Major & specialization area:
Natural Resources Policy & Management
Why did you choose your degree program/major?
My 20-year career in public affairs has specialized in land-use entitlements – engaging in decisions on how, where and why humans should be allowed to develop the land. Many of my work experiences involved stakeholders taking adversarial positions, as well as balancing economic and ecological values. I chose OSU’s program on Natural Resources Policy & Management to increase my understanding of the complex environmental issues facing our world today, as well as develop my skills in collaboration and consensus building.
What’s the best experience you’ve had as a student?
The best experiences I’ve had at OSU include the relationships that I have developed with advisors, instructors, and fellow students. The Ecampus platform allows for meaningful engagement, and I truly felt part of the OSU community. Beyond that I was grateful for the culture that embraces and encourages diversity, equity, and inclusivity, which is clearly a top-down influence of university leadership, faculty, and advisory staff.
Have you participated in any experiential learning opportunities? How has this impacted your student experience?
Alas, my 2020 experiential learning trip to New Zealand was cancelled due to the pandemic. Programs like these allow Ecampus students to connect with peers and faculty, and travel fuels so much curiosity and awareness of global issues. I’m impressed that OSU provides these valuable opportunities and encourage all students to consider applying.
What are your plans after graduation?
For the past 8 years, I have focused my consulting practice on renewable energy development, and my studies at OSU make me feel more empowered to tackle the most important natural resource policy issues of our time, as well as some of the most difficult conversations. The task of developing clean energy is not simple and involves competing environmental priorities. This expanded knowledge and tool kit will serve me well in my current role, but also open new doors for opportunities in the Pacific Northwest region that I call home.
What’s one thing (or piece of advice) that you would like incoming OSU students to know?
My goal as a returning student was to expand my knowledge and skills, and not only earn a degree. I encourage incoming students to follow their passions and enjoy the learning process as much as the end goal. One great piece of advice my advisor gave to me as a returning student is to start with just a few classes – don’t overwhelm yourself as you adjust to a new learning community or online platform – and choose classes that truly inspire you. I followed that wisdom and was able to start my program with positive momentum.
Have you received any scholarships from OSU or the College of Forestry? If so, what has it helped you accomplish?
I’ve done a lot of learning on social justice, power and privilege in the last few years. While my family is by no means wealthy, I do recognize that my whiteness comes with unearned opportunity not afforded to other populations. For that reason I did not pursue scholarship support for my tuition, in hopes that these funds are granted to students with greater need.
What are your go-to snacks?
I love a good trail mix that ideally includes chocolate.
Anything else would you like to share?
I will miss having OSU as part of my daily life, but will take these valuable lessons and community wherever I go. Most importantly, my plan is to be a lifelong learner.