What is your previous work experience?
Prior to joining Duke, I worked as a climate change communicator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In this role, I helped develop and implement strategies to promote climate science literacy and better engage the public in climate action.
I also promoted EPA's national programs and reports, such as the Clean Power Plan and the Climate Change Indicators report. I worked on more local- and regional-level projects in positions with the National Parks Conservation Association and EPA's Region 2 office.
Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
It is important to me to be in an environment where students are not only challenged academically, but are also empowered to begin enacting change while still in school. In my research of which graduate programs met this criterion, I employed a number of methods. These included reaching out to mentors and colleagues, researching the backgrounds of leaders in the field, and conducting what I admit are unconventional bottom-up internet searches, such as "graduate schools attending the UNFCCC." When all of my research pointed to the Nicholas School, I knew it was a perfect fit.
I thought the Nicholas School would be a place where I could both deepen my data analytics skills while also gaining a more technical understanding of the natural, economic, and anthropogenic forces shaping the environment today.
Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
During my time at the Nicholas School, I look forward to studying environmental economics and policy, focusing in the context of climate change.
What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I am looking forward to environmental law and policy coursework taught by leaders in the field. I am also excited to attend the U.N. climate change conference, COP 23, in Bonn, Germany this year. My classmates and I will be supporting national delegations and NGOs, and I am excited to participate in the event I pore over in the news every year.
What future plans do you have for your career after the Nicholas School?
Climate change is a global challenge with diverse impacts that vary greatly on a granular, community-level scale. I hope to work on climate solutions that are durable, science-based, and are uniquely tailored to communities.
As a first-generation high school graduate, it is so meaningful to my family that I have this opportunity to receive my Master's degree. I strive to make you and the Nicholas School proud of your investment in my future. I hope to impact real change globally, by dedicating my life to combating climate change. Thank you for affording me this opportunity.