What is your previous work experience?
After graduating from NC State University, I worked in their Extension Forestry Department assisting with projects focused on bioenergy , prescribed fire, and environmental education. In 2015, I joined the Peace Corps and served in Malawi for two years as a community-based natural resource management volunteer. My projects included environmental education, fuel efficient cookstoves, income generating activities, sustainable agriculture, and forestry management. I then extended my Peace Corps service a third year as the National Food Security Coordinator, supporting volunteers in agricultural and forestry projects, while actively collaborating with partners like USAID and the Malawian government.
Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
The main reason that I chose the Nicholas School is that I was confident they would provide me with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to enter the environmental field as a well-qualified professional and leader. I also knew that I would walk away from this experience with a vast network of fellow students, faculty, staff, alumni, and environmental professionals who will support me in my career and personal endeavors.
Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I am interested in climate change policy, and how the United States plays its role domestically and internationally in mitigating climate change. I am also interested in environmental justice, particularly how the United States holds a responsibility in assisting vulnerable and marginalized communities in adapting to the devastating effects of climate change.
What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I am looking forward to getting to know all of the faculty, staff, and students at the Nicholas School, and learn from their unique and diverse perspectives. I am also excited to explore all of the different educational, professional, and social opportunities that the Nicholas School, and Duke University as a whole has to offer.
What future plans do you have for your career after the Nicholas School?
I hope to work either in the federal government or with an organization like the Environmental Defense Fund to push for more aggressive and urgent US climate policy reform. I would also be interested in working on a global scale within an entity like the UNFCCC, either as a representative of the US government, or with an NGO/non-profit.
I want to extend my sincere gratitude for the support you have provided. With this scholarship, I have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education and become a change-agent in the field that I am deeply passionate about. Thank you so much for your generosity.