Education Without Boundaries
Hadley Couraud comes from a strong, supportive family, which includes three generations of Goucher alumnae*. She definitely values their counsel, and took it into consideration when it came time for her own college search. But she also did her own due diligence and researched which college would be the best fit for her.
She made her decision after reading Goucher’s profile in the book Colleges That Change Lives, in which the college is lauded for its “superb faculty whose members love teaching and who take genuine interest in the individual student,” among other attributes.
She has found the book’s positive portrayal of Goucher and its faculty to be spot on.
“The faculty are so personable. They’re so ready to work with you one on one,” she says. “I work a lot better when I can ask a lot of questions, and I can go in and talk to professors and feel comfortable with them. I’ve gotten that, and it’s been invaluable, I think.”
Couraud says her friends at bigger schools cannot believe that she can call professors by their first names, send them e-mails any time of day or night, or walk into their offices without a formal appointment, “which I do. A lot,” she says.
Couraud arrived at Goucher knowing that she would major in biology. So far her courses have included biology, chemistry, an honors chemistry lab, an honors biology discussion group, as well as French and intro courses in English and psychology.
She says she feels challenged academically, and though some classes demand more than others, she says “I definitely haven’t been bored with anything.”
Beyond schoolwork, Couraud has been trying not to make her life as fast-paced as she has a tendency to do. “I’m trying to figure out where I want to put my time and energy so I don’t get overwhelmed,” she says.
Bearing in mind this self-imposed restraint, she did decide to start running, a new passion that takes up most of her co-curricular time. Couraud has joined both the cross country and the track and field teams, which means she basically runs at Goucher all school year long.
“I absolutely love it. … I don’t know why it took me so long to discover it. I love being on the team and having that group and that daily schedule,” she says.
Couraud has started dabbling with participating in other on-campus organizations. Though she has not committed a lot of her time — at least not yet — she is involved in a few on-campus bible study groups, and she helped plan some events organized by the Global Gophers, a student club that generates interest in Goucher’s internationalization. She recently started swing dancing with a Goucher group — both on campus and off campus — and she has become more involved with the Goucher Climate Action Group because she strongly supports the club’s mission and the college’s overall environmental sustainability movement.
“The effort that Goucher is putting into [green initiatives] is really great to see. Results depend on individual people and time, but I definitely love all the different ways Goucher is trying to put initiatives in place to make us a greener campus and to raise awareness for how we can better the world we’re living in,” she says.
Couraud is very grateful that at Goucher she has been given the chance both to develop her already-ingrained interests, such as biology, and to uncover hidden talents, like her new foray into running.
“Goucher is a place where I have felt less of a push to just drive forward with ambition and more of a pull toward truly finding a balance between thought processes, disciplines, and non-academic opportunities to ultimately center myself as a person — one part of a huge picture that fuses ideals from all aspects of life,” she says.
*Gretchen Muhlbach Couraud '84, P'13; Nancy Kooser Muhlbach '57, P '84; Hannah Winter Kooser '26, '57