Emily Frank

The ability to make the world beyond a lecture hall her classroom is what kept alumna Emily Frank excited for each new learning experience that came her way. 

“The Ecological Studies major is a perfect fit for me because it’s a mix of environmental issues while providing the science behind them to fully understand it in its entirety,” Frank said. “The classes I’ve taken, especially upper-level science classes, have sparked my desire to learn all I can and then apply that knowledge to help solve pressing environmental issues that face our generation.” 

The Natural Sciences Department quickly became much like a second home to the Massachusetts native when she began to form strong, meaningful connections with the professors and peers who surround her every day. Connections she says she would not have been able to achieve at a larger school. 

“Most all the professors in the science department that I’ve worked with have had a significant impact on my academic and personal journey. They have all, in their own way, shown me how important it is to learn and to continue learning throughout our lives,” she said of her educators at the University. 

The mountains around the Castleton campus offer both hiking during the warmer Vermont months and skiing during the winter, and to Frank’s delight, the greatest classroom for her chosen major. 

“Being able to have labs in an outdoor, mountainous setting is not only beautiful but is helpful in that I can see exactly what I am learning,” Frank said. 

The skills provided by the outdoor and hands-on fieldwork and research methods have solidified Frank’s desire to work outside in her future endeavors, whether for an environmental agency or an NGO abroad. 

“Castleton has provided me with the skills and knowledge I need to see issues from a variety of perspectives and most importantly to problem solve.”