What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
During my time at Maryland, I have been fortunate enough to gain leadership experience in three roles. First, I am the president of RESTORE, the student society for Environmental Science and Technology (ENST) major undergraduates. During my 3 years as president, I brought together ENST undergraduates in a variety of professional and social opportunities to prepare them for working in the field of environmental science. I organized an annual career networking event attended by almost 50 ENST undergrads, hosted internship workshops, secured grant funding to continue these events, installed a small green wall in our society's display cabinet, and put on social events such as hikes and field trips.
Another organization I participated in is the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) Student Council. As vice president of this coalition of student clubs in AGNR, I helped put together events that educate and engage AGNR undergraduates in the field of agriculture. Past events we have done include agricultural documentary screenings, visits by nearby potential employers, and a field trip to the Embassy of France for a private presentation on French farming.
Lastly, I am the current vice president of the College of AGNR Dean's Student Advisory Council. Our club will be meeting with the dean of our college to voice student concerns and brainstorm ideas to improve the undergraduate and graduate experience at Maryland.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
My scholarship lifted financial pressure from me and my family. Without my scholarship, I would have to take out loans to support my college experience at Maryland. I will be graduating debt-free because of my scholarship - a huge advantage to any college graduate entering the work force!
Why did you choose to attend the University of Maryland, what makes this place special to you and what is your favorite part of being a Terp?
I chose to attend the University of Maryland because it was affordable, close to home, and had an excellent program in environmental science. This place is so special to me because I have grown so much in my four years here! I entered as a freshman uncertain of my career aspirations and with a rudimentary understanding of environmental science; I am graduating as a senior with a much more focused career path and a solid foundation in environmental science from my coursework and the internship opportunities I gained access to while at Maryland. My favorite thing about Maryland is how the small, close-knit community of the College of AGNR makes it feel like home, but the huge and diverse resource of UMD (and Washington DC nearby) offers countless professional and extracurricular opportunities.
How will you make a positive difference in the world?
I am planning on attending graduate school to study the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients in freshwater ecosystems. Nutrients can contribute to water pollution and carbon can contribute to climate change. My graduate school research will contribute to understanding how nutrients and carbons are moving through ecosystems. This is important to protecting our freshwater resources and adapting to climate change.
What is your major, minor, class and graduation year?
I am a senior studying Environmental Science & Technology with a minor in Geographic Information Sciences. I will be graduating in May 2016.
What is your Hometown?
I was born and raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Tell us about your favorite class, extracurricular activity, academic opportunity, community involvement or another unique experience.
I love studying environmental science. However, my favorite classes have been those that take me out of my "science bubble" and remind me that there are plenty of topics to learn about beyond studying the natural world. I have taken courses in Greek & Roman mythology, Viking culture and civilization, the psychology of social networking, and an honors seminar on controversial issues such as gun control and abortion. All of these classes have exposed me to different viewpoints on both historic and modern topics. They definitely helped keep my scientific focus in perspective and offer breadth to my coursework.