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Student Spotlight: So Hae (Irene) Park

Irene has two faculty advisors, Thomas Wilson and Thomas Glover, an atypical situation for doctoral candidates in the sciences. For her, having two advisors has been largely positive. “I get surprised every time: my faculty advisors are so different but they can work well together. They are almost like a second set of parents to me.”

Student Spotlight: Ryan Wade

Ryan already went to grad school. He earned his Master’s in Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health from the School of Social Work and became a clinical social worker. He loved it and found work helping individuals to be rewarding. But he needed more. He says, “It was evident to me that the things I was interested in required a more macro approach. More research in terms of the structural disparities was necessary for the populations I was interested in. Clinical work on a micro level was fulfilling but it has its shortcomings as well. Half way through my social work career, I decided to go back to school to do research.”

Student Spotlight: Sara Meerow

As an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, Sara wrote an honors thesis on the ‘natural resource curse’ in Africa that shifted her perspective. “I examined countries whose economies were dependent on oil and minerals and how that dependence correlated with their democracy. That experience got me to think differently about international development and the environment, connections between social and ecological systems, and the impact of doing research,” she says. That led her to Europe where she completed a master’s degree in international development at the University of Amsterdam. There she became interested in sustainable development and social-ecological resilience theory.