a great teacher, and so I finally listened! Finishing up my student teaching this semester has secured my choice in career and I cannot wait for my future!”

Teaching a daunting discipline like chemistry is something Winterton is looking forward to in her career. She will begin this fall as she accepted a one-year high school teaching position in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

“I learned that I love connecting with students and motivating them to succeed in and out of the classroom to the best of my ability. Chemistry is a subject that, I think, a lot of people can be scared of. I want to show people just how fun and rewarding of a subject it can be,” she said. “Learning chemistry just gives you an understanding about how so many things in life work and teaching that to others, and watching their understanding grow, is exciting and rewarding.”

Winterton also learned how to balance a stressful schedule at Minot State, participating in track & field for the Beavers from 2015 to 2019 — including a semester as a volunteer assistant coach — along with multiple clubs and jobs on campus including the American Chemical Society, Student Ambassadors, Orientation Leader, Science Club, and peer tutoring. She also participated in organic chemistry research in Mikhail Bobylev’s renowned lab at Minot State.

“Being a student-athlete, I learned that everything I did both on and off the track mattered and reflected on the program,” she said. “Being held to that standard helped push me to achieve the highest level I could in the classroom and on the track. I learned the value of being part of a team and relying on people as well as the responsibility of being relied on.”

In fact, some of her best memories at Minot State are traveling and representing the University on a regional and national level with track & field and with various clubs. However, her first pick for top memory was just hanging out with friends she made while in school.

“One of my favorite memories was this past Homecoming,” she said. “It was my last homecoming as a student, and I enjoyed spending it with my closest friends and participating in as many activities that were offered during the week. Cheering at all the games and really showing off my Beaver pride!

“Other memories consist of the ACS National meeting last spring in Orlando, where I got to present my research. As well as travelling and competing for the track team. I already miss my uniform.”

While Winterton is excited for her next adventure, she credits her time at Minot State in positioning her for a bright future — both personally and professionally.

“Minot State has been a home-away-from-home to me since my freshman year. I am forever grateful to the school, faculty, and staff for providing my endless opportunities to be myself and exceed my expectations of what a ‘university experience’ should be,” she said. “If it wasn’t for MSU, I wouldn’t have my love for track, the experiences I had in the chemistry department with my research and courses, and some of my closest and lifelong friends, including my fiancé Alex (Cundiff).

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/13/20   

» More MSU News