Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Program: Knowledge Integration
Recipient of the 2017 Dean of Environment's Scholarship for Excellence
Since doing a fateful presentation on recycling at 8 years old, Ellen’s dedication to environmental sustainability has not waned one bit. In her AP Human Geography class, she investigated the viability of the Millennium Development Goals and their shortcomings.
Most recently, Ellen has completed a three-week service project in Beng Mealea, Cambodia, where she helped to promote the sustainable use of water. Ellen is looking forward to increasing the scope and complexity of her understanding of environmental sustainability during her studies here at the University of Waterloo.
Why did you choose to study Knowledge Integration at Waterloo?
"I chose Knowledge Integration at UW to gain essential and increasingly relevant skills in interdisciplinary communication. I am an individual with great appreciation and love for learning. Knowledge Integration allows me to continue to design my education and learn about the wide variety of subjects that interest me, such as Genetics and English."
What are you most looking forward to during your time here?
"I am most looking forward to challenging my beliefs and opinions through classes and conversations with my peers. I consider my undergraduate degree to be the perfect time to remain open-minded and consider different topics from different perspectives."
What do you plan to do after completing your degree?
"I am considering a variety of options following my degree. including continuing my education (possibly law school) and working to shape and change public policy."
What do you think is the most significant environmental challenge or opportunity facing society today?
"Our inability to directly connect our actions to major environmental crises such as climate change. Without ubiquitous acknowledgement of the severity of our daily actions and their influence on our environment, anthropogenic crises will continue to get worse."
How do you hope to personally address this?
"I hope to address this disconnection through education and greater awareness. Actions to implement these strategies could include redesigning the elementary curriculum to focus on environmental issues and our actions and holding information sessions on the topic."
What do you like to do in your spare time, when you’re not trying to change the world?
"I love listening to music and being active by playing tennis, swimming, or just being outside."
Apply for the 2018 Dean of Environment's Scholarship for Excellence.
Disclaimer: responses have been lightly edited for brevity and clarity purposes.