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What classes have you taken at COA?
Ecology: Natural History
Contemporary Culture & the Self
Philosophy of Science
International Wildlife Policy & Protected Areas
Biology I & II
Gardens & Greenhouses
Poetry & the American Environment
Ethnographic Research & Writing
Ethnobotany Plant Communities
Numbers, Names, & Narratives
Drawing Mineral & Botanical Matter
Literature, Science, & Spirituality
Curiosity & Wonder
Graphic Design Studio I
The History of Natural History
Independent Study: Practical Herbal Medicine
Independent Study: Bird & Small Mammal Taxidermy
What has been your favorite class at COA? Why?
Hmm...that’s a tough one. I love a lot of them for various reasons. Curiosity & Wonder with Dru Colbert has been very useful in bringing my senior project, and my career, to life. Plant Systematics with Nishi Rajakaruna has helped me recognize 30+ plant families on the spot. The History of Natural History with John Anderson has proven to me that history class doesn’t have to be boring--it can be storytime.
What is your dream occupation?
Artist for museum exhibits: fabricating artificial plants and such and generally creating things to communicate science to the public.
Do you work on or off campus? If yes, where?
I have worked as a tutor in the Writing Center throughout my time at COA.
What do you see yourself doing after COA?
I have a part-time job at the Museum of Science in Boston, MA as the Collections Curatorial Assistant. I also was an Exhibit Development intern at the Ecotarium in Worcester, MA for the summer.
What country or state would you like to visit?
I feel like I should go west of the Mississippi before I start roaming around internationally. So let’s start there.
Where would you love to live?
I love New England and hope to stay here. :)
What is happiness to you?
Sunshine, mud between my toes, and laughter with good friends. Alternatively: rainy day, hot tea, and a cat in my lap. Clearly, my mood is weather dependent...
Have you had an internship? If so, doing what? Where?
My first internship was as a Garden Intern at Spruce Knob Mountain Center in West Virginia. I designed, planted, and cared for a 20’x80’ garden plot as well as created a guide to local food sources for the center. My second internship was at the Delaware Museum of Natural History as a Collections Intern. I made 19 bird study skins, catalogued specimens, updated the database, and learned many more tasks involved in collections care.
What did you do for your senior project?
My senior project was The Human Ecology of Weeds: A Museum Exhibit. It is an exhibit in the Dorr Museum that aims to connect visitors to the plants they see every day and help them reconcile their relationship with plants that they usually consider pests. I created artificial plants out of paper for a diorama of a sidewalk, designed three interpretative panels, illustrated ten plants for a sorting activity, and made a video of interviews with invasive plants about their immigration stories.
What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
All kinds of playtime with my dad--building things (and taking them apart), writing stories, riding down hills in the wagon, and running around as Batman and Robin.
What is your favorite food to eat? What is your favorite thing to cook?
I love cooking random meals with whatever I can scavenge from the fridge--I’m particularly good at making quite festive ramen soups. In terms of eating, I love anything vegan. And I should give proper homage to chocolate.
What do you like to do when you’re not doing school work?
Depends on the weather. If it’s pretty outside, I’d like to be walking around in the woods somewhere or photosynthesizing in the sun. But if it’s raining, I enjoy knitting, drawing, and other craftsy endeavors.
What are your favorite colors?
I’ve always been bad at this question...but I guess I tend to have a lot of things that are various shades of green or blue. But red’s nice too and so is yellow....see, I have a problem.
What are your favorite flowers?
Little herbaceous guys. Lamiaceae is a good family for that. I’m also extremely fond of dandelions.
What are your favorite animals?
Cats and cows. They’re my buddies.
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
The egg, seeing as this question doesn’t specify whether we’re talkin’ ‘bout a chicken egg. So, yes, eggs in general preceded the chicken.
What is the motto you like to live by?
If life gives you lemons...shut up and eat your damn lemons.
Why did you choose to come to COA?
The community. People are passionate and respectful and generally beautiful humans. The professors are also dedicated to teaching and genuinely committed to their students.
What do you like to study?
Botany and anthropology and art.
Where do you like to study?
I usually find myself sitting on my bed.
Who are your favorite writers and poets?
Walt Whitman if I’m feeling contemplative. Kurt Vonnegut if I’m feeling discouraged with society. And I’m currently reading the third book in the Abarat series by Clive Barker.
Who are your favorite artists and musicians?
Florence + the Machine, Ingrid Michaelson, and Regina Spektor all have lovely voices. And Coldplay is an old favorite. In terms of other artists, I’ve always appreciated 18th and 19th century Dutch painters and their attention to tiny details.
What historical figure do you most admire?
I am a fan of Otto von Bismarck’s mustache, Leon Trotsky’s very unique death, and Rachel Carson in general.
Who is your hero today?
I’ve never really had heroes. I respect a lot of people, but not in a Bette Midler “did you ever know that you’re my heeerrrooo” kind of way.
What do people say is your most marked characteristic?
My “typewriter” handwriting. And my facial expressions. At least that’s what I hear about all the time.
What talent do you wish you had?
Upper body strength. Being able to cross the monkey bars would be a good start...
What is your least favorite spice?
I’m not sure that I have one...I guess I don’t like large quantities of ginger. And I rarely use salt.
Do you have anything cool or unique you would like to share?
You can use rhododendron leaves to determine the temperature in the winter. 40’s: vaguely droopy; 30’s: rather droopy; 20’s: edges curled; ‘teens: all rolled up. Try it some time--plants never lie.