NRES Student Ambassador Jenny Chlipala
Year/Graduation: Senior, May 2018
Hometown: Lyons, Illinois
Concentration: Resource Conservation and Restoration Ecology
Why Illinois? – What factors helped contribute to your decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
I chose Illinois because I wanted to stay in-state and I remember my parents saying that UIUC was one of the best places for Environmental Science majors since it started out as an agricultural-based college. I knew there were a lot of opportunities to be involved with the UIUC community and when I visited campus, I found it was a perfect balance for me. Not too far from home but just far away enough to make me feel independent. Furthermore, there was an amazing campus town ready to be explored and full of passionate students and professors for me to interact with. This was further emphasized by what I discovered in the NRES program.
Why NRES? – Specifically, why did you choose to study Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences?I chose NRES because I've always held an appreciation for nature. As a child, I was fascinated by the outside world and would always check out books on plants, insects, and animals from my local library to learn more about them. My appreciation solidified when I volunteered in high school at my local prairie. It was there that I found my passion for prairie restoration, wildlife management, and invasive species work. When I applied for colleges, the first thing I looked at was how diverse and immersive the Environmental Sciences program was and how it would benefit me in my career goals. The one that really stood out to me was NRES. The research the professors were doing resonated with me and I wanted to learn more about the opportunities I could be involved with. To do that, I went to ExploreACES and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The sheer amount of programs and opportunities NRES offered to work with wildlife and the outdoors only made my passion stronger, and I knew I made the right choice in choosing this major and accepting UIUC as my home.