January 18, 2015

My Decision to Double-Major: Combining EVST & GOVT

During my first semester at Lafayette, the Environmental Studies department was being created. I was able to register for EVST 100: Intro to the Environment. This class reassured me of my interest to pursue environmental policy through courses at Lafayette and for a career. Professor Brummel served as my mentor since that first semester of freshman year to her last semester at Lafayette. I went on to take ECON 101 and GOVT 101: Intro to U.S. Politics during my next semester to become more knowledgeable of the forces, debates, and interests that drive our nation’s policies. This was also when I realized I wanted to double-major in Environmental Studies and Government & Law.

GOVT 101 with Professor Murphy was a challenging class for me. It forced me to read the New York Times each day and to analyze the ways in which our country was either approaching or moving away from democracy in the policy decisions, laws, and actions by citizens that are being made. I was able to apply the U.S. Constitution and I was up to date on current events. I realized this was where I wanted to be. By understanding our nation’s politics, I would be able to apply what I was learning as an Environmental Studies student and make positive environmental action possible.



I pursued these interests further when I enrolled in BIOL 234: Environmental Biology, GOVT 310: American Federalism and EVST 215: Environmental Policy during sophomore year. I knew I was on the right track, gaining an understanding of the political processes behind national policy. The spring of sophomore year was the semester before I went abroad.

I had chosen my program, SIT Climate Change: The Politics of Food, Water, & Energy, during the fall semester of sophomore year and I had received my letter of admission into the program during winter break. This program was ideal for my combination of majors, for my career aspirations, and for my desire to explore. I did not want to be stationary. While abroad my courses were: Comparative Issues of Food, Water, and Energy; Political Economy and Environmental History; Research Methods; and the Science and Policy of Climate Change. My courses at Lafayette prepared me for this journey. The people that surrounded me – my professors, my friends, and my fellow TREEhouse dwellers – filled me with certainty that I was on the right path.

Supporting the People's Climate March from Can Tho University

Supporting the People’s Climate March from Can Tho University

Now, I am eager to return to Lafayette to apply all that I have learned while I was in San Francisco, Vietnam, Morocco, and Bolivia. This semester I will be taking GOVT 419: Global Governance, GOVT 215: Campaigns and Elections, Spanish 103, and GEOL 130: Dinosaurs, Darwin, and Deep Time. I am eager to continue applying a global perspective. I am excited to become even more knowledgeable about the political processes in the United States, after seeing the political fervor present in Bolivia. I desire to improve my Spanish skills that I began to develop in Bolivia. I am excited to gain a deeper understanding of our Earth’s history before I can move forward in understanding the present and future.

I am happy to be at Lafayette, where it is possible to pursue my passions and interests. This is a place where I can have my questions answered and a place where I can learn to start asking the right questions (which may not be easily answered). I am excited to continue my pursuit of solutions and to continue nurturing my curiosity.

posted in Alexa Gatti

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