We are proud to announce our newest recipient of the GEM for STEM Undergraduate Scholarship, Alanna Massman.
Over the last five years, Alanna has moved to many different states, traveled to four different countries and has gained endless life experiences through it all. Her passions in life include traveling the world, learning about different cultures and doing everything she can to help save the environment. She has always enjoyed spending time outdoors; from week-long camping trips to spending the little time she has left in each day lounging in her hammock. From a young age, Alanna always strived to take eco-friendly actions -- which at the time consisted of things such as recycling and taking showers. Now that she has learned so much more about our climate and the implications its facing, she prides herself on living a more sustainable lifestyle. Congratulations Alanna!
How did you hear about G.E.M. Environmental and this scholarship opportunity?
My school, Northern Arizona University, has a master list of all private donor scholarships on the financial aid page that students can apply to. After skimming the list a few times, I found that G.E.M. was the best fit for me, as I am studying Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
Your area of work/focus.
My study area in school is coined as Environmental and Sustainability Studies, which is a diverse degree within itself, as the environmental field in general is very expansive. I am also studying Spanish, as I love traveling and hope to someday find environmental work across the globe. More specifically, although I do not have one specific dream job at this point in time, I would love to work with sustainable food and agriculture systems, or as an outdoor educator. I live my life very flexibly and allow chances, opportunities and coincidences to lead me.
With that being said, although I do not know for sure what I will be doing in the future, I am lucky to say that I am conducting fulfilling work everyday with the NAU Office of Sustainability as the Conservation Manager. With this position, I help run our conservation programs, design websites for the office, and advocate for sustainability across campus. Overall, although I do not have one post-college job in mind, I am forever thankful that I get to do such rewarding work as I am in college, as it is also teaching me more about myself and what I want to do in the future.
If your scholarship funds HAVE NOT BEEN USED yet, how do you anticipate you will achieve success?
My scholarship funds have not been used yet, as I am planning to use them to help pay for classes and fees for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester. As I'm sure many people have experienced, COVID-19 has impacted my school, work and day-to-day plans for the foreseeable future, so receiving these funds is immensely helpful moving forward.
Tell us what this scholarship means to you.
Receiving this scholarship most definitely helped lifted the stress of paying for the upcoming semester off my shoulders. Further, the fact that these funds came from such an amazing organization -- one that is in the environmental field -- means even more to me. I feel like often times it is hard to find scholarships specific to students in the environmental field, so yes receiving this scholarship means a lot to me.
Anything else you'd like to share about your work, yourself, or the STEM fields?
One project I have been working on for sometime in my work is "Careers with Impact." It is going to be a website, since it could no longer be an in-person event, and I think that G.E.M. would love to hear about it. It is a space for students like me who are studying within the environmental field but don't know exactly what they want to do, or even prospective students who don't know exactly if they can find a career within the environmental field. There is valuable information about the environmental filed itself, career examples under each of the three pillars of sustainability, and organizations across the globe that have opportunities for STEM Students. Everyone deserves to have a career that they love -- something I strive for. In fact, one of the main reasons I switched my major early on in my college career is because I realized that happiness is MUCH more valuable than money. So rather than working for the dollars and cents, I work for that warm, happy feeling I get in my stomach when I accomplish something or when I impact someone's life.