University of Vermont

Board Member Federica Wade Views Policy and Getting Involved as Ways to Impact the Environment

Board of Advisers member profile

Federica Wade, senior and Board of  Advisers member in the Rubenstein School
Federica Wade (ENVS '13), Rubenstein School Board of Advisers member

How does a high school student living in Vicenza, Italy decide to attend the University of Vermont and then serve as a member of the Rubenstein School Board of Advisers? 

Federica Wade (ENVS '13), a member of the RSENR Board of Advisers, reflects that she did not have the luxury of visiting different campuses to guide her decision about which college to attend. She was living in Italy, and her parents encouraged her to apply "anywhere in the United States." Federica attended a college fair that just happened to include material from UVM Admissions. She felt an instant connection to Vermont because the lake and mountains reminded her of her home in Italy. She was attracted to the Rubenstein School and its applied education approach. "The Rubenstein School and UVM have drawn out the best in me and the hands-on learning has given me an edge over others in this competitive world," says Federica.

Federica is a senior in the environmental studies program with a focus on environmental policy. Federica cites courses such as Environmental Impact of Consumerism; U.S. Environmental Policy; International Environmental Politics; and Race, Class, and Garbage as fueling her strong interest and desire to change polices to improve the environment.

What does Federica see as the biggest environmental challenge today? "Toxicity affects all forms of life on planet earth," Federica comments. She adds waste management to the list of issues to be concerned about today and in the future. Federica is very concerned that people have a difficult time understanding that their consumption patterns today will have current as well as future consequences. "I see law and policy as an effective way to impact the environment. If I could serve as a policy analyst, then I could draft, analyze, and/or promote influential and timely environmental policies," Federica remarks as she envisions applying her studies after graduation in May 2013.

Federica was appointed to the RSENR's Board of Advisers in January 2011. "I believe in processes that bring multiple and diverse stakeholders to the table, and I wanted to bring my student voice to the board," explains Federica. "Participating in board meetings has been a privilege; it has been fascinating to see how discussions are framed and decisions are made.  Advisory Board members help the School by wanting students to succeed, natural resources protected, and ecosystem services enhanced," says Federica.

"I have known Federica since the day she arrived on campus as a first-year student, brimming with enthusiasm and energy.  Her great ideas have enriched the Advisory Board and brought much to our strategic planning effort.  She is a wonderful ambassador for the RSENR student body," states former Dean Mary Watzin.

Federica also served on the Core Team for the School's Strategic Planning effort throughout the last academic year. During her years at UVM, she has worked as an Eco-Rep to promote environmentally responsible behavior in campus residential halls, a UVM Orientation Leader for first-year students, and a Peer Leader for the UVM Honors College. Federica was honored for her efforts when she was inducted into The Tower Society in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, commitment to service, and distinct leadership abilities.

Federica's favorite pastimes include Italian cooking and hanging out with friends. "I enjoy cooking with and for others; cooking is a community act allowing me to share good food and bond with and listen to my friends or family. I pride myself on being a good listener and slowing down over a meal in this fast-paced world," Federica shares. Spending time with family is very important to Federica. "My parents are 'my harbor' and offer advice and perspective when I need it," Federica adds. Her family includes her grandparents, parents, and three younger siblings, and her friends include many mentors from across the UVM campus.