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Columbia Spectator Staff

"Well, you don't meet a ton of Columbians that have worked at Starbucks," Kelsey Price jokes, her laugh infectious even over the phone. "So I guess that's one thing that sets me apart."

Yet, listening while Price sifts through remarkable story after remarkable story, it is clear that her stint as a barista is not the only thing that makes her distinct—and she freely admits she was never very fast behind the espresso machine.

Price, BC and a Fulbright Scholar, has distinguished herself in many other ways over her four years at Barnard, trying many opportunities until she found her calling in international public health.

This experimentation was very much in keeping with her past. Growing up, Price was never one to set her roots too deeply in one place. For example, Price spent most of her middle-school and high-school years in Singapore and Germany. In fact, in many ways it seems her globe-trotting lifestyle offered a preview of what looks to be an eclectic, if itinerant, future.

Reflecting on her frequent relocation as a child, Price gushes: "It was actually great. I guess some people would have struggled with it, but I really appreciated the chance to travel and meet people from all walks of life."

Looking ahead to next year, which Price will spend as a teaching assistant in the north of Spain with the Fulbright program, it is clear how her past will continue to inform her future. Though Price was a Latin American studies major, with a minor in biology, she says it was her experiences outside the classroom that truly enabled her to apply what she learned at Barnard.

Price has long wanted to pursue a career in public health, where she hopes to "make change happen." In college, she has worked at a clinic in Peru, the Columbia University Medical Center, and the Mayo Clinic. Price thrives off of change, both making and experiencing it.

One of her fondest memories is the trip she and a small group took to the Dominican Republic her junior year, which she described as a life-changing event. Over the eight-day trip, Price and her 24 companions organized dialogue with high-school students, donated suitcases full of clothing, and brought much-needed supplies, such as manila envelopes, to a hospital in Yamasa. "It was a great experience because Columbia and Barnard really came together," Price said. "I'm not saying we saved the world in eight days, but ... good things can happen when people really put their mind to it."

That's a mantra that Price plans to take with her as she leaves Barnard, first in Spain and later wherever life and her travels take her.

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