Sophomore Ines Siepmann is knee-deep in passion. Siepmann, a woman of bright ambition and energy, is an active member of the Colorado College community. As a leader of Bio Sciences Outreach, the Nordic Ski Team, and GlobeMed, Siepmann takes care in investing her limited time pointedly. Although there is expected difficulty in juggling such vast responsibilities, Siepmann presents herself with characteristic humility and grace. During a spirited conversation with the Minnesota native, Siepmann talks of her passions with a refreshing authenticity.
As a co-chair for Bio Sciences Outreach and recently titled “CC Science Kid” by the students of Audubon Elementary, Siepmann works closely with third, fourth, and fifth graders in the Colorado Springs area. The club encourages increased excitement and commitment to the sciences. “All of District 11 is underfunded for their science programs,” Siepmann stated. “We act as an after school program at Audubon Elementary and bring a lab to them once or twice a block.” Examples of past labs include a lesson on plate tectonics using s’mores and a squid dissection.
As this is Siepmann’s second year with the club, she was able to see both an increase in interest and the return of familiar faces to the program. “The kids are so excited about it. You can tell its something that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do, and they’re so curious to learn,” Siepmann stated. “Seeing that excitement, and how easily they want to share that excitement and positivity with you and each other, is so fun.” As an intended Biochemistry/Chemistry major, the club holds personal significance and resonance to Siepmann.
In addition, the club has seen considerable growth on CC’s campus. “We could look at working with the other elementary schools and the middle and high schools too,” Siepmann said when she asked to speak to her future aspirations for the group. “It is all of District 11 that is underfunded, not just this school. It would be really incredible to open this up to more students and make it a larger opportunity.” In the meantime, Siepmann hopes to expand Bio Science’s presence at Audubon Elementary to include more students and grade levels.
Siepmann is also a Nordic skier, and a leader of the club here on campus. She speaks fondly of her seven years of participation and competition in the sport while in Minnesota. As she attended a small charter school for both middle and high school, with a graduating class of thirty students, Nordic was the only winter sport available. Her organic shift from cross-country to Nordic adds to her natural love and appreciation for the sport.
“It sort of happened by accident, and I just ended up loving the sport.” Siepmann stated when asked of her involvement with Nordic. “The reason I keep skiing is because Nordic provides something that, for me, is a very reflective experience. You’re going out there on snow, so you’re really utilizing the outdoors.” Similar to her love of running, the reflective nature and social aspect of the sport is something that attracts and prolongs her interest. Although Siepmann also Alpine skies, her love for Nordic holds true. “You’re not in a completely man made situation. You can go through much smaller trails, and they don’t have to clear cut a mountain for it to be accessible,” she explained.
In addition, the Nordic ski team is a relatively new presence on CC’s campus. With only one alumna who started the group in 2011, the group is gaining momentum with each passing year. This past year marked the team’s first competition season as part of a conference. In addition, through working with CC to facilitate a crowd-funding project, the club’s funds and accessibility have increased.
Siepmann speaks highly of the Nordic team’s positive community and environment. “It’s a really diverse and interesting group of people, that are just so fun to spend time with,” she stated. “It has fostered, and continues to foster, my love for the sport.” In addition, Siepmann stressed the club’s flexibility with each member’s range of abilities, intentions, and interests. From a team of five to now 15 to 20, Siepmann accredits the Nordic community as a large factor to the club’s popularity.
Siepmann is also heavily involved in the German community here on campus, as her parents are first generation German immigrants. As a result, the German culture is integral to her upbringing and subsequent life here at CC. Both a current resident of the German House and intended German minor, Siepmann actively searches for ways to increase her language proficiency and understanding of the cultural characteristics of the region.
As she says of Germany, “It’s a place I have a very fond relationship with. I just absolutely love being there, love the community aspect and a lot of the cultural aspects as well. I don’t know where I’ll end up after graduation, but I wouldn’t rule out Germany.”
In conjunction with her passion for the sciences, Siepmann is an executive board member for GlobeMed, which is a national organization with chapters across various colleges and universities. CC partners with the Western Organization for People Living with HIV/AIDS (WOPLAH) to increase awareness and understanding of global health issues.
Although GlobeMed serves a variety of purposes, Siepmann serves as the board member of WOPLAH relations. Siepmann also highlights the club’s work with Meadows Park Community Center. “For this chapter, it was very important that we also foster a local connection and work with our home community, acknowledging that there are things that can be worked on everywhere,” she stated.
CC breeds a culture of nonstop activity, yet Siepmann allocates time for an authentic reflection. She fosters these passions with bright and refreshing commitment. “I’m very passionate about going into something in the health industry,” she stated of her future. As I’ve become more and more involved with GlobeMed, I’ve become increasingly interested in health care equity advocacy.
I believe health care is a human right. I think there are some ridiculous problems in our, and the world’s, health care systems. I fully believe health care is a human right and right now that’s not how it is.”