student sitting and smiling at camera
Environmental Science

Where are you from? 

I am from Portland, Oregon. I grew up in the southwestern part of the city.

Why are you interested in history and environmental science as your fields of study?

A lot of people choose university as the time to “narrow down” or to “decide what to do with their lives.” To me it seems a silly notion to know what one wants to do with the entirety of their lives before said lives have even started, so I decided to study all of the things I am passionate about. As I grew up exploring the wilds of the PNW, I developed a passion for how ecosystems and ecological environments are structured. Later in high school I started to develop a passion for history. When I enrolled in university, I quickly changed from a zoology major to environmental sciences. I quickly after asked my advisor if it was possible to triple major, and that is how I ended up as a dual degree student majoring in history, Spanish, and environmental sciences.

What has been your experience as a student of both the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors College?

I have had an overall good experience as a student of both of these colleges. The College of Liberal Arts has helped to support me when I am concerned and I have overall felt like a welcome and valued student of the college. The Honors College has also been incredibly helpful and welcoming, of course, it is quite expensive so I would expect something for that! Taking advantage of events and financial assistance has been both enjoyable and often important for my success here at OSU.

Have you started your honors thesis? If yes, what’s the topic and/or focus of your research? If not, are you considering any ideas so far?

I started my honors thesis, unintentionally, a few years ago. I got funded via the URSA Engage program to start doing historical research and that eventually became my honors thesis. My research is a comparative analysis of the rise to power of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Vladimir Lenin) and Francisco Franco, and I am focusing on how the rise to power between these two individuals is very similar although the both individuals are from different sides of the political spectrum. My thesis explains that the differences in the rise to power for these two individuals lie not in the different political ideologies, but the different groups they needed to convince in order to take power.

What have been some of your favorite classes taken?

That is a hard question in some ways, because a lot of the classes I enjoyed I took abroad. Honestly, a lot of my physical activity classes (PAC), like wilderness first responder, ballroom/swing dance, and surfing, have been some of my favorite classes. On a more major specific level, I am taking a Russian History class right now which is engaging. I also loved Oceanography, Native History of the United States, and First Americans Last Frontiers. Aside from that, my honors colloquia classes have been really interesting, my favorite of which so far has been “Who lives, who dies, and why.”

What are you hoping to do after you graduate?

I recently applied for the Fulbright Scholarship for the master’s in Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia. I am also applying to various master’s programs in history and environmental science in Europe, such as at ETH Zurich and Lund University in Sweden. This summer, before I go to graduate school, I will be doing some big adventure. Current ideas include Mt. Denali, biking around Iceland, or canoeing the Yukon, however this is subject to change. I need a bit of an academic break over the summer before I jump back into things. After my master’s I will get a doctorate in environmental sciences, and from here I hope to work as a researcher or a professor teaching environmental sciences and perhaps history. I have also considered working as a historian, but as of now I am uncertain of future career plans.

How do you feel that your experience in CLA and HC is setting you up for success?

I feel that my experience in the Honors College has given me some of the tools needed for success in an academically rigorous environment. Studying and working within these two colleges on both coursework and my thesis has presented me with challenges I have overcome with the help of my research mentors and Honors College advisors. These colleges working together have helped to ensure that I am prepared for my graduate studies and to furthermore to set me up for success in my career and within life’s grand adventure.