"Amongst the silence I was hit with a sudden appreciation for the power and greatness of nature, the glaciers were larger than I could ever imagine, the mountains and valleys carved by there periodic movement over history. In this moment I also realized that we, humans, were changing it all, and from this experience with GREEN I found a new, much deeper sense of purpose in what I do."
How do you want to leave your impact on the world?
I want to transform cities and buildings from the highest source of energy consumption and waste into living spaces that have a net positive effect on ecosystems and people. I want the leave the world with much better built environments for people to inhabit, which I believe starts with innovative material use, renewable energy, and smart and resilient city planning. As the world urbanizes, cities should be built to be resilient, restorative, and our first line of defense from natural disaster. Bringing this thinking to the developed world where impacts will most greatly be felt is absolutely vital. I also wish to bring my professional experiences to the educational space and become a prominent leader in science communication and education.
What is your story? What doesn't your resume tell us about you?
I am a card-carrying geek from the Gold Coast, Australia, a lover of sports and most notably a lover of people. I am a passionate basketball player, an amateur astronomer and a lover of the outdoors. In my spare time I can be found shooting hoops with friends, out late at night with my telescope and hot chocolate, or outdoors exploring some new place. I was raised in a single parent household, by my mother who I adore and who always taught me the value of working hard but more importantly, treating others with kindness and understanding. I really see myself as a reflection of her and do my best to emulate the great person she is in my every day life.
Describe your dream job or career.
My dream job would be working as an urban planner or sustainability consultant for an Design-Build firm and providing smart planning and development solutions for cities. I would love to work professionally and get a masters degree to further my experience in design and engineering. Eventually I would love to work for companies like SpaceX, thinking about how to apply design and engineering principles on Earth to future human habitats on other planets like Mars.
Tell us about your leadership experiences.
I have worked as a Minority Peer Leader at Brown, which was a 24/7 job that required me to counsel, mentor and provide assistance to 85 first year students. The job focused on enhancing community development and a sense of belonging for the incoming students at Brown. At Brown I am also a tour guide, leading visitors around campus and providing them with information in a fun and digestible way on a weekly basis. Working in this role was very challenging, but paid dividends as I am now a much better, more equipped leader.
Describe a personal experience that has directly or indirectly influenced your career path.
As a first year student at Brown I took eight courses in eight different departments. As time went on I decided to follow my passion for space and physics and study astrophysics or engineering. I soon found myself sitting in an Anthropology course, looking at the damage that outsourced pollution was causing in remote regions of Africa. From this point on, I struggled to believe that I could spend my studies looking up at the stars, while there were many problems on the ground. From that point forward I looked to study climate change, and fell in love with studying the planet and its systems as a science and understanding how humans fit into that. Having grown somewhat wiser, I now realize that astrophysics is much less trivial than I made it out to be, and in my upperclassman years am now finding ways to incorporate my love for climate change and astronomy.
What is the biggest take-away and/or favorite part of your GREEN Program experience?
My favorite part of the GREEN Program experience was the hike that we did in þórsmörk. I was able to meet some incredible people through the GREEN Program and the hike was long and difficult and throughout it we all forged incredible strong bonds and helped each other through some of the more difficult moments. To arrive overlooking the valley, beneath two glaciers at the end of it all made the struggle all worthwhile. It was the most incredible view I had ever seen in my life, and as we sat there in silence looking over at nature in all its glory, I realized how incredible it was to be where I was and to share it with the people I was with. Amongst the silence I was hit with a sudden appreciation for the power and greatness of nature, the glaciers were larger than I could ever imagine, the mountains and valleys carved by their periodic movement over history. In this moment I also realized that we, humans, were changing it all, and from this experience with GREEN I found a new, much deeper sense of purpose in what I do.
Tell us about your Capstone project experience and your journey, your team, the ideation and implementation.
Our capstone project was working on a sustainability consulting company for cities. We began with the city of Detroit, using it as a case study to demonstrate the usefulness of our services. As a part of this case study we analyzed transportation networks, energy and water systems and waste management to optimize a new, low carbon city. Our team was comprised of students with very different educational backgrounds, from engineering, to public policy. We struggled at first to develop an idea however we broke down what we knew about the world and found crucial areas where innovative thinking was needed. We separated the team into four groups and focused on different areas based on the cities needs: energy, water, transportation, economy. This required a lot of research into how the city operates today and what natural resources are available to the area. Our final product was named NeoCity, a sustainable urban consulting firm.
How will you use this experience to advance your personal goals?
I have taken the leadership skills that I gained throughout the experience with me in every aspect of my life. The ability to engage in a new, challenging, educational space with new people is a unique skill but one that is beneficial as you learn to compromise, to trust and to be open to new ideas. I have particularly learned the value of experiential education itself, and have sought to engage new material in my life in more experiential ways so that I may learn in a manner that, I believe, is much more impactful.
Where and when would you go in a time machine? Why?
I would go back about 5100 years to around the time when Stonehenge was built. I would sit around and wait to see how people built it, maybe even help out a bit, ask why they are doing this etc. I really just want to go back to a moment and get a complete understanding of something happened, I want one of those "ahhhh" moments that will let me come back and explain how things worked, even if the explanation is boring or basic.
Is there a documentary or book that really changed the way you thought about something, or motivated you in a particular way?
How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie