NRES Student Ambassador AnnaMae Dziallo
Hometown: Lemont, IL
Year/Graduation: Senior, May 2019
Concentration: Resource Conservation and Restoration Ecology
Why Illinois? – What factors helped contribute to your decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
Even though I was unsure of my academic and career trajectory, Illinois seemed to offer the most student organizations and academic opportunities. I loved the idea of going to a large school where student life thrived across campus— both in activist circles and in research labs. The quad particularly intrigued me because I could envision myself attending classes and gathering with friends on the grass. I also loved the old brick roads and quaint houses of Urbana that act as a contrast to the small city ambiance of campus. Furthermore, as a research-intensive institution, UIUC offered an abundance of research opportunities and faculty connections in comparison to other schools.
Why NRES? – Specifically, why did you choose to study Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences?
I am in the field of environmental science because the complex relationship between humans and the environment consistently captures my attention. Through high school, I gradually realized the urgency of climate change and understood that we each can play a crucial role in understanding, mitigating, and solving it for both environmental and humanitarian reasons. I knew my role would be pursuing an engaging and purposeful career in the environmental science and policy sector. NRES particularly interested me because it offered a small, niche department within a larger university setting. My classes are substantially smaller than many of my peers in other majors and universities. The small class sizes foster better networking and research opportunities since you can form close relationships with professors. They also are much more conducive to an active learning environment, and NRES overall is a tight-knit community of students!