When I came to Pitt, I had only a vague conception of where my life was headed. After volunteering abroad before college as a language and music teacher in Bolivia, I intended to study international relations and music. My intuition, though, prompted me to settle on architecture and global studies in order to focus on an interest in places, spaces, and sustainable development.
As a sophomore, living in honors housing put me in the company of many determined students whose accomplishments serve as a benchmark for my own efforts. When I began to realize as a junior how important it was for me to understand the natural sciences, the UHC provided support through the Honors College Scholarship to extend my stay at Pitt for an extra year to pursue a second major in ecology. In 2016, I was honored to receive the G. Alec Stewart Award, which recognized and encouraged me to explore more deeply the connections between the humanities and sciences through my two majors.
Making the choice to study architecture and ecology allowed me to focus on music and my other interests as extracurriculars. I am currently a singer in the Heinz Chapel Choir, play cello in the University Orchestra, and have soloed with the orchestra as well. In the summer of 2015, I was an intern at the Design Center Pittsburgh, to which I contributed research and facilitated housing information sessions for residents of the North Side facing issues of community development and gentrification.
A thousand interests didn’t boil down easily into a solitary field of study or two, and I struggled at the beginning of college to find a cohort of people who saw through multiple lenses the way I did. The UHC was a force of affirmation and encouragement to me: they provide the mental and logistical space for out-of-the-box studies. Conversations with the intelligent and warm staff there always illustrate that, and I am grateful to have found such an inspiring community of people.