A black belt in karate with a passion for advocacy and sustainable farming, Kaitlin Soriano ’15 discusses the beauty of impermanence and the value of positivity, food education, simplicity and patience.
Clubs and organizations:
Alpha Lambda Delta (first-year honor society) and Theta Alpha Kappa (religious studies and theology).
What is the What by Dave Eggers.
Sweet Home Alabama and Dirty Dancing.
On choosing a major:
I came to Dickinson with aspirations of becoming a chemistry major, but after taking [Assistant] Professor [of Environmental Studies Gregory] Howard’s Intro to Environmental Science course, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to dive into the great classes that the environmental science department offers—including its electives, which are cross-listed with practically every major at Dickinson. Lo and behold, like other environmental science and earth-sciences majors, Kaufman Hall became my second home.
Favorite place on campus:
The garden in front of Stern.
Buddhism and the Environment, taught by Associate Professor [of Religion Dan] Cozort. Beyond the lectures on climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental policies, I learned that one of the world’s major religions places a strong emphasis on human interconnectedness with the environment. I also immensely enjoyed beginning each class with five minutes of silent meditation. Between the stress and hustle and bustle of college, I often forget to just sit and not think.
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Falafel at the Kove.
I have a black belt in karate, and I was a majorette in the Liberty High School Grenadier Band (in other words, I twirled a baton).
My fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Patrice Schwartzman, is certainly an influence in my life. She taught me kindness, caring and compassion, and as I grew older, she became one of my role models. She has a flair for life, and she remained positive even when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I owe a lot of who I am today to her.
In a perfect world …
… everyone would be more altruistic—they would wish that other people may be happy. I was inspired [to think] this from a TED talk featuring Matthieu Ricard.
Most important thing I’ve learned so far:
If Dickinson has taught me anything, it’s most definitely that change is inevitable, and that it is actually a beautiful thing. I would like to say that I am an independent and passionate senior at Dickinson who is ready to take on post-grad life, but I didn’t become [that person] overnight. The changes that I went through—between friendships, activities and even academic passions—have been scary, overwhelming and exciting, all at the same time. But I’ve learned to let change happen.
As a kid, I wanted to be …
… a teacher or a veterinarian.
I am extremely passionate about providing access to sustainably grown food. After spending four years on the College Farm and a summer on an organic farm in Virginia, I’ve come to realize that farming isn’t just a sun-up to sun-down job; it is a lifestyle. Additionally, I’ve learned that not everyone has equal access to healthy food for themselves or their families, due to income, location or even lack of education. My dream is to one day manage an organic farm. I find beauty in being able to provide for myself the necessary staples of life. Most importantly, my hope is to also have the ability to nourish others while focusing on children in schools who may only receive one healthy meal a day.
Published April 17, 2015