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Meet some of our ES majors

Macy Carman Macy Carman

I am originally from Billings, Montana, and grew up very much immersed in the nature of the area. At Hollins, I have had the opportunity to count migratory birds, apply economic theories to natural resources, philosophize about the ethics surrounding environmental issues, and even design a georeferenced map for the Mill Mountain Zoo using GIS software. I have also spent a summer interning for a dolphin watching company on Hilton Head Island as well as for a sustainable architecture firm in Washington, D.C. During my time abroad in London, I interned at the Chartered Institute Water for Environmental Management, where I created a green careers website and sat in on parliamentary hearings. I will also earn my Certificate of Leadership through the Batten Leadership Institute here on campus. In my spare time at Hollins, I have been involved in equestrian pursuits, the varsity golf team, Senior Legacy Committee, phonathon, admission, and the board of governors of the United States Pony Club. I plan on attending graduate school to get my master of architecture degree with a focus on sustainability and historic preservation.

Brit Gardner Brit Gardner

I transferred to Hollins my junior year. It was one of the best decisions I've made. Since I've been here I've become very involved in the Hollins Outdoor Program. I lead trips for HOP and am part of the downriver racing team. My love of nature is what motivated me to become an environmental studies major.
Brittany Hanavan Brittany Hanavan

One of my favorite music artists wrote "Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world, The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own. Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings, But the heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own." This song has inspired me in much the same way as the Hollins Environmental Studies program. I have discovered the delicate balance and duality of human interaction with the environment. I have evolved into a better steward of nature through my courses involving ecology, global climate change, globalization, and the policy and management of decision-making processes. With an understanding of all of these fields I hope to be able to explore a future in Environmental Law and Oceanography. Recently, I was an intern at The Maritime Aquarium and participated in researching horseshoe crab migration patterns and behaviors. My ES major has inspired me to garner a similar love for the environment in other students on campus by leading the Wilderness Adventure Club and Students for Environmental Action Club as well as being a member of Hollins' Environmental Advisory Board.
Mya Jackson Mya Jackson

I transferred to Hollins in the spring of 2011. After I looked into the environmental studies program here I was instantly hooked. The introductory course, Environmental Science, lays out a wide range of areas such as habitat loss, extinction, and climate change—urgent issues we are facing today. After this course my interest in the environment and climate change only intensified. In January 2012 I went to London and Wales to look at sustainability practices in the UK. In the spring of that year I traveled to Costa Rica with the School for Field Studies program and learned about natural resource management, tropical ecology, and environmental economic ethics. I have really enjoyed my time at Hollins; it has provided me with confidence to apply to the Peace Corps and pursue my dreams.


Sage Otto L. Sage Otto

In addition to environmental studies, my life at Hollins has been dominated by athletics and the Hollins Outdoor Program (HOP). An aptitude across all these fields has inspired me to explore a future of wilderness medicine. With the flexibility of the Hollins academic system, I was able to create an internship with a regional nonprofit organization, the Appalachian Center for Wilderness Medicine, which has helped me find future opportunities with both the outdoor industry and medicine. My ES major has intertwined beautifully with my interests in obtaining the Hollins Outdoor Leadership Certificate. The experience component for this certification culminated in the Wilderness Institute, 28-day course on wilderness leadership, partnered with Radford College and based out of Pisgah National Forest. My experience is not unique. Hollins consistently offers incredible opportunities for students to create pathways for their passions to lead to their graduation, ultimately creating a class of fulfilled and self-directed students who seek to be a force in the world.

Jessie Sheperd Jessie Sheperd

My time here at Hollins has been short, but infinitely valuable. As a transfer environmental studies major, I have had many experiential learning opportunities available to me that would not have been an option had I stayed in Florida. As I want to pursue graduate work in wildlife ecology and conservation, having the chance to participate in fieldwork in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, and on the island of St. John, USVI, has allowed be to gain perspective on where I see myself after graduation. Outside of my academic endeavors, I also participate in club organizations like Students for Environmental Action and the Hollins Outdoor Program (HOP). HOP is an excellent outlet for the adventurous Hollins woman and it offers the Hollins community the ability to enjoy Virginia’s natural beauty. My decision to transfer to Hollins University is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Blair St. Ledger-Olson Blair St. Ledger-Olson

While at Hollins, I have focused my course work on ecology, conservation biology, and animal behavior. My hope is to apply what I have learned to bring endangered species back from the brink of extinction. Through my connections at Hollins, I have had fantastic internship experiences, most recently with the International Primate Protection League, working with endangered primates every day. In addition to my academic pursuits, I am a member of the Hollins equestrian team, competing both individually as well as within the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Hollins women are able to balance their rigorous course work with athletics and extracurricular activities.