Wanjiku Gatheru

University of Connecticut

Wanjiku (Wawa) Gatheru is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Economics and Policy. At UConn, she currently interns at the Office of Environmental Policy and serves as the Student Services Chairwoman of the Undergraduate Student Government. A First Year Experience Mentor and volunteer for SOS Food Recovery and Cross Cultural Connections, Wawa is also an avid singer-songwriter, having been named "The Voice of UConn" her freshman year. She is particularly interested in the intersection of environmental activism and food sovereignty, previously serving as a student coordinator in the Husky Nutrition Program and currently acting as a research assistant in the Nutrition Department. She plans one day to become an Environmental Foreign Service officer for USAID, a goal that was solidified during her year-long fellowship with the U.S. State Department in Thailand. In obtaining this goal, she also hopes to take part in the redefinition of culturally-competent, sustainable environmental development.

Susan Herbst
University of Connecticut

Personal Statement

My love for the environment began with my love of food. Growing up, I spent my summer days plucking fresh tomatoes from my mother's garden under the sun. My first contact with the environment was through those tomatoes, through food, and that love has sustained me since. I see food as a solution to a multitude of different social and ecological problems, and my involvement reflects this. Since arriving at UConn, my experience has revolved around the intersections of food and both the natural and human environment. I have had the opportunity to investigate the intersections between nutrition, food access, and social circumstances as a research assistant in the Nutrition Department and as the student coordinator of the HuskyReads program, in which I coordinated nutrition education lessons in the Greater Hartford area. I have looked at the connections between access and waste as a volunteer in the SOS Food Recovery program, where I deliver food from the university cafés to a local soup kitchen. Outside of UConn, I am also a research assistant with Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, in which I focus on case-studies revolving around women involved in farming, food justice, and land rights. After graduation, I plan to pursue a dual JD/MEM (Master in Environmental Management), with the goal of entering the USAID Foreign Service as an Environmental Officer.

Wanjiku Gatheru
Environmental Studies: Class of 2020
written 2018

2018 Fellows Alphabetical by Institution

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Terrell Saunders, UNC Greensboro Lizbeth Morales, Univeristy of North Texas at Dallas Evelyn Denisse Monreal Pitones, Universidad de Monterrey Mikita Thompson, University of Baltimore Jayda Williams, University of Central Arkansas Madeline Mills, University of Central Florida Kalen Russell, University of Central Oklahoma Wanjiku Gatheru, University of Connecticut Sarah Richard, University of Dayton Liliana Diaz-Solodukhin, University of Denver Krista Smith, University of Florida Mariana Grijalva, University of Houston-Downtown Marvin Slaughter, University of Illinois at Chicago Alix Fisk, University of Kansas Cynthia Corona, University of La Verne Taryn Jones, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Stephanie Milani, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Josue Rivera Valdez, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Faith Boone, University of Miami Anna Maria Genovesi, University of Michigan-Flint Jennifer Mossgraber, University of Missouri - St. Louis Sophie Moon, University of Montana Spencer Whyte, University of Mount Union Cassandra Griffin, University of Nebraska Omaha Daniel Suber, University of North Carolina Asheville Sreevidhya (Vidhya) Balasubramanian, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Katherine Rasmussen, University of North Florida Brittaney Dyer, University of North Georgia Ashley Sánchez, University of Northern Iowa Prathm Juneja, University of Notre Dame Sabine Brown, University of Oklahoma, Tulsa Heidi Lee, University of Pennsylvania Matthew Bell, University of Puget Sound Victoria Stabile, University of Rhode Island Alicia Jiggetts, University of Richmond Josefina Jaramillo, University of San Diego Daizha Green, University of South Carolina Tiana Burgess, University of South Carolina Beaufort Michael Sullivan, University of St Thomas Wendy Hoang, University of Wisconsin - Madison Yoger Aguilar, University of Wisconsin - Parkside Zoe Betancourt, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Sydney Mastey, University of Wisconsin-Superior
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