It’s 7:30 a.m. on a Monday and Erica Bilodeau is wide awake in Hoff Hall getting ready for the day, probably her longest of the week.
She gets up early to work in the Media Center before going to class at 10, then back to the Media Center. She gets lunch, has another class from 3:00-4:15, does homework and then heads to a meeting from 7:30-9.
It’s a normal day, less hectic than many actually.
Everyone knows an overachiever like Bilodeau, a person who devotes countless hours to projects, is upset they cannot do more to help — and generally doesn’t sleep much. Friends say she gets an average of three or four hours of sleep, six on a good night.
Bilodeau is vice president of academics in the Student Government Association, treasurer of the Habitat Club and an intern for student activities.
She is a writer for The Spartan newspaper, a math tutor, student orientation staff program coordinator, Campus Center building manager and she works for the Media Center.
Oh yeah, she is also on the steering committee for the Habitat for Humanity Club in Rutland and was a CA for one semester in fall 2011.
“I do so much I don’t even know what I do…I started in the SGA and it kind of built on from there,” said Bilodeau who hails from Castleton, N.Y., which she said is usually good for a laugh here at school.
When she closes the Campus Center on Tuesdays, a steady stream of friends visits her. On Election Day, she was seen going back and forth between her computer, friends and the TV. She is nervous as the early votes come in and her candidate is quickly behind in Electoral College votes.
Her visitors include Brian Cesiro, Alexis Esposito, Gabrielle Brooks, Ashleigh Bullard, and Jacob Schepsman, all friends she said she made this year at Hoff Hall.
They talk about Gov. Peter Shumlin as he comes on the screen before quickly switching the conversation to the annoying bass sound the cable has at CSC.
Soon after, someone from the Tuesday evening veterans meeting brings Bilodeau down a plate of chicken. She is thankful, but said it is usually pizza and diet coke.
But what drives her?
A lot of students get by with C averages, doing as little as possible between parties on the weekends and thirsty Thursdays.
“MY dream is to be dean of students,” she says matter-of-factly.
You might wonder why a math major with a budding interest in journalism would want to become a dean?
“I don’t have the desire to teach math anymore,” she said, attributing part of that decision to having five rough math classes the same semester. “(It was the) first time I was actually struggling with getting straight A’s.”
Her mom is very influential to and both parents encouraged her to do well in school, which certainly rubbed off on her.
“A C to me is failing,” said Bilodeau.
Melissa Paradee, director of student activities, has also factored into Bilodeau’s life plans. Paradee frequently refers Bilodeau to conferences or conventions that she believes will be helpful for her. She said Bilodeau took nine pages of notes at their last conference and makes sure to share the information she gets with other SGA members. Paradee said Bilodeau is always zipping in and out of the SGA office, always busy.
“She’s one of the more involved students I know of,” she said.
Math professor Dale Kreisler said he loves Bilodeau’s work ethic, noting her assignments were “always on time, usually flawless” though he may not love her new found lack of enthusiasm about math.
She is also highly regarded by Victoria Angis, assistant dean of campus life, who was Bilodeau’s supervisor over the summer when she was the SOS program coordinator.
“She has a good combination of people and administrative ability…She figured out what had to be done and did it,” she said.
Bilodeau is also well respected among the SGA, especially by delegate Tim McIntosh, who pointed to one example of her integrity on a vote for a particular club’s funding.
“She voted against it, not because she didn’t like the club, but it was just a principle thing. It was kind of awkward, because everyone was kind of looking at her ‘like seriously, you’re the one who’s going to vote against this,'” he said. “She wanted to make sure, she was not 100 percent sure that we were approving something that we were supposed to approve. She didn’t feel comfortable putting her name as part of unless she was 100 percent sure it was legitimate.”
Bilodeau started getting involved in clubs early, joining the science club in third grade. She also recalled her first invention. She called it the “do-do shoot” and it was designed to go under bunny cages and collect their poop. She wanted to help her neighbors who had rabbits.
But being so involved on campus is stressful though, she says. To relieve that stress, Bilodeau said she likes to run. She also likes an occasional beer, and likes Schock Top best.
“I like to do something relaxing at least once a day.”
If there’s a flaw in her, Bilodeau said she has trouble saying no. It got her in trouble when she was supposed to oversee the voter registration drive on campus.
She told the faculty members in charge she just could not do it. They kept insisting she do it, until after about the fourth email when they finally understood she just could not do it.
“It was going to be physically impossible,” she said. “I get burnt out more often now…I have to be selfish sometimes.”
She also acknowledged that despite her faÃ§ade and others perceptions of her, she has her own shortcomings at times.
“I’m not superwoman,” said Bilodeau, adding that being known all over campus also can be “like living in a fish bowl.”
And despite being about $100,000 in debt from deciding on CSC, and not getting paid for all her volunteer efforts, Bilodeau said she has no regret.re around 100,000 dollars after graduating.
But, she said she said she has no regrets.
“I can’t picture myself anywhere else.”