Each month, the Environmental Sciences Academic Program highlights a current student who represent the diverse and involved student population within the program. This month, April, the spotlight focuses on, Amelia Fujikawa.
Name: Amelia Fujikawa
Focal Area: Sustainable Business
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
- What lead you to select Environmental Sciences at NC State?
I can’t remember any defining moments in my high school career that lead me to decide that Environmental Science was the path for me. I only remember thinking about what exactly I wanted to spend my life doing. I knew that I wanted to help the world and change it in some way, and the topic of environmental protection and overall awareness was the most urgent to me. I decided to dedicate my senior exit project to researching geothermal energy, and the rest is history.
- What is your favorite aspect about the Environmental Science program?
There are 2 defining characteristics that sets Environmental Science apart from other departments. The first is the close-knit relationships students are able to form with their faculty and with each other. I love being able to talk with my advisers and professors in a way that lets me know that they truly care about my future. I also love that I still am great friends with some of the students I met at orientation in 2012. Additionally, the focal area component has allowed me to set myself apart from other students in a unique way. I love being able to focus in what I want to do without the strain of extra courses.
- What has been your favorite course at NC State?
Last fall I took Culture, Ecology & Sustainable Living with Nora Haenn. I loved it because it was a seminar style class, and it threw me out of my comfort zone of the typical lecture and lab routine. It was such a complex and interesting class because we dove into environmental issues that tied into social issues in intricate and sometimes confusing ways. I learned how to think about the effects that the environment and culture have on each other; something I had never thought about. The cherry on top was being able to tie my learnings from the semester into a self-selected topic that I had been curious about for years: The Cultural and Socioeconomic effects of Japan’s population decline.
- How did you select your focal area?
During the end of my sophomore year, I got involved with Net Impact in the Poole College of Management. I joined and was able to become a leadership team member which gave me the opportunity to attend the national conference in Minneapolis. After such a high level of exposure to the world of Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Impact Jobs, and Sustainability in large companies, I knew it was a field I wanted to pursue. I think one of the best avenues we have against combating climate change is refining our way of life. Our current standard of living is perpetuated by the companies we consume from, and I would love to be apart of the shift in industry.
- What is something you wish someone had told you when you were a freshman?
I think learning the balance between school life, social life, and time for yourself is something that took me all 4 years to master. Even now, I don’t think I fully have a great balance, but I wish I had known that my GPA wouldn’t be the only thing that would label my college career. I think I spent a lot of time thinking that I was supposed to live a certain life in college, when it wasn’t the right fit for me. I wish someone would have to told me to do what made me happy 100% of the time.
- What is your favorite thing to do outside of the classroom?
Outside from class, you can probably find me dancing with my organization on campus, DanceLife or playing music with the NC State Wind Ensemble. I also love spending time with the NC State Stewards!