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The After-Graduation Series: Back to school with Brenna!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Brenna Hannapel. [Sidenote: At the time of this writing, I am sitting on a couch across the room from her in a house in rural Vermont that does not have wireless access, where all of the Hannapel family will soon descend for the annual family reunion.] You might recognize the last name and think it’s a bit fishy that I’m bringing in yet another Hannapel family member, but trust me, this is for good reason. Brenna is a rising sophomore Environmental Science major at North Carolina State University. She started out like many students at NC State—in the Engineering program. After completing her first year of study and returning from a trip where she represented NC State at a conference on World Sustainable Development, Brenna decided to change her major.

The Environmental Science major is a relatively new major at NC State, and Brenna wanted to be sure she was investing her time and money wisely. She has been working at Dr. Grossman’s soil science lab since her second semester, where her role is to assist and learn from (and with) current Master’s students on various projects with the “overarching goal of… enhanc[ing] the efficient management of soil nutrients in low-input and organic farming systems.” Brenna found the Grossman lab through her family’s Quaker meeting in Durham, NC.  It was through being on this lab’s listserv that Brenna heard about the chance to attend the World Sustainable Development conference and represent NC State. Brenna was one of four students chosen from NC State to attend the conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Thanks to her experiences working in the Grossman lab and in Thailand, (where her best friend was an Environmental Science major) the change to the Environmental Science major seemed obvious.

Brenna Hannapel at work in Thailand

Now, as Brenna is about to begin a new semester with a new major, she’s excited about the coursework ahead. She’s signed up for Introduction to Environmental Science with Dr. Robert Bruck, International Relations, an Honors course in Ethics and Gender, as well as a Spanish 201 course. Brenna will continue her work at NC State’s climbing wall and Dr. Julie Grossman’s soil science lab.

As an Environmental Science student myself, to see Brenna taking full advantage of her environmental education is really very inspiring. Personally, I can’t wait to hear about her sophomore year in the environmental program.

Laura Stephenson is a recent environmental science graduate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, focusing in environmental and community health. She is currently studying Spanish in Antigua, Guatemala. Laura writes the “After” Life of an Environmental Studies Student series, telling stories of the activities and endeavors of environmental science and studies students after graduation.


Posted on: October 3, 2011, 9:10 am Category: The "After" Life of an Environmental Studies Student, The Life of an Environmental Studies Student Tagged with:

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