Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I am passionate about using research in order to bridge the gap between the ‘ivory tower’ that is the university and the ‘real world’ that is policy making and shaping. This gap is particularly obvious with regard to climate change. Through my doctoral research, I aim to contribute to finding the answer to how we can move towards a more healthy and sustainable society. By pursuing this graduate degree, I hope to be able to acquire the skills and the professional network that will allow me to take on leadership positions with organizations that strive to change climate policy.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I have traveled, studied, worked, and lived in almost 30 countries but I decided to remain at UBC for my doctoral research because it provides me with an unparalleled opportunity to conduct my action-oriented research program. UBC was recently ranked as the world’s leading university in climate action, speaking to its existing infrastructure and political will in this field. UBC’s mandate to use the ‘Campus as a Living Lab’ provides the perfect environment for me to meet my research and knowledge implementation aims. Moreover, UBC provides cutting-edge opportunities for emerging scholars who are interested in working on the intersection between the academy and the world outside of academia, for example, the Public Scholars Initiative.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability is truly interdisciplinary. The breadth and depth of the knowledge present among the students, staff, and faculty never cease to amaze me. We constantly learn from and support each other which is wonderful.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
At UBC, I was surprised by the energy and will to create change. In Vancouver, I am still surprised by the sunny days that break up rainy periods ;-).
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Perseverance and the unyielding motivation to learn and become part of the solution.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Widen your horizon and do not focus all your time and energy on your studies. Branch out and take/audit courses in other faculties; make use of the ample opportunities to get involved both on campus and beyond; and strive to become a well-rounded scholar with superb people and leadership skills.