Why did you choose UNH?
Choosing UNH was easy for me. Albeit quite large, walking around campus made me feel comfortable yet intrigued even upon my first visit. I loved that it had all the aesthetics of a true New England college campus and I was still close to the seacoast. Now as a senior, the walk to class might still be a hike, but I never mind the distance.
Did you know that you wanted to major in your current major when you arrived on campus?
I always knew I wanted to pursue a major with environmental significance. However, like most freshman I had no clue where to start. The Natural Resources department of UNH is another reason why I am here. They provide students with so many resources and outlets to get involved with the program, with majors ranging from Wildlife Ecology to Environmental Resource Economics to Hydrology. However, my interests with the environment have always had a strong connection with the social, anthropological side. A fairly recent program endowed at UNH, Community and Environmental Planning (CEP), stood out to me as the perfect social science major. As the condition of our natural environment becomes an increasing concern for our future, as well as our ability to coexist, CEP allows students to expand their skills and knowledge in learning how to think strategically for the integration of both the human and natural systems within communities.
What's been your favorite class thus far?
My favorite class so far has been NR 724/824: Conflict Resolution in Resource Management taught by Dr. Becker. The class was challenging but I have never learned so much about the policy, planning and the many techniques that are vital for resolving conflicts on a local level and finding the solutions that meet all stakeholders needs for suitable resource management. In my opinion, knowing how to negotiate and resolve conflicts effectively with stakeholders who share different opinions on a resource management issue is critical for all environmental majors.
Which UNH faculty member has had the greatest impact on you?
I took my first CEP course with Dr. French my sophomore year and he was truly the catalyst for getting me on board with this major. I found his passion and enthusiasm for this type of field truly admirable. Dr. French left me eager to become more involved with thinking strategically for communities as well as the protection of our environment. Most importantly, his experience working on sustainable development and planning during his service in the PeaceCorps inspires me to do the same with my future.
Describe something non-academic about which you are passionate?
Something non-academic I have grown a passion for recently is food security for impoverished communities or communities living in "food deserts", which means they have limited or no access to necessary and fresh nutrient dense food.
This summer I worked for a small organization whose goal was to make such food accessible to low-income communities throughout Connecticut. My favorite part of the work required for this organization was the "farm-gleaning" which meant traveling to local farms within Connecticut to pick up the produce that was still fresh and edible but not sold in their farm stands. We would take these items such as fresh summer squash and zucchini and deliver them to other non-profit organizations within low-income communities who share similar goals of supplying nutrient dense food to those in need.