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Meet Evan Kern '23

Harvesting a New Passion

Evan Kern '23 opening a bottle of wine during a wine tasting

Posted on 11.29.21 by Kathryn Canfield '23 in School of Business, Athletics

Growing up in Portland, OR, junior Evan Kern ’23 couldn't imagine continuing his education anywhere else. 

While looking at schools, Evan looked for a small campus that encompassed the same unique opportunities and balance between school and extracurricular activities that his high school provided.

As a son of two Linfield alumni, deciding to continue his education and athletics at Linfield University was an easy decision. 

Evan and his classmates at a winery preparing for a wine tastingComing into Linfield, Evan anticipated he would follow in his father's footsteps and study physical therapy after discovering his passion for anatomy and physiology. He quickly found himself on a different route after taking an introductory class in Linfield's unique wine studies program

“Honestly, it just came out of nowhere. Not a lot of schools in the country have a wine studies program,” said Evan.

“It's really cool that Linfield students have the opportunity to study wine right in the center of one of the premier wine regions in the world.”

Linfield's wine studies program dives into the industry's three aspects of wine studies: viticulture, production and marketing. Students participate in unique hands-on experiences such as working in vineyards, tasting rooms and talking with industry professionals to help further develop professional skills.

The opportunities don't stop there.

This winter, Evan will study abroad in Sicily, Italy.

Through Linfield's January Term abroad program he'll learn about volcanic vineyards, ancient grapes, modern wines and the role of varietals throughout Southern Italian culture. Additionally, he is applying for a semester-long program at a university based in Angers, France. Until then, Evan hopes to figure out what part of the wine industry he wants to pursue. 

“There are so many cool things I haven't done yet," said Evan. "Last May, I took a career exploration class in wine where we just got to go to many different places every week and talk to a lot of professionals in the industry. After finishing that class, I knew, I just knew I wanted to explore everything the wine industry had to offer.”

Evan racing during a Linfield Men's Cross Country meet at George FoxAlong with his passion for wine and working as an assistant event coordinator for Evenstad Center for Wine Education, Evan also serves as an outstanding member of Linfield's Men's Cross Country team.

Since coming to Linfield in 2019, Evan has accomplished and beat personal records as well as season records and lettered his first year. However, as a student-athlete, he often struggles to balance his time between academics, athletics and personal life. 

Throughout the craziness of college and the pandemic, cross country has been a constant in his life. 

"College is probably going to be the most stressful time in my life,” he said. "Academics aside, it's the most anxiety that I've ever experienced. But I love running; I love competing so much. The love for the sport outweighs the stress and everything that comes with it."

Evan with his Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothersEvan noted that he makes it through thanks to his professors, peers, teammates on the cross country team and his Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) brothers in Linfield’s Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL).  

“I know that it's not the saying anymore, but Linfield really does still embody the power of a small college, '' said Evan. “Linfield professors really care about their students and are really passionate about what they do. I think that's something that Linfield does really well.”