Student Profiles

Jesse Karpinnen


What has been your favorite class at COA? Why?
I would say I have two favorites: Marine Biology and Science of Popular Medicine. I was never bored in these classes and I learned a lot! In marine biology we learned how to recognize a bunch of local marine critters and also learned their scientific names. The classes were full of information and I felt like I gained an extensive amount of knowledge in our multiple field trips as well as in the classes! In the Science of Popular medicine, the teacher was well organized and provided us with a variety of activities that enhanced the learning. We read concurrent articles about medicine and questioned if these articles were properly scientifically supported. This class gave me a better insight to the world of medicine as a reader as well as a researcher.

Jesse KarpinnenWhat classes have you taken at COA?
Human Ecology
Marine Biology
Organic Chemistry I
Personality and Social Development
Physics II: Intro to Circuits
Organic Chemistry II
Science of Popular Medicine
Physics III: Quantum Mechanics
Biochemistry (short course)
Molecular Evolutionary Genetics

What was your favorite project at COA? Why?
There are two again: building of a basic home security system- circuit and the Service Learning Project in an Elementary School. In the first one, after learning the fundamentals of circuit building, we had developed the required skills to actually build a functioning security system. The latter one, was part of my human ecology core course. With another student, we designed a curriculum for a first-year elementary school class, which revolved around the meaning of water.

What is your dream occupation?
I am still in the journey of finding out what I specifically want to do, but it will most likely fall into the area medicine, public health, or alternative healing.

Do you work on or off campus? If yes, where?
I work with the marine mammal research group Allied Whale. I mainly work with Humpback Whale identification, but occasionally in the field.

What do you see yourself doing after COA?
There are several places around the world I definitely want to visit in some point of my life. I want to learn more about cultures, languages, and societies in general, as well as their local ‘medicinal traditions’ in their contexts. I hope to achieve these goals with a career in humanitarian help.

What country or state would you like to visit? Where would you love to live?
Long term, I envision myself living somewhere in Europe, close to home, Finland. India, Malaysia, and other parts of southern Asia as well as some African countries (such as Ghana, South Africa or Tanzania) are places I wish to visit some day.

What is happiness to you?
Though happiness can mean many things, I would say finding one’s emotional and ‘existential’ equilibrium are highly important. When finding this balance, one can more easily tackle problems life brings, and appreciate everything one has. For me happiness is a context, rather than ‘a thing’ and it can be shared with others.

What are your plans, if any, for your internship?
I hope to work with some sort of health practitioner or doctor, or non-profit public health organization.

What are your ideas for your senior project?
That still remains a big mystery for me.

What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
Hmmm... They are all running through my mind simultaneously... I had a long curly hair I decided to totally shave when I was around six. I cried for almost two weeks non-stop — my head was freezing!

What is your favorite food to eat?
Finnish rye bread with smoked salmon and dill and a glass of milk! Delicious!

What do you like to do when you’re not doing school work?
I often spend time out in the nature (especially in COA shore) just walking. I also like to bike and participate in outdoors activities as well as read.

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite flower?
What? Dandelion?? I don’t know!

What are your favorite animals?
Fish are pretty cool! I like to watch them in nature and in an aquarium in my room. I also like eating them!

What came first, the chicken or the egg?
I always argue about this with my grandmom.. All I can do is to cite a Finnish saying, which states, “The egg is wiser than the chicken.”

What is the motto you like to live by?
“Always look on the bright side of life” This is extremely hard to follow, and I have to admit I often fail but I have gotten better over the years =D

Why did you choose to come to COA?
It was an excellent combination of things I wanted from a college. It was close to nature and not a mainstream school. COA considers all its students individuals, rather than part of a huge institutional machinery.

What do you like to study?
Sciences! They challenge me, but when I get it, it feels great!

Who are your favorite writers? Poets?
Its hard to say anyone specific. I really like “Kitchen” from Banana Yoshimoto.

Who are your favorite artists? Musicians?
Its hard to mention one, I mostly like a variety of artists and music, including some pop, some rock, reggae, reggaeton, R&B, light music, dance.. almost anything.

Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Moomintroll. He is awesome!

What historical figure do you most admire?
I admire people who have somehow helped others in their societies and personal contexts. There are a ton of these people and they have never become famous enough that their names would recognized.

Who is your hero today?
I don’t really have a hero. I admire different characteristics in different people, but no one in particular.

What do you value most in your friends?
Good sense of humor, humbleness, honesty and the fact I can trust in them.

What do people say is your most marked characteristic?

What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could sing even a little... but no...

What is your least favorite spice?
Cilantro and cumin!

Do you have anything cool or unique you would like to share?
My right foot is almost two sizes bigger than the left!