Through the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development, I have been able to study what intrigues me most: the nexus between environmental conservation and poverty alleviation. I believe this bridge forms a key connection necessary to help both people and the planet. The Senior Seminar Thesis Workshop allowed me to dip into the true value of attending school at a preeminent research institution like Columbia: the opportunity to interact regularly with scholars who are pushing the limits and defining the very field that we are studying. While specialization is no doubt important in order to make significant advances in particular fields, I believe that the world desperately needs people who can tie multiple disciplines together and implement them in a way that brings about change.
My time at Columbia has given me a strong foundation in the mindset and methodology to effectively implement this approach, and I have already seen the value of these skills within real-world applications. Through an internship at Millennium Promise, alongside research in the Millennium Villages, I address and solve issues surrounding cash crop farming across sectors including diet and food security, nutrition and gender roles, and agro-diversity.
My training in the undergraduate program has given me both the practical skills to successfully carry out this research as well as the context within which to understand the importance of my work on a global scale.