Manlius, NY
Master of Arts, 2nd year

Research Interests: Religion and Ecology, Environmental Ethics, Eco-spirituality, Religion and the Body, and Christian Social Ethics.

My primary area of interest is religion and ecology, exploring religious perspectives on the planet and cosmos. I have a particular interest in spiritual practices in relation to ecology, religious environmental ethics, and religion and the body. Additionally I explore these interests in the broader context of Christian Social Ethics.

Why Drew?
I wanted to explore the field of religion and ecology. Drs. Kearns and Keller are leading scholars in the field, and they have helped me explore my research interests. Additionally, the M.A. program has allowed me the freedom to work with my advisor, Dr. Kearns, to pick classes that increase the breadth and depth of my studies. Drew has prepared me well for further academic study at the Ph.D. level.

For what vocation is Drew preparing you?
My work in the M.A. program is preparing me to pursue a Ph.D. and eventually a teaching position. With that in mind, my advisor and I have developed coursework and papers that make me appealing to Ph.D. programs and eventual employers. Research tutorials have allowed me to further explore particular areas of interest in greater depth. Various student groups, committees, and volunteer opportunities have broadened my professional development so that I am not uni-dimensional and contribute in multiple ways to the academic community.

How will you have changed when you graduate from Drew?
Perhaps the greatest impact Drew has had in my life is giving me a greater sense of the interconnectedness. I’m not only a part of a local and national community, but also a planetary and universe community and a human and other-than-human community. I better understand how my actions are influential in and influenced by the world around me. I also better understand the connections between environmental issues and social justice issues and their common origins. Drew has provided me a much larger perspective of the world and cosmos.

What is your favorite aspect of community life at Drew?
My favorite part of the Drew community is the diversity of ideas and perspectives. Faculty, staff, and students bring their personal experiences from around the world to share and enlighten the community to the multiplicity of the world. This learning is encouraged both inside and beyond the classroom settings. Additionally, the lecture series and conferences on campus further foster discussions in these areas. The dialogues of Drew are quite enriching.

What advice do you have for prospective Drew students?
It is very important to research what programs have to offer, but it is equally important that you know yourself and what you want to accomplish. Spend time contemplating what you want to study and why. Think about your objectives and where you want to be at the completion of your degree. Once you have a good sense of who you are and your identity as a student, go back to the schools and figure out which program will fit you best and help you achieve your goals. You cannot spend too much time making sure you have the right program.

What is your favorite dish served at Drew community meals?
It is hard to pick out a favorite dish at the community meals, simply because I love a variety of food. It also depends on the seasons. I particularly love the soups and salads in the fall, enjoying the fruits of the local harvest. I also love the wraps, especially the vegetarian ones. It’s always fun to share a slice of pizza with classmates and faculty.