Why did you choose to study at WPI?
Coming to the university, I knew that I wanted to be involved in research and network with my professors and peers in a smaller, more intimate setting. I like that WPI offers research experience, without being in a research lab, and access to industry-grade technology, even as a first year. I knew that I wanted to be at a small school where I could be an individual and stay connected with my community.
How are you involved with the WPI community?
I have found it very easy to find my place at WPI. I have easily met people who hold similar values to me in the Green Team, in which I am the public relations chair. I also intern for the Office of Sustainability. Within these organizations, I have made real changes in our community, have expanded my own and other's knowledge of sustainability, and have contributed to something on a scale larger than myself. I have also had amazing opportunities presented to me in these organizations – from forming connections to upperclassmen in my major, to attending a seminar about Green Chemistry, to leading a subcommittee building a community garden on WPI's campus. Outside of the Green Team and the Office of Sustainability, I am a member of SWE, AIChE, Outing Club, and am a community advisor (CA). I love meeting the amazing and driven people in these organizations and spending time with people who have similar interests as me.
What’s your favorite thing about WPI?
Although WPI is considered a smaller school, student voices tend to be louder than at other institutions. Students can and are making real changes at WPI by working with and alongside faculty. Whether it's the Green Team working on changing the way we recycle and compost, or the Mental Health Committee changing attitudes surrounding mental health, WPI offers the opportunity to be a leader and has allowed me to advocate for the things I care about. I also value the community that WPI students and faculty intentionally foster. The kindness of near strangers is truly what defines the WPI experience — from simply lending me a calculator, to helping me through the stress of NSO as a CA.
Do you have a faculty or staff mentor?
A staff member who has been a great influence on me is Nicole Luiz. Nicole is a WPI graduate who now works in facilities and with the Office of Sustainability as the energy and sustainability manager. Her enthusiasm for new programs and ideas relating to sustainability helps bring them to life and drives student involvement. She has been one of the main supports in starting a community garden on campus. Her background as a WPI student helps her to understand my time commitments and workload. She also helped me slip into my new role of sustainability intern and provides nothing but kindness and support to student organizations, like the Green Team.
How has WPI’s project-based learning influenced your education?
Although project-based learning definitely takes some adjusting to, my education at WPI has been so much more enriching because of it. As a chemical engineering major, I knew that I would want opportunities both working in a lab and writing my own procedures. Even in my first term at WPI, I was able to achieve both those objectives. My fluency and skill level have increased tremendously because of it. Project-based learning has also allowed me to practice my leadership and time management skills. While not every group is amazing, learning to work with and gain understanding of the members of my groups (while also succeeding at the work we're doing) are important skills to have going into industry.