Meet sustainability senior Rachael Granger

Rachael GrangerRachael Granger is a soon-to-be senior at Arizona State University majoring in sustainability and pursuing a certificate in sustainable food systems. After switching majors a couple times, she landed in sustainability because she wanted to be a part of a field that is finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. Read Granger’s Q&A for more about her experience as a School of Sustainability student. Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your background? Answer: I am originally from a small beach town on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Although being by the ocean in the summer was great, the cold New England winters motivated me to look West, which influenced my move to Arizona. Moving across the country by myself was definitely the most difficult and daring thing I have done but I wouldn’t have done it any different. Going to a university in a completely new environment, with no one that I knew, allowed me to experience immense personal development. Q: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study sustainability? A: I went from biomedical sciences to business tourism, to finally finding my home at the School of Sustainability. When I found out that ASU offered a program that focused on the environment and pressing issues that the world is facing, I knew that was the right fit for me, as I wanted to study something I would be passionate about. I knew that I wanted to be a part of something that is up and coming, and the sustainability field is just that. Q: Why did you choose ASU/the School of Sustainability? A: I chose ASU because I wanted to put myself in a place that was completely unfamiliar to me. I wanted to go as far as possible from Massachusetts, and Arizona was the farthest I got! I chose the School of Sustainability because it allows me to explore my passions about culture, the environment, sustainable foods and humanitarian issues. Q: What was your favorite part of being a School of Sustainability student and why? A: My favorite part of being a sustainability student was the chance to study abroad in Florence, Italy, where I studied sustainable food systems. Living abroad was a life-changing experience and I encourage every student to try to study abroad while at ASU! Having the opportunity to study sustainable food systems while being in a country that is food focused was an incredible experience that sparked my passion for sustainable food systems and of course, Italian cuisine. Q: As part of the class SOS 323: Sustainable Urban Dynamics, you wrote an op-ed that was recently published in Total Croatia News, called “Sustainable Tourism in Dubrovnik - What Steps Can You Take?” Can you tell us more about your experience in SOS 323? A: SOS 323 with Dr. Rob Melnick is one of those classes that challenges you but in the end you feel like you got a lot out of that class. Dr. Melnick is a great professor who pushes you to be the best you can be. He is extremely knowledgeable on the subject of sustainable cities and his class is very interactive and incorporates a lot of open discussions versus the traditional lecture style. Q: How do you envision applying sustainability to your future career? A: I envision being able to apply my knowledge and passion for sustainability to my future career in a way where I can empower and educate others on important aspects of sustainability that can affect all aspects of life. Q: What does sustainability mean to you? A: To me sustainability means to act in a way that is not being detrimental to the Earth, oneself and others. Sustainability is hope for the future and for the generations to come. Q: Is there anything you’d like to add? A: If any prospective students are thinking of studying sustainability at ASU, if you are passionate about this subject, 100% go for it. The School of Sustainability offers various opportunities for students to get involved in opportunities such as studying abroad, research opportunities, internships, etc. Being a part of the School of Sustainability allows a student to feel like they are apart of a small intimate school, despite being at the largest university in the country.