After aging out from the Jersey Surf in 2009, Julie Hill began grad school at the University of Florida for a Ph.D in Developmental Psychology. She spent the last six years working on her doctorate, spending a majority of the time evaluating teen pregnancy prevention and STI prevention programs. Now with her student years behind her, Julie recently assumed duties as Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville this fall. She teaches college students courses such as Intro to Psychology, Research Methods and Developmental Psychology.
Outside of her academic life, Julie enjoys spending her free time volunteering. While in college, she was highly involved in the Girl Scout Movement and spent four years as a troop leader for elementary school-age girls. She is extremely proud of the girls with whom she’s worked, including a high school student who she assisted in earning her Gold Award – the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. She says, “If I’m not volunteering, my life doesn’t feel complete. It’s just a really important part of who I am.”
This summer, Julie hopped back on the Surf buses to volunteer as a member of the Tour Administration Team. Instead of relaxing as she planned her relocation to the Midwest, Julie spent two months coordinating tour logistics, setting up housing sites, and keeping the corps punctual. Since she had free time this summer and couldn’t be involved with the corps during the last few years, she wanted to “give back and keep ‘sharing the love’ with the next generation of Surf kids.”
With her fourth season of involvement with the corps in the books, Julie looks back fondly on her years at the Surf. She says the biggest lessons she learned were how to persevere, adapt and how to avoid succumbing to perceived personal limits.
She advises, “Don’t settle for what you think may be your limit, because you just never know.” For example, Julie never thought she could spin a rifle in a drum corps color guard nor spend an entire summer marching on a blazing hot field; but by believing in herself and working hard to achieve her goals with the assistance of a caring and supportive instructional staff, she was able to push through and enjoy three incredible summers as a performer and another as a member of the team creating even greater opportunities for a new generation of Jersey Surf members.