Major Spotlight: Environment and Sustainability Major Lauren Newman (C’18)


Photo courtesy of Lauren’s Facebook page

By Helena Kilburn

Staff Writer

This week’s major spotlight is Lauren Newman (C’18), an Environment and Sustainability major. While always passionate about studying the environment, Newman did not think of her passion as a major until she came to Sewanee.

When Newman was a freshman, the Environment and Sustainability major had only been created the previous year. She was originally drawn to the Environmental Chemistry major, but the major was discontinued before her first year here.

Though torn between Chemistry and Environment and Sustainability, she ultimately decided to major in Environment and Sustainability with Dr. Russell Fielding as her adviser. She found the classes in the major more engaging and she decided to minor in chemistry.

Newman’s favorite part of the major is the student-designed focus component. This component allows her to personalize her major as well as see capstone projects created by her peers. She also loves that the department is located in Snowden, which is her favorite academic building on campus. “It’s just so cozy and the perfect place to both study and socialize,” she commented.

Newman finds that the most difficult part of her major is choosing which three focus classes will inform her capstone project. There are limited options due to the size of the school; therefore, it is difficult to find three classes that connect to a person’s interests in environmental sustainability.

She has yet to determine what she will be doing with her major, but she feels that the well-roundedness of the major allows for endless opportunities in the future. She explained, “So whether I’ll be working for an urban agriculture nonprofit, travelling the world, doing consulting back home in DC, or doing something else entirely, that is still to be determined!”

Newman’s advice “is to take advantage of the opportunity to explore your passions. If that means working with a professor on an independent study to fulfill one of your focus courses, do it! The Environment and Sustainability major at Sewanee is honestly one of the most flexible, so take advantage of that.”