As part of the planning committee for the ENVX Symposium, I have the opportunity to meet with passionate, inspiring, and driven peers who are engaged in the environmental movement.
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
L&C Student Profile
What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?
My favorite class has been Global Environmental History. Associate Professor Andrew Bernstein carefully curated the content of the class to be engaging and eye-opening. He is a really kind and smart person who provided helpful and detailed feedback and cares for his students. I learned something new in every lecture, and those learnings are applicable to many of my classes to date. This class really defined my interest for my major in environmental studies.
Did you know what you wanted to major in when you came to L&C? Did that change once you got here? When did you declare your major?
I declared my major by the end of my first year after taking the environmental studie introduction class with Associate Professor Elizabeth Safran. Before coming to L&C, I was thinking of majoring in economics but my focus shifted after reading Doughnut Economics and taking the intro class with her.
Why did you want to go to a liberal arts college? Did you consider other types of schools?
The idea of dedicating my academic and professional career to a single discipline terrified me. It felt like a lot of pressure. I always admired people who were able to pursue different passions and interests in a serious way, and for me, a liberal arts education was the best way to do that. I major in environmental studies, but I am also an artist. I declared a minor in art because I enjoy improving my art practice with the help of amazing, supportive faculty. I also enjoy having the opportunity to learn music. A liberal arts education is the right type of education for me because I have a natural tendency to weave connections between ideas and topics in my mind, and I am a firm believer that knowledge and wisdom come from different sources and can be transferred to any discipline.
Why did you choose L&C?
I chose L&C because of its location. I enjoy going on walks in the forest to gain inspiration while also having the possibility to explore the city of Portland with a short bus ride. L&C was one of the schools that offered me the best financial aid as well. I was also looking for schools without Greek life that encouraged students to be agents of change for environmental and social issues.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
I hope to have a career in urban planning. The environmental studies program at L&C offers an interdisciplinary approach that is necessary for the creation and improvement of the built environment. I hope to specialize in urban transformation and the development of healthy cities.
Career Center Summer Intern Profile
Where did you intern this summer?
Comunifilm Producciones in Caracas, Miranda, Venezuela.
What did you do at your internship?
I coproduced the fourth edition of the company’s main social impact project “¿Qué Significa Ser Caraqueño?” I designed and published gifs, stickers, and an Instagram and Facebook interactive filter on Spark AR as part of the project’s strategic media campaign. I optimized data collection, transfer, and analysis using WordPress, Microsoft Office, and Google Suites. I also coordinated over 20 radio interviews with public and private channels to promote the event in traditional means of communication. I arranged meals, supplies, and equipment for the project inauguration and closure ceremonies, as well as informative panels hosted in the venue between June and July.
How did Lewis & Clark’s Career Center support you in finding, securing, and/or funding your internship?
Lewis & Clark’s Career Center made it possible for me to secure and fund my internship through the Hu/Hsieh Grant for internships in the private sector. I was able to fly to and live in Venezuela to work on a project that has a noticeable positive social impact on Caracas and its citizens.
What’s your biggest takeaway from your internship?
Many of the partners and sponsors I met in the project planning stage and during the events themselves are committed to making Caracas a livable place for its citizens and tourists. My main takeaway is meeting those inspiring groups with social projects that work toward this goal. I leave the city inspired by their resilience and human-driven approaches to changing lives in a place where the political institutions have failed the people. I am hopeful that there is a bright future for Caracas and Venezuela.
How is this internship connected to your career goals and/or future aspirations?
As an environmental studies major, I am fascinated by the interactions of living beings with their surroundings. Particularly, the interaction between humans and their habitats. I want to pursue a career in urban planning, to prioritize the mitigation and adaptation of cities to climate change. I want to focus on cities of the global south that carry the burdens of economic development standards. Working with the project “¿Que Significa Ser Caraqueño?” (“What Does It Mean to Be From Caracas?”) helped me understand how the city is interpreted by its citizens. The project started as a photography contest and exhibition where the public shared their view on the identity of the city. Looking at the submissions, I was able to see through someone else’s eyes the different faces of the city. The places portrayed varied according to demographics, but they helped me identify the aspects of the city should be maintained, improved, or replaced, and the considerations to make the physical space become a home for its inhabitants.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your experience?
Here is the link to the project’s website: https://www.sercaraqueno.com/
How would you describe sustainability at L&C?
The campus is moving toward an eco-friendly space. Our newer buildings are energy efficient and have LEED certifications. Our dining hall uses local products. Our sustainability office is providing spaces to listen to and implement student initiatives. There is still work to be done, but most people I have talked to are willing to contribute to a more sustainable L&C.
What’s your involvement with any sustainability initiatives on campus? What’s the best part of your experience?
My current involvement is as a cochair of the Environmental Studies Symposium that happens every fall semester. As part of the planning committee for this event, I have had the opportunity to meet with passionate, inspiring, and driven peers who are engaged in the environmental movement. We are planning to have a multidisciplinary series of events that will include academic departments and other offices on campus. For example, it is fascinating to see how staff in the Career Center, Office of Spiritual Life, and the Office of Alumni and Parent Programs are so excited and eager to cooperate in the design of this symposium.
What should incoming students know about sustainability at L&C?
We have a very passionate community, and everyone wants to help. If you take the initiative and the time to bring together different members of the community with different backgrounds, you will make great contributions to sustainability at L&C.
How does sustainability prepare students for life after L&C?
Sustainability, for me, is independence. The world is heading toward an environment where human communities can prosper for generations without being limited by resources. Sustainability prepares students for life after L&C by reinforcing a mindset of saving and optimization. This can be translated into many spheres of our lives. Sustainability encourages you to be creative and resourceful.