Earlham College introduced Epic in 2017, with the intent of helping students align their academic and co-curricular experiences to help them better discern their career goals. Central to the experience is the Epic Advantage, which guarantees a funded internship, research, or scholarship opportunity locally or internationally. Hundreds of students have now benefited from it. One has even gone so far as to sing its praises. Literally.
Nelson Morlock, a junior global management major from Minnesota, wrote a song that showcases how Earlham combines its renowned classroom experience with transformational co-curricular experiences. The special learning opportunities supported by Epic’s five interdisciplinary centers of excellence—off-campus programs, research experiences, community-based projects, and programs that spark innovation on campus—are intertwined into the song’s rhyming verses and catchy chorus.
The song also features advice on how students can make the most of their education: “Career discernment is a journey, we’re here to help you, so come to us early!”
The song got the attention of faculty and staff at Earlham, and Morlock has now been hired by the College to work on other projects, including producing a series of videos showcasing the work of different offices on campus.
“The College knew that I was interested in entrepreneurship—I already have a small video production business—and have been writing and recording music for a while,” said Morlock.
Morlock’s work for the College has turned into an educational experience in itself.
“We agreed this would be good way for me to put theory into practice and help me discern my future endeavors,” he said. “I’ve been involved every step of the way of this project and working with real clients. I love that and it’s helping me bring back skills back to my own business.”
Morlock enrolled at Earlham because of its distinctive approach to the liberal arts, and the opportunity to grow as an entrepreneur and further his interest in Spanish language and culture. On campus, he has enrolled in courses like “entrepreneurial marketing” and the “ennovation lab,” and received mentorship from the Earlham Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity.
In addition to his video production work on campus, he also interned last summer with a professional video crew assigned to Discovery Channel’s popular new show, The Laundry Guy. Over the summer, he will intern with another crew producing two shows on The History Channel.
Next year, he will participate in his own Epic experience, a semester-long study abroad trip to Grenada, Spain, just prior to graduation.
“When I was looking for a college, I was considering more of a technical degree in film or music production,” Morlock said. “I was also looking for that liberal arts kind of theory of exploration—and I think Earlham does a great job of combining the two in the truest sense of the phrase ‘theory to practice.’”
Morlock believes that being a student at Earlham also gave him an advantage in singing its praises.
“As a student, I was ideally situated to explain why I love Earlham and to tell the story about Epic in a very engaging, authentic, and student-centered way,” Morlock said.
“I think it’s pretty common for colleges and universities to have a nice formal professional video showing how amazing their programs are,” he said. “But usually the material is very serious. I love that the medium for this is a pop song and has fun production element that incorporates auto tuning and other special effects. I think this just speaks to the creativity of Earlham students.”