SERS Alumn Q&A — Neepa Chakraborti

Neepa Chakraborti recently earned a Masters degree and is moving into the next phase of her career.


What years were you at SERS?

I was enrolled in ERS in Fall 2011 and graduated the summer of 2016.

What degree did you complete in SERS?

I completed a degree in Honours Environment and Resource Studies (Co-op) with a Double Minor in Geography and Environmental Management (GEM) and English.

What was your favourite thing about your program/time at SERS?

My favourite thing about being in SERS was the diversity in courses that were offered to students. It was very refreshing to have a range of courses to choose from, based on sectors of the environmental field I was interested in. Furthermore, I appreciated the open nature of professors within the department, as I never felt intimidated to approach professors for information, help, or even the occasional life/career advice.

What was your favourite course and/or learning experience (and why?) in SERS?

My favourite course in SERS was ERS 316 - Urban Water and Wastewater Systems. It was a great course because it encompassed information about the topic in a holistic manner, and the sessions were interactive in nature, with audio/video elements, and plenty of time for individual and group discussions. I remember Prof. Wolfe referring to the video components as "video field trips", as each segment focused on a different area of the world, which I found fascinating. The balance of individual and group work for evaluations wrapped up the course in a great manner. I would definitely recommend this course and commend this type of teaching style to be translated into other SERS courses.

What are you doing now that is meaningful to you?

I just finished my Masters degree in Environment and Sustainability at Western University, so I am happy to have made a lifelong dream come true by qualifying for a graduate degree! I also traveled to the UK and India in September and October and am settling down to look for work opportunities. After many years of neglecting my health, I am finally finding meaning in taking care of my mind and body with a much-needed lifestyle change, whether that includes exercise, eating healthy, yoga and meditation.

If applicable, how did what you learned/experienced in SERS assist with what you are doing now?

SERS taught me to look at environmental problem from a variety of lenses. Every problem has an interdisciplinary approach, and true collaboration can assist in solving today's biggest environmental issues. My experience with the SERS program has made me flexible in looking at problems with an open mind, with eagerness to learn and approach things differently.