UVM College/School: Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
Area of Interest: Environmental Health, Policy, and Education
Hometown: Redding, Connecticut
Why did you choose to come to UVM and major in ENVS?
During the college application process, I was looking for a school that was intertwined with the city, and surrounding community. I hated the idea of going to a school that had a fenced in campus in which I would be restrained. The University of Vermont was just the opposite, and that is why I immediately fell in love with it.
Entering the University of Vermont as a freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my time here. Majors, minors, careers, the future; it all felt so scary, new, and uncertain. After the first day of classes, I knew that my current business major just wasn’t for me. I vividly remember sitting in the two hundred person, Intro to Business lecture on the first day of classes, with tears in my eyes. I quietly reached for my phone and sent a brief, to-the-point email to my advisor. It read something along the lines of “Business is not for me. I can’t do this. Can we please have a meeting tomorrow? Thanks, Amanda.” And so, by the next day, I had my meeting with my advisor, enrolled myself in two ENVS courses, and was on the path to becoming an Environmental Studies major in the Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources.
How are you pursuing your degree by way of high-impact learning activities?
During my time here at UVM, I have found that all of my most meaningful and influential learning experiences have occurred outside of the traditional classroom. To start, I am currently enrolled in a class called Birding To Change The World. This service learning program pairs UVM students as enviro-mentors and “bird buddies” with children at Flynn Elementary School. Many of Flynn’s student’s are first-generation college students, and this program is an extremely important part of many of their lives. I have always loved working with children, and I have always had a passion for the environment. This class has been the perfect fit for me; allowing me to pursue my passion for environmental education, while also being able to see the impacts I’m having on these children, first hand.
Additionally, I am working towards completing my Wilderness First Responder certification. This certification is something I am so proud of, and something that I believe is so important to have. I feel so lucky that I have the opportunity to be in such a hands-on class, in which I am able to learn such important skills.
This summer I plan to stay in Burlington, and hope to find a job working for a nature oriented summer camp for children. I would love to be able to share my passions for the environment, and the importance of respecting it, to our youth.
What are your plans for your future beyond college, personally and professionally?
While my post-collegiate plans are still quite uncertain, there are so many things I want to do and experience. Ideally, I would love to spend six months traveling abroad directly after college. After that, I would like to pursue a graduate degree. I’ve always said that my dream job would be owning a boat on a tropical island and bringing tourists on excursions, while also teaching them about marine ecosystems, sustainability, and other environmental issues. And so, I hope my future brings me a graduate degree, lots of stamps on my passport, to the ocean, and lots of environmental education opportunities, specifically involving children.