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Erin Storch wears her Carolina blue graduation gown in front of South Building on UNC's campus.

“There isn’t really a typical day of a midshipman,” says Erin Storch, recent graduate and newly commissioned naval officer.

Storch, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, fell in love with Carolina and the community when she visited the campus for Admitted Students Day. During that visit, she also met current UNC Navy ROTC midshipmen. Inspired by their experiences, she decided to pursue NROTC as a Tar Heel.

At Carolina, Storch’s time as a midshipman included leadership development, early morning physical training and Navy career exploration. She was also able to spend a summer on the Mediterranean Sea and in Mallorca, Spain, as part of an aircraft carrier crew.

“I learned so much during that time period,” she said. “It helped me determine what I wanted to do for the Navy.”

Storch’s mathematics major also helped her grow professionally and personally. “The lessons that studying math teach you are equally about learning the functions as they are about building your ability to solve hard problems using the tools you have,” she said.

She thanks Marc McCombs, teaching associate professor of mathematics, for helping her through “Multivariable Calculus” her first year at Carolina.

“He was what kept me with the math major,” she added.

Since graduation, Storch has been enjoying time with friends in Chapel Hill and continuing her work with UNC NROTC. Later this summer, she will move to Pensacola, Florida, for flight training for her position as a student naval flight officer.

When Storch looks back at her time at Carolina, she will remember the people — her sorority sisters at Pi Beta Phi, her intramural soccer team, her fellow midshipmen and everyone in the UNC community who made her four years “amazing.”

“I can’t imagine my life without this place and the people I have met here.”

By Jess Abel ’19

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