PhD Civil Engineering, Civil Systems
Expected EDC Certificate Completion: Fall 2016
Undergraduate: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, B.S. Civil Engineering with Spanish Minor
What are your hobbies outside of academic life?
Originally from Boulder, I was raised to love all things outdoors and can’t get enough of exploring nature. In my free time, I love to hike, camp, backpack, and relax in my hammock. I’m a travel addict and my latest hobby of scuba diving has opened a new world of exploration. I also have a passion for the juvenile justice system and love to spend time volunteering at juvenile detention centers, previously in SLO County and now in Boulder County.
How did you become interested in global development?
I grew up traveling with my family to international engineering conferences and going on service trips with my church. These experiences instilled in me a passion for learning about other people and cultures. They exposed me to huge disparities in public services within a country and infrastructure breakdowns. I started learning how disparate global development practices can be, but also experienced cool success stories. At the end of the day, talking, thinking, and living international development got me the most excited and full of energy.
Why did you join the EDC program?
During my undergrad, I was extensively involved with Engineers Without Borders and was project manager of the Thailand Program at Cal Poly for 2.5 years. My work with EWB fueled my passion for international work and developing communities, but also caused me to be very aware that my studies and life experience thus far was not sufficient to adequately prepare me for a career in global development. When I heard about the EDC program, the combination of coursework and practical applications sounded perfect to further my education.
What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned from the EDC program?
Although I’ve only been a part of the EDC program for a few weeks, the exposure to different development approaches and the open discussion format challenges me to form my own ideas and critiques on development organizations and projects.
Where do you hope to complete your practicum?
I plan to do a practicum during Summer 2016. I’m interested in WASH projects and will be focusing my research on the sustainability of sanitation systems. I’m open to any region and would like to work with an organization that evaluates the social aspects of sanitation projects.
What do you hope to do after completing your EDC certificate?
Beyond graduate school, I aspire to work as a consultant to foreign aid programs, governments, non-governmental organizations, and communities with organizations like USAID or the World Bank. I hope to use my skills, passion, and education to refine current project methods of approach in the development industry and increase global access to important infrastructure like sanitation.