Sustainability and environmental issues have always been important to Bennett Rosenberg, (Class of 2023) whose hometown is Mountain View, CA. He shared what drew him to Washington University and the Beyond Boundaries Program:
My academic passion has always revolved around sustainability. The thing about environmental issues is that they relate to an incredible range of other societal debates, from efficiency to taxes to businesses to inequality, and cover a breadth of topics including waste, water, energy, air, land, resources, and more. As such, I need a solution derived from a breadth of disciplines. I need to think big. The solution must be comprehensive.
During his first year, Bennett immersed himself in his studies as well as his extracurricular endeavors. In the School of Arts and Sciences, Bennett has had the opportunity to explore classes such as Earth and the Environment, Biogeochemstry, as well as Beyond Boundaries cohort-only classes such as Empathy First (discussed in BB Podcast Episode #10). With regard to his time outside of the classroom, Bennett has become involved in a number of groups on campus. He, along with Ranen Miao (BB 2023), was one of eleven students selected to serve on the University Student Affairs Advisory Board (USAAB). Near the end of his first semester on campus, Bennett shared his thoughts and successes:
In my three short months at WashU, Beyond Boundaries has already considerably changed my perspective. By encouraging me to go to lectures that I likely wouldn’t otherwise attend, I’ve not only networked with role models in the career I want to pursue, but it has also changed how I approach sustainability, policy, and business.
While Bennett has been home, he has still been able to continue his efforts related to climate change. As a Summer 2020 Climate Associate for Washington University’s Climate Change Program, he has been working hard to “manage the website, plan Climate Conversations, coordinate with faculty” and to help with many other responsibilities he has been given. Bennett has eagerly been learning more about the field, but also about specific, adaptable skills:
…I am accomplishing 2 things with this: developing a skill set that allows me to advance in companies that carry out other diverse arrays of climate change resistance, and I’m also developing connections with professors and staff across WashU’s climate divisions, such as the [Office of Sustainability] OOS and [Department of Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engingeering] EECE. This will help me in later years to accomplish projects that I might want to do, such as research, sustainable campus improvements, or business endeavors. In a sense, it unlocks a world where I can continue my interdisciplinary studies.