Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2001
Amber Brkich, a 2000 Westminster College graduate from Beaver, Pa., is attempting to outwit, outplay and outlast 15 others for survival and a million dollar prize on the CBS show Survivor II: The Australian Outback. Amber earned in a degree in public relations with a minor in speech communications at Westminster last May, and was vice president of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. Survivor airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
More than 75 members of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority at Westminster College gathered in The Down Under non-alcoholic nightclub on campus last Thursday to watch sorority sister Amber Brkich, on Survivor: The Australian Outback. The sorority has raised nearly $500 for The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation by holding raffles in conjunction with the weekly Survivor group viewings.
Dr. James Perkins, professor of English and chair of the Department of English and Public Relations, Amber's faculty advisor
"Amber should be well suited for the tasks ahead of her. We tell public relations majors that we are training them to become "survivors" in a rapidly changing world. Amber is able to see both problems and opportunities. She can solve the former and take advantage of the later. She is a good listener and a skillful communicator. I assume that there were literally thousands of applicants for the 16 final contestants. That being the case I think you could say that those 16 are already survivors."
Suzanne Prestien, instructor of English and public relations
"Amber was in three of my classes and in each class, she demonstrated the same leadership ability. She was a real go-getter and motivated the other students to work hard as well. She was a determined and responsible student."
Camille Hawthorne, associate dean of student affairs, Amber's Fresh Start supervisor
How do I know her? "Well... her older sister, Nicole, graduated from Westminster, then her brother, Val, also graduated from WC. So I knew her sister and brother, so her last name was already familiar to me when she enrolled. Amber was selected for a leadership position on the Fresh Start, orientation staff, for the fall semester, 1997. She served on the Fresh Start staff until she graduated. I also advise the Panhellenic Association on campus and Amber was involved in her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. So that is how I know her."
Describe her personality: "For Fresh Start staff positions we look for individuals who work well together on teams, able to take on leadership roles and help new students adjust to their new surroundings. The students need to be actively involved with campus life and be able to convey these feelings to new students. Amber was friendly and gave 100 percent to the Fresh Start staff."
Surprised that she was chosen as a survivor? "Considering I did not watch the first survivor, I'm not sure the type of individual they are looking for. However, it did not surprise me that she would take a journal and pen as her personal items. Amber was a good student and knowing that she would want to record her thoughts is just a continuation of her out of the classroom education. It does not surprise me that she applied for the position. What the heck, she just graduated from college & what better time to challenge yourself!"
"I went on spring break with Amber in 1999 and she is just someone that is really easy to get along with and knows how to have a good time. She can make the best out of any situation whether good or bad, she always has fun and helps others have fun too."
-- Beth Lockschmidt, Sr., political science major, Belle Vernon, Pa.
"I've known Amber since high school, but it wasn't until we came to Westminster that we became really good friends. She's an amazing person -- someone who is so genuinely nice and considerate. I have too many memories to pick just one, but I would like to say that I hope that something good comes out of this for her. She deserves only the best!"
-- Stephanie Higgins, Sr., visual arts communications major, Beaver, Pa.
"Amber is doing extremely well. It looks like Westminster College students can survive out there in the real world or the quasi-real world, either way we survive. She is going to go far because she is playing her cards right. As my Fresh Start leader in my first year of college, Amber taught me how to survive on a college campus. Now it's her turn to show us how to survive in the Outback -- Titans will survive." -- Collins Fobanjong, Sr., international politics major, Westport, Mass.
"We should be so proud to have a Westminster alum on national television! She is making us proud." -- Amanda Kengersky, Soph., public relations major, Punxsutawney, Pa.
"I think Amber is doing a great job! She is playing the game well and is making a lot of friends. Most importantly she is keeping a low profile. She is not talking about her other teammates. I think Amber is going to be on the show for a long time!"
-- Marianne Davis. Sr., psychology major, New Castle, Pa.
"I think she's doing very well&I'm actually very surprised. She's really holding up quite well and the team really values her." -- Andrea Majot, Jr., English major, Coudersport, Pa.
"I can't believe that she ate the bug." -- Sara Russell, Jr., Christian educ. major,White Oak, Pa.
"At least this place will be known for something else other than the Amish and a lake in the shape of Alabama!" -- Kevin Culp, Soph., mathematics major, Youngstown, Ohio
"It's cool to see that someone is representing Westminster, as well as my home county, Beaver County!" -- Matt Pournaras, Soph., elementary education major, Ambridge, Pa.
"It's just wonderful that Amber has had this opportunity. She represents herself, her family, her friends, and her college well. Hopefully things work out to her advantage."
-- Mark Scott, Sr., elementary education major, Bear Lake, Pa.