Tell us a bit about yourself.
As I have progressed through my NYU undergraduate course of study, I have learned much about myself, and my future career interests in Animal Law. Beginning my NYU journey as a freshman interested in public policy, I joined the Environmental Studies major my sophomore year, adding on minors in Studio Art and Social Policy. This shift elevated my interests in animal welfare around industrial agriculture, and prompted me to begin creating sculptures that serve as vehicles for communicating both policy and social issues. Inspired by these interests, I have since pursued work opportunities across public and private spheres- including an internship with the Department of Environmental Protection and a fellowship with the Mayor's Office of Animal Welfare.
What initially attracted you to NYU’s Environmental Studies program?
In my sophomore year at NYU, I was hired in a research position that opened my eyes to new and different angles of food waste and zero-animal consumption modeling. After I spent a few months exploring different spaces around intersections of food and animals in this role and in my independent sculptural work, I became very committed to pursuing a course of study that addressed both- and I found the perfect fit within Environmental Studies.
What do you love most about being in the major?
What I love the most about being an Environmental Studies major is the variety of ideas and guidance that you can be exposed to through different classes and professors. I feel really lucky to have had such an amazing and enriching experience in my time as an undergraduate student, guided by the knowledge and expertise of both my professors and advisors in the department. Being an Environmental Studies major has pushed me to be a better advocate, artist, and researcher!
What is your most memorable moment while in the program and why?
A few weeks before COVID-19 shut down New York, I presented a final project on the multispecies relationships surrounding rice crops. In exploring the multispecies linkage between rice, non-human animals, and the environment, I was exposed to really amazing literature and artistic theories (such as the works of Elaine Gan and Donna Haraway) that have come to define my own understanding of justice and the anthropocene. I was very excited about the opportunity to present my research and final product in the form of shareable food art, and upon recalling the sense of community I felt with my peers in class that day, I can call it my most memorable moment.
What was your favorite class?
Animals and Public Policy was one of my favorite classes! I had been looking forward to taking Professor Wolfson’s course on the laws and history surrounding animal agriculture for a few semesters- and cherish the knowledge and understanding of the field I gained from the seminar. I will never forget writing my final for the class- and the conviction I felt in choosing the defense and formulating my argument in the paper.
What do you hope to accomplish with your major?
My work and educational experiences have resulted in my passion for law, legal texts, and the opportunity to advocate for vulnerable animal populations- and the humans responsible for caring for them. One issue I am particularly interested in pursuing in a future law career is labor organizing for slaughterhouse workers and expanding the legal protections available to them and the animals processed through their facilities. It is an issue that I became interested in during my time as an Environmental Studies major, and one of the central conflicts I look forward to addressing in my further advocacy efforts.
What is next for you? What do you plan to do after graduation?
As my immediate aspiration after graduation is law school, I look forward to utilizing my JD, fortified with my knowledge from my NYU undergraduate and master’s experience, to level a multitude of human-animal issues that have gone unchecked in the US for far too long.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Use your time as an undergraduate to develop your interests and do work in those spaces! NYU provides a great landscape to explore your passions and uncover new ones- whether that means joining a research project or asking a professor for direction in fields of work that interest you.