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Engineering a Sustainable Future

Rachel Krewson

Rachel Krewson ’20 

As a double major in environmental science and physics, Rachel Krewson ’20 seeks to put the two disciplines in conversation with each other to develop an e-bike prototype for the campus community and to help community members discover ways to measure and evaluate the health of their local waterways. Add this to an internship in conservation, and she is on track to make an impact through environmental engineering.

Majors: 

Environmental science and physics (engineering track).

Clubs and organizations:  

ALLARM, Kappa Alpha Theta and Eco-Reps.

Honors/scholarships/awards:

John Montgomery Scholarship, Alpha Lambda Delta, Landis-Mohler Prize in Physics.

On choosing my major:  

I originally came into Dickinson with an interest in environmental engineering. I declared my environmental science major my first year at Dickinson, and during my sophomore year, I began to realize how much I also enjoy the applied mathematics in my physics courses. I am currently a double major in environmental science and physics.

On choosing Dickinson:  

I was interested in small, liberal arts colleges, where I could develop relationships with my professors and gain a well-rounded education. I value the small classroom environment, where discussion and questions are encouraged. One reason I decided to attend Dickinson is because of its emphasis on sustainability. As an environmental science major, sustainability is at the forefront of my everyday life, and I value Dickinson’s commitment to decrease its ecological footprint. Additionally, Dickinson offers many unique study abroad experiences run through the college, which is different than most unaffiliated programs offered at other schools.

Favorite place on campus:

Tome (is home, as the physics majors say) or Kaufman Hall.

Post-Dickinson plans:

After Dickinson, I plan on attending an environmental engineering graduate program.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

The most important thing I have learned at Dickinson so far is to find what you’re passionate about and pursue those passions in and outside of the classroom. Being a double major, it can be challenging to figure out what classes I need to take and when they will be offered. In my first two years at Dickinson, my advisors have encouraged me to take classes I am interested in, rather than taking courses just to fulfill requirements. I strongly agree, because exploring different interests helped me choose my majors and gave me insight into different areas of study.

Rachel Krewson '20 works on an electronic bike.

 

Favorite educational experiences:

I have thoroughly enjoyed applying my environmental knowledge about water quality at the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) by testing water samples from local waterways and teaching community members how to scientifically evaluate the health of their area’s waterways.

I have also been working on a new project called the Electric Bike (e-bike) with my physics professor and other physics students. We are currently working on building the first few prototypes, and hope to have them available for student use soon. This project aims to enhance sustainability at Dickinson by providing an alternative to car travel that is easier for the less abled to ride for a longer distance than a normal bike. I have learned so much from these opportunities of engagement at Dickinson, and I am glad I followed my advisors’ advice to follow my passions in all that I do.

As I kid, I wanted to be ...

... an author. I love to read fiction, and when I was younger, I wanted to play a role in creating stories that inspire imaginations.

On my internship:

This past summer, I had an internship with the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy (PWC), the local watershed where I live. As a conservation intern, I took part in removing the invasive species, like the European water chestnut, maintaining the PWC landscape, providing tree maintenance at numerous sites, keeping up with the native plant nursery and constructing and maintaining rain gardens. Throughout this process, I learned a lot about local conservation efforts, professionalism in the workplace and fieldwork as an environmental scientist. I loved spending the majority of my days outside, making a difference in my local community!

Biggest influence:

Family is the biggest influence in my life. My parents and sister are so supportive of me in everything that I do, and I would not be the person I am today without them! They continue to inspire me every day to work hard toward accomplishing my dreams, and they have taught me to put my best foot forward in all that I do.

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Published December 15, 2017