Interviews with five students who recently received departmental honors for academic excellence in the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development.
SDEV Student Spotlight Archives - State of the Planet
Student Spotlight: Graduating Seniors Reveal How to Thrive in Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development
Three students discuss their experiences, achievements, and advice for the future students.
Elza Bouhassira spent two years in France as part of the Dual BA program. We asked her about the experience and her emerging outlook on sustainable development.
Motivated by the opportunity to give back to her country, Ohemaa Ofori-Atta is studying Sustainable Development at Columbia.
Nicholas Kirby shares his experience in the Undergraduate Sustainable Development Program as a rising senior.
“Climate adaptation often serves to reinforce existing power structures by focusing on technocratic solutions and empowering experts and policymakers. My research and career goals are framed by this understanding, and I seek to center political and social mechanisms in questions of adaptation.”
“It took taking the Intro to Sustainable Development class for me to understand that this major is not only immediately applicable and vitally important, but also varied and interesting enough to keep me engaged throughout my college experience. Put simply, I discovered the passion that I hadn’t realized was there all along.”
For senior Norman Shafto, the interdisciplinary approach of the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development helped him link his interests in electrical engineering and environmental science.
Alyssa Menz’ upbringing and interests have shaped her enthusiasm and fascination for environmental policy and human-environment interactions. Her studies in sustainable development and learning experiences abroad in Jordan, the Middle East and Kenya have further fueled her passion for international environmental policy and conflict resolution. After graduating from the program, Alyssa hopes to continue her sustainable development senior thesis research on sustainable bushmeat farming in Kenya.
Grant Gutierrez’ passion for energy resources has led him to further explore the relationship between its application, development and consumption. He is hoping that his studies in anthropology and sustainable development will help him reshape the way people think about energy and the resources available. As a recipient of the Undergraduate Sustainable Development Global Fellows Grant lived in Chile over the summer and conducted ethnographic research on energy development in the country.