What’s your story?
Let’s see. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, sandwiched between all types of extractive industries and pristine woods and rivers. I fell in love with rocks and started studying geology and geography in college. I have a heart for the environment, but also love people. Taking the time to really get to know the people around me has enriched my everyday life and has allowed me to care for and meet the needs of others. I laugh a lot, which makes hiding difficult (don’t pick me for hide and seek!). People can usually hear me before they see me. I’m fun and spunky, love to learn and teach and fix problems.
"I would really like for our waters to be clean and accessible, the earth to be healthy, and for people to laugh more. Sounds like I have a lifetime of work ahead of me!"
Describe your dream job.
I enjoy tackling interdisciplinary problems, as I have experiences and interests in many areas of study beyond STEM. I love bringing people together and making connections between parties so that each may benefit. If my job could be to go meet people, teach and encourage them, and keep people and the earth safe, happy, and healthy, then I’d have one killer job!
Why do you believe that you are the next-generation pioneer of your industry?
I think our world is moving toward more collaborative, interdisciplinary work. As knowledge becomes more accessible, as it has due to technology and communication advances, it is knowing what to do with knowledge that becomes key. I enjoy having diverse experiences, as it has shaped my understanding of the world and allows me to see where the needs are so that we as a society/community/lab group can address them in an efficient and creative way.
Tell us about your leadership experiences.
From my experiences, leadership can take the form of a defined, institutional role, or a day-to-day guiding role. I have held executive positions in campus community groups that aim to tackle major social issues through dialogue. I have also mentored students and youth through their schooling and/or faith.
How has GREEN play a role in shaping your professional endeavors?
I interned at the Department of Energy the summer prior to my trip to Iceland with the GREEN Program. There, I gained firsthand knowledge and experience with coal-fired power plants and how they use/reuse water. Going to Iceland and seeing how the country has integrated renewable energy and sustainable practices at a national level gave me hope for the future of energy and planted ideas of how this could work closer to home. One of the things I kept in mind since the GREEN Program is that there is not one universal answer to energy creation. Iceland can be energy independent because of geothermal and hydropower. It is also a small country. Not everyone has access to geothermal energy or water, so each case study needs to be assessed for the resources it has available for use.
If you were to build your own business, what would you do?
In today’s world, the media is incredibly negative, burdening the social psyche of our nation. I would love to start a news network that is based on bringing positive news to the public: celebrating unity in communities, new scientific discoveries, cool art projects, etc. By shifting the focus from what we are doing wrong as a society to what we are doing right, we can share a hopeful outlook on the future.