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Shauni Trombly '14

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“I responded to my first car accident in September.”

Shauni volunteers with the Potsdam Rescue Squad.

Shauni Trombly '14

“This woman got hit by a tractor trailer. When I got there, she was sitting in the driver’s seat and she was OK. But an EMT was holding her head – so she couldn’t move it – just in case she had a spinal injury.”

“It was a ‘whoa’ moment.”

Shauni worked with the crew that got the driver strapped into a back board and then to the hospital. The woman was a little shaken up, but otherwise uninjured.

It’s one of many moments that are shaping Shauni’s time at Clarkson – and shaping her, too.

“Volunteering with the Rescue Squad is one of my favorite things right now. I get the call at 2:00, 3:00 a.m. and I rush off to help. It’s exciting.”

And it’s led her to get the training she needs to be a certified EMT. But she says this is only the beginning.

As part of Clarkson’s McNair Research Program, Shauni worked with Professor George Fulk on a project that can help people monitor their balance. She says it’s especially helpful for the elderly, stroke victims or people with neurological conditions.

“We worked on a sensor that can just go in your shoe. As subjects walk around, it monitors their posture, foot pressure and speed. Basically, it identifies behavior that indicates a risk of falling. This can change lives. It can tell people there’s a problem and give them a chance to fix it, before they fall, before they get hurt.”

And she took part in the North Country Mission of Hope, a trip from Plattsburgh to Nicaragua, where she built small but sturdy homes for people in the area.

“We put up houses – from start to finish – in 50 minutes. I’ve been working with the Habitat for Humanity club on campus and it can take months to build a house here. In Nicaragua, these little homes went right up and then it was on to the next one.”

Then, on that same trip, it was on to the local health center.

“It had so little, it could only dispense 10 bandages a day. A little boy came in with a head wound. He was bleeding, but they couldn’t give him a bandage. A volunteer took off his own shirt, ripped it into strips and they used that.”

“People say, ‘I’ll give you the shirt off your back,’ but there, they really did it.”

Even with all her course work and research at Clarkson – and her volunteer work – Shauni finds time to explore and have a little fun.

“Sometimes, I just need to go climbing – and in 30 minutes, I can be hanging off a rock wall in Colton. Or I can just run on the Clarkson trails.”

And she discovered the Montreal Jazz Festival, too. “It’s just a couple hours away and it’s a totally different world.”

So what’s next? Shauni says she’s not sure what path she’ll take or ultimately what medical degree she’ll pursue. But she expects more “whoa” moments as she acquires the skills to make that path on her own.