Blogger Profiles

Although some of our bloggers have graduated or no longer blog with us, they will always have a special place on the Green Grounds blog!

Callie Houghland

Class of 2017

Environmental Science and Environmental Thought and Practice

I’m Callie Houghland! I am a second year at the University of Virginia, double majoring in Environmental Science and Environmental Thought and Practice. I’m passionate about the environment because I attended a summer camp called Nature Camp as a kid, and now I work as a counselor there! It’s an amazing place to learn about the importance of understanding and conserving the environment around us.

Noa Sager

Class of 2016
Psychology and Foreign Affairs Major
Sustainability is not only a necessary part of life, it’s also a meaningful and fun social cause to get behind! I support sustainability because of its importance and relevance, as well as the fact that it is a communal responsibility we can all share and take part in.

Meredyth Sanders
Class of 2014
Urban and Environmental Planning Major, Environmental Sciences Minor
As a native of Alexandria, VA and avid explorer of national parks, my passion for sustainability has always been twofold. Sustainability not only helps us to protect stunning natural environments, but also provides us with a unique lens through which we can examine and tackle some of the most pressing urban issues of our time.

Sheila Borkar
Class of 2014
Civil engineering/architecture minor
As a kid, I always loved being outside and exploring nature, and was bothered by how careless society seemed to be about protecting it. As I grew older, I also realized that damaging the environment also damages the quality of life for people in less fortunate communities around the world—but being more mindful of how we use our resources can both preserve beautiful natural environments and ensure better, healthier lives for everyone, now and in the future!

Kaitlynn Long
Class of 2017
Architecture Major, Global Sustainability Minor
I have always been passionate about sustainability and ecology. Our generation has the power to improve the condition of the environment. I am especially interested in how the world we construct impacts our surroundings. As an architecture student, I have the chance to learn about new building practices and technology that influence how society interacts with the natural world. Our actions in both the natural and constructed environment have more of a consequence for future generations than we are currently addressing. Therefore, it is our responsibility to maintain and improve our surroundings for our selves and generations to come.
Andrew Kovalenko
Class of 2016
Computer Science
The global environmental crisis is real, and change needs to happen.  I believe the most effective change can happen from the bottom, by encouraging everyone to live sustainably.
 Alex Pawlowski
Class of 2014
Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Science – Material Science
About Me
“We will move ahead only by constantly asking ourselves how what we are doing today can be done better tomorrow.” – Ingvar Kamprad

Ariel Kao
Class of 2016
Cognitive Science
I think the world is smaller than we believe it to be. Every little action we take towards becoming more environmentally friendly is crucial and we we have to start now 🙂

Megan (Stella) McDaniels
Class of 2016
Environmental Science Major
I’ve spent my life traveling with my family and got to live in all different environments.  I saw how people and animals live and interact with their world and it gave me a sense of the deeper connection that we all have with each other.  I love the joy of learning how to live more consciously and have a great appreciation for the natural world.
Rookie Basu
Class of 2017
Physics Major

Maia Foster

Class of 2017

Prospective Economics and Environmental Thought and Practice Major

If we have the ability and technology to make sustainable living the norm, why wouldn’t we? It’s time for all of us to examine the way we are living now. I hope to shed light on at least a few ways everyone, including me, can alter their lifestyle to preserve this beautiful planet we call home.

Erica Fink

Class of 2017

Intending to major in Global Studies- Sustainability + Environments and minor in Urban and Environmental Planning

Planet Earth is an amazing, intricate place we call home. The reasons why we need to take better care of it are gigantic and numerous. The problems we face are systemic and challenging. Yet even little efforts toward sustainability can make an impact. Each of us is capable of changing our habits, bringing eco-friendliness into our everyday lives, and promoting a culture of caring.

Anna Shaw

Class of 2018

I am interested in the Global Development Major with some sort of focus in Sustainability

My passion for sustainability began with my childhood living on a sailboat. My families daily life was sustainable simply because I had to be. With limited space and limited means to consume energy it did not take much effort to maintain this sort of eco-friendly living. Recently when we moved ashore for a period I was shocked by the way much of the United States lives and this is one of the main reasons I am trying to become more sustainable in these new unsustainable surroundings.

Amy He

Class of 2018

Undecided, Pre-med track
Sustainability is important to me because people need to be more aware that the actions of past and present generations are destroying our planet and that if we don’t do something now, we, and future generations, will be the ones who pay the price. On top of the whole so-we-don’t-go-extinct part though, I think recent advances in sustainable technology are super awesome and show a lot of promise and practicality for actually saving the planet! I hope that, through this blog, people will come to realize that there are small, simple ways to have fun and be sustainable at the same time!

Lauren Nguyen
Class of 2015
Commerce major with a concentration in Accounting and Finance, Environmental Science Minor
I think it’s crazy how people can so easily think that this environment and natural world that we live in is so irrelevant. I love this quote by Deepak Chopra and Kim Kingler, “The environment is in us, not outside of us. The trees are our lungs, the rivers our bloodstream. We are all interconnected, and what you do to the environment, you ultimately do to yourself.” It perfectly captures why I think protecting this earth is so important. Plus, along my journey of sustainability, I’ve met some of the most inspiring, passionate, and hard working people and they are part of the reason that I’m so committed to and passionate about sustainability.

David Shore

Class of 2016

Economics/Statistics Major

We find ourselves in a world that isn’t invincible, and that’s why our Earth is as beautiful as it is. The world around us changes, continuously enlightening us to new concepts, new ideas, and new emotion. But as members of this changing world, we have a responsibility to ensure that it has a future, and that we have a future with it. My hope is to enlighten the reader with posts that use economics and statistics to truly dive into environmental issues, and try to show that we can sustainably live as guests of our world.

Tushar Maharishi

Class of 2018

Computer Science major

I’ve always thought that, since we get everything we have from the environment, it’s our duty to protect it. It’s kind of cheesy, but I really believe that if we all make little changes in our lives, we can make a difference. It makes sense, right? We just have to do it! And to get that done, we have to get everyone aware. I think that’s the best way to help. Just to get everyone to know about how easy it is to help out.

Caroline Kraska

Class of 2016

Architecture major, Global Sustainability minor

I am passionate about sustainability because I care about the health of our planet, and the future! There are an infinite amount of steps we can take to prevent waste and destruction, and I want to be a part of this effort. I believe building design can be an asset or deficit to the world in terms of its energy performance, therefore I want to use my major as a way to positively contribute to sustainability efforts!

Jon Qian

Class of 2018

Pre-commerce/Statistics Major

We live in a generation where a significant time of the day is devoted to sitting at home and staring onto an electronic screen. We tend to take things for granted and believe everything is unlimited. As the population grows and we begin to have to share depleting resources with more neighbors, being sustainable will become an even more crucial part of our lives. I was taught to use as little as possible to gain as much as possible. I have always wondered why we have become so wasteful. I want to spread the idea that sustainability will have a lasting impact on our environment that will benefit us, our communities, and the world.


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