Meet the Scholars
Graham Sustainability Scholars come from academic programs from across U-M. Meet a scholar from each of our three cohorts so far:
Major: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Entered program in: 2010
Field Based Experience: I managed to have two field experiences. For one, I teamed up with two other Graham scholars undertaking an independent study in the Pantanal, an ecologically sensitive wetlands region of Brasil, to build an Anaerobic Digester. We took cow manure from a nearby ranch and produced methane gas for cooking in the kitchen of small school built by another University of Michigan student organization, The Pantanal Project. Earlier that summer, I also spent two weeks in Detroit developing a community benefits report for the neighborhood of Delray in response to its selection as the landing spot for the new bridge between Detroit and Canada.
Why did you decide to apply to Graham Scholars? Honestly, I joined to scholars program simply because I had become interested in the environment and sustainability and was looking for something to spice up my Engineering education. I ended up getting that and a lot more. Over the course of the two years of the program I went from being a sedated sophomore in sea of undergrads to a senior deeply engaged in the campus community with the feeling that I had made at least a small impact on campus. That change was largely due to the network of intelligent, motivated, and fun people that the Graham Scholars Program exposed me to. I know those connections will continue to benefit me for many years.
Favorite thing about Graham Scholars: The food – there is something about environmental consciousness that inspires great cooking and the Graham Scholars are no exception.
Interesting fact about yourself: I spent five weeks after I graduated driving across the country. So, if you need a recommendation on small towns to visit in Montana, let me know.
Entered program in: 2011
Field Based Experience: I traveled to Iceland for three weeks as part of the CELL Maymester program. Iceland is a stunning country, with a myriad of geological formations like volcanos, the mid-Atlantic ridge, and geothermal sites. I learned a lot about how sustainability is part of Iceland’s culture, and how I could learn to implement these practices in my own life. We created sustainability goals for the coming years. I explored my own values and how to incorporate them into a sustainable lifestyle. Also, I enrolled in “Sustainable & Fossil Energy” at Camp Davis, Wyoming.
Why did you decide to apply to Graham Scholars? I wanted to have a close-knit community of friends who were motivated to create change around them – it is a great way to meet people outside of your major or school. I also wanted to see how leadership development could fit into my life in school and work. And I was especially excited to see where the field-based experience would take me. It turns out, it was one of the best decisions I have made at the University; it has opened up so many opportunities I would never have considered or noticed before.
Favorite thing about Graham Scholars: My class created a fun group called KRAC – Knitting, Reading, Arts & Crafts. We get together a couple of times a semester and do different projects. At the end of the year we made cards for all of the graduating seniors for the end-of-the-year potluck. We like to be creative and bring different dishes to share, too.
Interesting fact about yourself: My left big toe is half an inch longer than my right big toe.
Major: Program in the Environment
Entered program in: 2012
Field Based Experi ence: Not yet completed, but considering a program on permaculture in Brazil.
Why did you decide to apply to Graham Scholars? I decided to join the Graham Scholars program in the hopes of meeting people who would share their perspectives on life with me and challenge me to view problems of sustainability differently. I'm excited to get to know everyone well and to develop better ideas about the world. I think a major strength of the Scholars program lies in the opportunity to not only actively study sustainability in a way that fits best for me, but to also receive the funding to make that happen.
Favorite thing about Graham Scholars: The social events with great food!
Interesting fact about yourself: I like to sit on porches and I dislike winter.