Ella Dean

Hometown: Larchmont, New York
College: Hamilton College

During my junior spring, I sailed and conducted research along the East Coast of New Zealand through the Global Ocean SEA Semester program.

Originally from Larchmont, New York, I graduated from Hamilton College in 2017. I was a world politics major with a concentration on the environment. Also, I played on the rugby team and was a member of the marathon canoe racing team. An active member of Hamilton’s outing club, I recharged from schoolwork and rugby by hiking in the nearby Adirondacks and skiing at the local slopes. I love to be outside and enjoy running, spending time on the water and sitting on mountains with a good block of cheese.

In 2016, I led New England Service and Appalachian Trail Challenge, and in 2017, I led High Sierra Explorer. A high from the Appalachian Trail Challenge was while we were staying at one of the AMC huts: a student found a book of folklore in the White Mountains. That night, our group read aloud sections of it; one section told of alien activity near Mt. Adams. The next day, we were scheduled to pass Mt. Adams. As soon as our group stood beside Mt. Adams, the Leader of the Day led us in an alien ritual. We synchronously repeated his movements and noises—screaming, flailing our limbs and laughing. I replay this moment in my head quite often because it encapsulates why I love Overland: at that moment, the Leader of the Day felt supported by our group enough to make himself vulnerable in a pursuit that brought the group closer together.