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emily keller
emily keller

Emily Keller '20

Environmental science major

I have worked at internships pertaining to my major the past two summers which have allowed me to gain knowledge of different future jobs I could possibly pursue. I also did a semester-long research project on sustainable agricultural practices, focusing mainly on hydroponics.

Education

B.S., Evironmental Science

Location

Aurora, Ohio

Choosing Mount Union

I heard of Mount Union from my cousin who graduated from UMU in 2016. I decided to come visit and fell in love with several aspects of our campus. First, I was excited to join the track team and continue my athletic career with a very successful program. I also enjoyed the small class size, knowing I am not just a number. All my professors know me by name and I was looking for that extra support academically. The study abroad program also looked promising (and turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life). 

A Second Home

My first year, my roommate and I decided to keep the door to our room open as much as possible. I am so glad we did this because as our year went on, our whole floor turned into one big room - it seemed as if we were all one big family. I am still best friends with the girls from my floor that year - four of us even still live together three years later! The friendships I made throughout my time at Mount Union have really made me feel at home - everyone is so welcoming and accepting of others. And the professors are the same way. I have had several professors that treat their students with the same care and respect as they would their own children. So I believe the people - all of the Purple Raiders - make Mount Union my second home. 

Passion for Sustainability

I chose environmental science as my major because I have always had a passion for sustainability and preserving the world around us. There is so much that needs to be done to reverse the human made effects of climate change and our generation has already made huge strides in this area. And even though we are moving in a positive direction, we are still seeing the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. It is imperative now to push for climate justice and work towards a healthy earth. With my major and my future job, I hope to help with this movement and have a lasting positive impact that will influence generations to come. 

Hands-on Learning Opportunities

I have had too many experiential learning opportunities to count! I have worked at internships pertaining to my major the past two summers which have allowed me to gain knowledge of different future jobs I could possibly pursue. I also did a semester-long research project on sustainable agricultural practices, focusing mainly on hydroponics. My research was even presented at a national conference. My favorite experience of my four years, though, was studying abroad in Gold Coast, Australia last semester. The experiences I had in and out of the classroom during my time abroad we some of the best in my life. I would go from surfing on the beach right outside my apartment to studying crustaceans in the ocean during lab. I also traveled around and outside of Australia including Bali, Indonesia, Sydney, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef. During my travels and throughout the whole semester, I was submersed in the new culture and experienced more than I could have even imagined. Anyone can study abroad, regardless of your major and I would 100 percent recommend partaking in this experience of a lifetime! 

Ultimate Career Goal

My ultimate dream is to be successful enough in my career (whether that be an environmental scientist, sustainability coordinator, environmental planner, etc.) to open my own nonprofit in the future. This nonprofit will support the areas of our world that are affected by climate change and remedy those effects, or even better prevent the change from occurring in the first place. I believe I was placed on this earth to help those who can’t help themselves, whether that be the animals, the trees, the oceans, and others. My goal is to help our future generations see the same great world we grew up in, and I will do everything in my ability to accomplish this.

Advice to Future Raiders

Trust your gut. At first, I was considering several schools. I weighed all the pros and cons, made countless lists and did endless research. But in the end, all that stressing didn't really make a difference because I decided to trust my gut and do what felt best. When I walked onto Mount Union’s campus, I immediately felt at home. I was excited to start studying my passion, compete in track, travel the world, meet amazing people and more. I do not think I could have had the same experiences at any other college than UMU.