How did you determine that college was the right path for you, and how did you decide where you would attend?
I knew I had big goals in the environmental field and figured that given my skills in public speaking, writing and reading, eventually obtaining my JD would be a good step toward fighting for environmental policy and cases. Once I found the geography department at Mizzou, I also developed an interest in geospatial intelligence.
I chose Mizzou because it made the most financial sense, and because I really liked the Honors College and campus vibe.
What were the biggest challenges you faced — from enrollment to diploma — and how did you overcome them?
I was soooo homesick my freshman year. I lived in a single-suite style room and although I think it was a good arrangement for me, it made it tough to not feel isolated.
My freshman year, I was also working around 20 hours per week at a local outdoors store. The time commitment was a struggle considering my 18 credit hours, but I learned to make it work! Ultimately, my job led me to some amazing friends who wound up shaping my college experience. Always look for the silver lining!
Who inspired you, provided mentorship or otherwise helped you along the way?
A professor in the MU School of Natural Resources, Robin Rotman, has mentored me since my freshman year. We are currently working on publishing a legal paper on the diminishment of national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906. She has taught me an incredible amount environmental law and policy, and educated me on parts of the academic and legal systems that I otherwise would not have known anything about.
Several other professors have inspired me along my academic journey. Many of them have introduced me to wonderful opportunities and professional goals.
How did you meet people, make friends and get involved at your university?
I met most of my friends through my job at a local outdoors store. Through them, I was introduced to rock climbing, trail running and cycling. And in each of those communities I have met countless inspiring and dynamic people.
Freshman year, I participated in the Chancellors Leadership Class. I met many friends — including my current house mates — through the course. Many of my peers in CLC have been part of various parts of my college journey as we all pursue our own goals on campus.
Outside of your academic studies, what did college teach you about yourself? How did those lessons help you in your professional career?
College taught me that I am complex and unique, and that there is great power in both of those traits. At Mizzou, I have become increasingly proud of my rural and suburban roots and first-generation background. My passions have been galvanized by all the wonderful people who have supported my college journey. I have learned that I am driven, resilient and brave. I have also learned that confidence and advocating for yourself are so important!
As I work through the law school application process, I am finding that each of these traits are essential for the career I hope to pursue. I am more than a student; I am more than an outdoor enthusiast, and I am more than a first-generation student. All of these things are part of my identity and all will make me the best lawyer I can possibly be.