Hometown: Chicago, IL
Year/Graduation: Senior, December 2022
Concentration: Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
Why choose to become a Student Ambassador?
I am an ambassador for NRES because I’ve had the privilege of being a part of many experiences that make the department unique, exciting, and valuable. I wanted to put myself out there as a contact and resource to help students of all levels find the opportunities I did because I know how helpful and valuable they are for future careers. The department is also pretty small, and I believe being an ambassador is an excellent way to connect with other students.
What about it appeals to you?
What appeals to me about being an ambassador is being the first representative that freshmen see for the department. I looked up to the ambassadors and upperclassmen when I was a freshman, and now I’m in that position. Because of this, I would say I’ve been pretty successful in my endeavors, so being someone students hopefully look up to is also motivating.
Why do you care?
I care because I was a freshman once and know how overwhelming university life can be. I want to help make sure other students don’t feel this way, but instead are comfortable and aware of all they can do here. Naturally, I like supporting people, and I think helping students find experiences that will prepare them for the future is worthwhile.
Why Illinois? – What factors helped contribute to your decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
There were a few factors that contributed to my decision to attend the University of Illinois. First was the proximity to home, price, and, most importantly, the sheer amount of opportunities available. In High School, I attended college fairs, ACES open houses, and NRES field events. These experiences helped solidify my thoughts that the university would be a place full of opportunities to explore the outdoors and learn more about the world around me. Before coming here, my favorite event was the ACES open house and hearing the ambassadors rave about the amount of pride and love for the College. It helped make my decision easier. I even saved a lot of the pamphlets they handed out because they looked so exciting and fun. Also, there were tons of majors + minors to choose from. I liked knowing I could add other programs to complement my major. Lastly, outside of classes, there were so many clubs and organizations to join that I knew I could connect with the community and make it seem like a smaller place.
Why NRES? – Specifically, why did you choose to study Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences?
As a kid, I did all the typically stuff of students in this major. Fishing, hiking, camping just always
outdoors. These experiences should have guided me to an environmental career early on but it didn’t. Initially, when I thought majors, I thought I would go into accounting. It’s manageable and has good job prospects. But that would have been so boring! So I did more reflection, and realized environmental science would be much more fascinating. What got me interested in wildlife conservation specifically, was when I went to the Field Museum for a field trip and wandered from class to the exhibit with all the extinct species throughout North America. It resonated with me and made me think about how it’s happening right now! And I wanted to do something to stop it; thus, I chose ACES. I actually didn’t know wildlife biology was a major until I searched through NRES. I saw it and instantly knew it was the one I wanted. Going to events held by NRES helped me envision what I could be doing in the future. There are many opportunities and people to connect with to get where you want to be, so I have stayed and have no regrets!