Senior Hannah Kruse, who balances biology and anthropology majors and a forensics minor, while doing research and a slew of campus activities, has always been "super-ambitious."

Why did you choose SUNY Oswego?

Initially I wanted to be a vet, and the zoology program was attractive to me. I knew I wanted to be somewhere in the biological sciences, so biology was my entering major. Oswego has a wide array of programs, so having the ability to choose was important. Also, the ability to be involved in the music department, which was something I couldn't do at every college. It was nice to have an opportunity to keep up my passion for music.

What led you to anthropology as a second major? 

I took "Cultural Anthropology" with Stephanie Pritchard -- it was one of my first classes at Oswego -- and the class really captivated me. Anthropology is a really diverse field, and it was kind of cool to see all the things that fall under this one giant umbrella and how those different fields play off each other.

What interested you in a forensics minor?

I'm studying to become a forensic anthropologist. I've always had a passion for forensics. If I didn't go into biology, I would have gone into criminalist chemistry and forensics. I've had the opportunity to introduce my biology background into forensic anthropology, which has been a lot of fun for me.

What have been your most exciting academic experiences here?

Working with Dr. (Kathleen) Blake, who's the resident forensic anthropologist. She really encouraged me to study in England, so last semester I spent my time in Ormskirk, England, studying at Edge Hill University for the semester. I took courses at Edge Hill -- I had the opportunity to take epidemiology and pharmacology, two fields I've always been interested in. I got to travel a lot. I spent a lot of time in Scotland and also traveled to Dublin, Barcelona, the English countryside and my favorite city, Liverpool.

What do you think of your professors at SUNY Oswego?

I love them. Dr. Blake has been one of my biggest supporters these last couple of years. The professors have all given me so many opportunities. When I was in the opera, I was playing with members of the Eastman Wind Ensemble (University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music) -- they're phenomenal players. The first week in October, I'm presenting (research) at the Bioarchaeologist's Northeast Regional Dialogue. I'm presenting my work in forming the college's (human) skeletal collection.

What is the purpose of the skeletal collection?

When you're studying forensic anthropology, you can look at as many pictures as you want to, but until you get the bones in your hands, it's very difficult to conceptualize some of the different features that might occur (for example) as a result of disease. It's easier to touch it and examine it and know what it looks like firsthand. What we're really doing is creating a teaching material for Dr. Blake to use in all her biological anthropology classes, and then potentially to lend it out to other SUNY colleges.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

I'm in the process of applying for a Fulbright grant. I would like to go back to England and Scotland to get my master's. I'm currently looking at the University College of London and the University of Dundee. After I get my master's, I plan to come back to the U.S. to study for my Ph.D. Ideally, I would like to work for one of the labs in Hawaii or D.C. that specializes in the identification of soldiers lost in war. That's my end goal, but if I wound up teaching at a university and conducting my own research, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

What's your interest in music at SUNY Oswego?

I've been playing the clarinet since fourth grade. It was something so deeply ingrained in my life. I think I went two weeks here and then said to myself, "School just doesn't feel right if I'm not playing." I joined the wind ensemble my freshman year, and I've been a part of "The Marriage of Figaro" (staged by Oswego Opera) on campus. Right now I'm only in the philharmonic orchestra, but previously I've done a couple of different quintets. I was in the pit last year for "Wizard of Oz." Music has been an outlet for me -- you need those outlets in life to keep you happy and to keep you grounded. I'm also president of Mu Beta Psi, the national honorary music fraternity on campus; we do community service projects and advance music in education.

What other activities do you have on campus?

I'm the secretary of the anthropology club. I'm a writing tutor. I work for Auxiliary Services as a student manager at Fusion Café.

You are incredibly busy.

Whenever I tell people what I do, their jaw just slowly drops and they say, "How are you still standing?" It's something I've never questioned. I know where I want to go and what I need to do to get there. I've always been a super-ambitious person.

What do you like to do outside of academics?

I like being out in nature, walking at Rice Creek. I used to be very big in soccer, so every once in a while I’ll play soccer, but I don't really have a lot off free time these days.

Where are you from, and what can you tell us about your family?

I was born and raised in Williamsville, right outside of Buffalo. My dad, Scott, is president of Woodmark Pharmacy in Buffalo; it helps manage the pharmacy needs of nursing homes in the area. My mom, Christina, is comptroller for a holding company. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in '85, I think. I have an older sister, Kelsey, and a younger sister, Abby.