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Each month, the Environmental Sciences Academic Program highlights a current student who represent the diverse and involved student population within the program . This month, November, the spotlight focuses on, Shealyn Elstein.

Name: Shealyn Elstein

Focal Area: Forestry

Year: Junior

Hometown: Durham, NC


What lead you to select Environmental Sciences at NC State?

I took AP Environmental Science in high school which is what first got me interested in studying the environment. After looking at the programs at a couple different schools I ended up finding the Environmental Science program at NC State. I really liked the flexibility that the focal area offered to the program and after visiting NC State I decided that it was the right place/program for me.

What is your favorite aspect about the Environmental Science program?

I really like that the program lets me design my own path by allowing me to choose a focal area. I feel like this program really allows anyone to find exactly what they want to do and apply an environmental science aspect to it.

What has been your favorite course at NC State?

I am currently in an Ecology course and I really enjoy the lab that goes along with this course. The lab meetings are all off-campus “in the field” experiences and I really enjoy getting that hands-on experience.

How did you select your focal area?

Majority of the classes I took through the environmental science program had a number of forestry students in them. After talking to some of these people I became interested in learning about forestry myself. I also have a lot of experience with informal science-based education and I am interested in designing educational programs with the Forest Service or National Park Service. I thought that I could use some more information about forestry before entering into this career path, so I decided to make forestry my focal area.

What is something you wish someone had told you when you were a freshman?

Try to build relationships with professors who could potential help you network with professionals that can help you internships and jobs after college. It is also nice to have a professor who knows you well for when you need an academic reference.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of the classroom?

I enjoying doing anything outdoors and since coming to NC State, I have become interested in rock climbing.