Who I Am

M.A.: Environmental Sociology


  • BA Political Science & Spanish minor, 2019
  • Houghton College

A Bit About Me

I grew up in a small town in Western New York state, where I also completed my undergraduate degree in political science. Growing up in a rural community, I always had a strong interest in the relationship between humans and the environment; between the forests around us on the one hand and people’s gardens and farms on the other. Two trips to Sierra Leone during my undergraduate studies made me interested in how human-environment relations play out internationally, especially in subsistence communities that are more directly dependent on the natural world. I came to CSU to study environmental sociology in the hopes of better understanding these dynamics.

What I Hope To Do

I hope to continue working in Kalanthuba Chiefdom, in Sierra Leone, to better understand how conditions in that community are evolving following the construction of a large hydroelectric facility in their traditional territory. I also want to explore how this dam interacts with their experience of a changing climate and their agricultural practices and livelihoods. A better understanding of these processes can help inform future mitigation efforts on behalf of dispossessed chiefdom residents. When the second stage of the dam is constructed in the coming decade, knowing what to expect in terms of social and environmental impacts on the research area will have practical implications.

My Personal Thanks

This scholarship is key to making my master’s research in Sierra Leone feasible. It will enable me to pay travel costs to and from Sierra Leone, as well as covering some in-country costs, notably fuel and a driver. There may even be enough to help offset translation fees. As a graduate student on a stipend, these costs presented a serious barrier to doing fieldwork in this community that I care about. Your generosity is making this possible. I am extremely grateful both for this opportunity and for the foundation it will provide for future work at the Ph.D. level.