NRES Student Ambassador Lupe Diaz
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Year/Graduation: Junior, May 2022
Concentration: Human Dimensions of the Environment
Why choose to become a Student Ambassador?
Why am I an NRES ambassador you may ask? That is a great question. Being a NRES
ambassador to me means I get to be more involved in the community and major. The
opportunity to form better relationships with faculty, impact the department positively, and
help prospective students learn more about Illinois are things that appealed to me when I heard
about NRES ambassadors. Furthermore, as a transfer student, I can provide a different outlook
on things and help other transfers with my own personal experiences.
Why Illinois? – What factors helped contribute to your decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
I chose Illinois because I wanted the best education possible. Illinois is a top-tier
research institute that prepares undergraduates with the skills and tools to succeed in what they
are most passionate about. It also provides students with endless opportunities. From research,
internships, clubs and leadership roles, there is something for everyone. Illinois always
seemed very daunting to me. As a first generation and transfer student, I felt overwhelmed
thinking of whether I would thrive here. Little did I know, I had nothing to worry. I attended
my first lecture, eventually met the right people, and fell in love with Illinois. Trust me when I
say this, you will find your place on this beautiful campus.
Why NRES? – Specifically, why did you choose to study Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences?
In high school, I always excelled in the humanities, but never in science. It wasn’t until
I took my first environmental science course at my local community college that I realized it
was the major for me. I enjoyed that it was a very hands-on field, but at the same
time interdisciplinary. I was able to immerse myself into what I was learning by visiting forest
preserves, testing water quality, familiarizing myself with botany, and much more! Once I
started at Illinois, I learned that not only is the university itself highly ranked, but the College
of ACES is one of the best agricultural schools in the country. NRES has allowed me to
explore my interests, provided me with great advisors, and ultimately prepare me for a career
focusing on environmental justice and sustainability.