Middlebury

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Major: Environmental studies, focus in History

ActivitiesTour GuideSolar Decathlon (Education sub-team), Everybody Wins! Vermont (Reading mentoring program) 

Study Abroad: I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain for a semester. Studying spanish abroad had been my goal for as long as I can remember and the strong abroad programs were a big reason I chose Middlebury in the first place. Traveling across Spain, Europe, and Morocco only served to further fuel my wanderlust - I'm dying to go back already! 

Why I wanted to become a Senior Fellow

There are a million reasons so I'll keep it short: I love Middlebury. Obsessed, even. I love the mountains, the classes, the town - but more than anything I love the people here. I'm excited to represent the remarkable student body, staff, and faculty members that make the Middlebury experience worthwhile to prospective students and help them see what makes this place special. My years here have been the best, most formative of my life and this is the perfect opportunity to round out four years of growth. 

What I did this summer

I am interning at an environmental tech start-up company in Boston called Practically Green as their social media and marketing. Practically Green is a young company, only three years old and has developed a digital platform that helps companies implement more sustainable practices at every level of their business. The idea is that while we all need to lead significantly more sustainable lifestyles in the future, behaviors will not change unless you make sustainability fun and, more importantly, easy. They sell their digital platform to companies (current clients include big names like NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, and Unilever) and have a free version for public use online. The whole platform is designed like a game (using gamification techniques) to promote sustainability through friendly competition. As the social media and marketing intern, I'm helping Practically Green shape their messaging around both their sustainability mission and the business audience the company wishes to target. I'm looking forward to my job as a way to implement my classroom experiences as an environmental studies major in the real world to try and make a difference in the lives of real people. 

Favorite things

Favorite Class or professor

I've loved many a class at Midd, but my favorite is without a doubt Reading Environmental History with Kathryn Morse. This was one of those rare times where everyone in the class connected intellectually. Everyone respected the material, the assignments (reading a book a week), each other, and the diversity of opinions. In other words, we just clicked. This 10 person 7:30 pm night class was simultaneously the most enjoyable class I've taken at Middlebury and one of the most challenging. Natural history of the plastic pink flamingo, anyone?

Favorite Vermont-based activity

Hiking Snake Mountain

Favorite Middlebury tradition or event

Not exactly a tradition, but I love the mentality on campus when the weather is nice. Everyone ditches their school work to be outside and it's understood that sunshine trumps homework any day. 

Favorite spot on campus

When it's cold out: in front of the big window in Bi Hall or sitting in Ross or Proctor for hours 

When it's warm out: Battell Beach if I can't make it out to Lake Dunmore

Favorite dining hall concoction

Panini with salami, cheddar cheese, dijon mustard, and humus. Don't knock it till you've tried it

How have you changed in the course of your time at Middlebury?

I was incredibly shy before coming to college. All through elementary, middle, and high school I was introverted, timid with my opinions, and slow to try new things. Giving an hour long speech to a room full of strangers weekly - the crucial part of the Senior Fellow job - would have been my absolute worst nightmare. Public speaking in all forms terrified me. By the time I was a senior in high school, though, I was bored. I knew I was more than the socially awkward and naive high school me. I was ready to be outgoing, adventurous - I wanted to live more boldly and take advantage of all the world had to offer. 

The community of friends and professors I found at Middlebury helped me do just that. They helped me unlock my potential, helped me embrace public speaking, and taught me to make the most of every single day. It is thanks to all the wonderful people I've met at Midd that not only am I ready for that weekly speech to a room full of strangers, I'm excited for it. 

One thing every Middkid should do before they graduate

Watch the sunset in the organic garden with friends.