"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." ― Deepak Chopra
I am originally from Colorado. As a child, I spent many weekends at my family's cabin in the Rocky Mountains, creating a deep love of the outdoors and an abiding commitment to conservation. I first felt compelled to act on this commitment at the age of seven, when I attended my first protest. Community members were gathering down the street from my house (which was the furthest I was allowed to go by myself) to protest the extermination of prairie dogs to make way for development. I was outraged that they would kill animals to build houses so I made a protest sign- crayon on an 8.5 x 11” piece of paper- and joined the crowd. Though my response to injustice has matured since the days of homemade crayon signs, I continue to be motivated by a deep conviction to respond to injustice. Today, this manifests in volunteer work with environmental organizations, animal rescues, and youth organizations. It also motivates my research, shaping the things I am interested in and the questions I ask.
Beyond my volunteer and professional life, I have a passion for space and NASA that was ignited as an undergraduate when I began my tenure at the University of Colorado at Boulder majoring in Aerospace Engineering. Though I still watch every NASA launch, what I discovered that first year was that engineering didn’t provide the social justice focus I craved. A year after starting college, I took a sociology course from Dr. Dennis Mileti, who is the former Director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and changed my major. Since that first class I have sought to understand what motivates people to act altruistically and to engage in justice behaviors. I think about these things even when I am doing my hobbies- spending time outdoors, meditating, doing yoga, painting, spending time with my family and friends and building LEGO models-Yes, LEGOs!
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