What is your previous work experience?

Before the Nicholas School, I focused my work on creating bridges between the scientific and public communities. I wanted to prove that science was accessible and understandable for everyone.

Starting out at my undergraduate institution, I developed a promotion strategy that incentivized first-year students living on campus to reduce their carbon footprint. It was a great success, and I'm proud to say they mitigated an estimate of over 74,000 lbs. of CO2.  This grew into my co-founding of an Environmental Justice taskforce that prioritized interdisciplinary programs about sustainability. My mission was simple, "education with empathy was the key to success." Scaling up, I wanted my impact to be larger than just my undergraduate institution. Thus, I became the lead on a project that paired industry experts with undergraduate researchers to identify methane leakages in oil and gas fields.

After this, to continue my interest in greenhouse gasses, I transitioned to a position with the San Diego State University Research Foundation (SDSURF), where I identified accounting gaps in the county's carbon inventory and made recommendations on how to resolve them. After discussing these gaps with stakeholders in the region, I collaborated on the creation of a carbon offset framework that met their individual needs.

Why did you choose the Nicholas School?

When I started looking at graduate programs, most focused on research and required a thesis to graduate. But I wanted something practical and interdisciplinary, where I could take what I learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world problems. Although my undergraduate education was focused on the scientific principles of environmentalism and sustainability, through my work experiences, I saw that it was possible to make environmental practices socially and economically feasible. Thus, if this was possible on a small institutional scale, imagine the impact a large industry-leading organization could have! 

What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?

I'm excited about the perspectives I will gain regarding business and the environment from conversations with faculty, alumni, staff, and students. There is so much I don't know, and I'm thrilled to start learning! In addition, I'm looking forward to gaining a plethora of environmentally focused business skills and working on client-focused projects.    

Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?

Before I specialize in a particular area, I'm looking to explore environmentalism in the entertainment industry, sustainable agriculture, and supply chain management. In addition, I'm curious about the feasibility of creating a circular economy in a large organization. Pivoting away from environmentally focused non-profit organizations, I would like to understand what environmentalism and sustainability can look like in the corporate atmosphere.

What plans do you have for your career after the Nicholas School?

My biggest career goal after the Nicholas School is to become a sustainability director in a company that is leading its industry. By showing that it is economically, environmentally, and socially possible to be sustainable, other organizations will have a model to replicate, and we can have tangible environmental change for the better. While creating that change on a large scale, I also want to inspire the next generation of scientists by publishing a children's book series that focuses on educating our youth on environmental challenges and empowering them to take restorative action.