What is your previous work experience? 

I worked at Agnes Scott College's Center for Sustainability immediately after my undergraduate degree. For three years, I worked as a sustainability coordinator on a variety of programs such as outreach and education to the campus community, strengthening the arboretum program, creating LEED documentation to certify the oldest building on Agnes Scott's campus, calculating greenhouse gas inventory, and organizing health and wellness campaigns. I really appreciated being exposed to so many different types of work in the environmental field. I especially enjoyed working with my colleagues and students in creating programmatic efforts or advocating for changes because the work felt truly interdisciplinary. 

Why did you choose the Nicholas School?

I was a Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major in my undergrad, and as I learned about environmental justice and inequities that exist (and that will only get worse because of climate change), I wanted to understand the social side of climate change, the structural systems that shape our policy, and the process to make the best decisions possible for the wellbeing of the people. I wanted a master's program that allows flexibility in the coursework that would expose me to topics outside of my concentration, and also has intersectionality in thinking about economics and policy. The Nicholas School has just that. 

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

I'm really looking forward to learning the practical applications of what it means to make the best decisions possible for the well-being of everyone. What questions do we have to ask, who do we have to talk to, what gaps exist in our current policy? There's a lot of questions, and though the answers may not be super direct, I believe I'll get the tools at the Nicolas School to find the best answers. I also can't wait to meet new people who also want to use their strengths and knowledge to make the world a better place (which sounds super cliche, but it's true). Everyone is coming from a variety of backgrounds, but we all share a similar mission and goal, and that's really unifying. I can't wait to soak up all that the Nicolas School has to offer! 

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

I am really interested in the Community-Based Environmental Management certificate program because I think there's a lot of power in grassroots efforts and movements, especially in the environmental sector where politics, racial/social/environmental justice, economics and science all intersect. I also plan on taking courses outside of my concentration, like a courses in in the Ecotoxicology & Environmental Health concentration, so I can gain a deeper understanding of where scientific research, public policy and economics intersect. 

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

Currently, I feel like a sheet of aluminum foil--very malleable. It's unclear to me whether I'll be in the public or private sector, or where I'll be working, but what is clear to me is that I want to be an advocate for and work with communities who are marginalized and underrepresented so they feel empowered to make changes that ultimately improve their environmental and public health. The environmental field is incredibly expansive, and there are variety of ways in which I could do community-based work, so I'm remaining open to all the knowledge and resources that will be around me at the Nicholas School to find my direction.