My passion for the environment goes well beyond my academic and extracurricular activities.

What is your story? What doesn't your resume tell us about you?

My resume doesn't tell you that my passion for the environment goes well beyond my academic and extracurricular activities. I have felt a commitment to the environment since a very young age, and am constantly challenging myself to do better for our earth, and to help others understand that our impact goes far beyond ourselves.

Describe your dream job or career. 

My dream career would allow me to travel around the world doing conservation work in areas of high biodiversity that are especially threatened by human activities. I want to be able to create practices and conservation approaches that allow human populations to sustainably interact with their surrounding ecosystems. I am especially interested in finding alternative sources of high demand unsustainable products such as palm oil.

Tell us about your leadership experiences.

My own personal realization that I am a natural leader took place in high school, where I was the captain of our math team, debate team, and girl's tennis team. My tendency to take on roles as a leader has followed me to college, where I am involved in leadership activities in a number of different organizations. I serve as a peer mentor to underclassmen in the Women in Math, Science, and Engineering Learning Community. I serve as a Learning Community Ambassador for UConn's First Year Program, where I promote learning communities and the university to incoming freshman. I am a shift leader for Community Outreach, where I tutor struggling biology students at nearby Windham High School. I conduct undergraduate research in two labs at UConn, and intend to be a member of the Honor's Program starting in August 2017. Last but certainly not least, I am an ambassador for The GREEN Program, promoting TGP around campus and assisting interested students in the application process.

Tell us about your Capstone project experience and your journey, your team, the ideation and implementation.

My Capstone project pushed me a far bit out of my comfort zone. I was fortunate to work with five other phenomenal students with a wide range of knowledge and skill sets to develop our project. Our concept was to build a portable power grid using a small, flexible solar panel to provide electricity to remote areas that don't have access to an electrical grid. Instead of using a traditional battery, we hoped to use heat and air compression to store energy, eliminating the need for a battery that will not operate optimally in high temperatures and need to be replaced periodically. Working with my group to design all aspects of this product was an amazing experience that challenged my academic knowledge, leadership capabilities, and sense of idealism in the best sense. Almost a year later now, my group is still collaborating and is currently talking to a non-profit in South Africa who may be interested in working with us to bring our idea to life.

How will you use this experience to advance your personal goals?

My Capstone experience was perhaps the first time in my college career that I realized my ideas don't have to remain idea's. They can in fact be real if I am willing to work for them and push myself out of my comfort zone. I have already used this experience to advance my personal goals, developing and starting my own research project as an undergraduate researcher in ecology and evolutionary biology that I intend to write my honors thesis on. This experience really showed me that my ideas for changing the world are not silly. I will not be laughed at. It showed me that I can overcome my fear of being considered outlandish and unfeasible if I put in the work to prove that my ideas can create change and become real.

You're hosting an intimate dinner party. Select 3 figures you would invite.

Charles Darwin, Rosalind Franklin, Hillary Clinton

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