Career Outcomes + Student Testimonials

Student Testimonials

Nicholas Sette ’19
Major: Environmental Science
Cape Cod Organic Farm (May 2019-December 2019)
Oak Springs Garden Foundation (February 2020)

Classes within the Environmental Studies /Science department have informed me on topics of policy, alternative energy, food systems and flora and fauna identification which will all assist me within my pursuit of a career within agricultural science. Working as a crew member and research assistant at the Farm at Saint Michel’s College taught me how to efficiently complete farm essential tasks and how to carry out research while working as a farm hand.

The baseline understanding of sustainable farming I now possess can be built upon at larger scale operations with more of a production focus as well as research and educational focused farms. Partaking in research at the Farm at Saint Mike’s offered another perspective rather than just food production. My research experience allowed me to understand how science can help evolve agricultural practices and taught me how to think critically of conventional farming practices.

Sarah Rodgers ’18
Major: Environmental Studies with a focus in Justice and Sustainability, Human Geography minor
AmeriCorps VISTA at Southern CT State University.

At my service site I am working to strengthen food systems on campus to better support students basic needs, specifically food security and food access. During my time at SMC, I was able to be a member of the Farm Crew as well as participate in a summer research project. Through the farm and research I was able to study food security and the impacts that a college farm can have on students food security. In my current position I am able to take experiences and knowledge from those experiences at SMC and put them into practice at my site! I am currently working with a food justice council and creating a crop plan for the community garden to grow food that better supports a campus food pantry! All things that I had experience with or was taught about at SMC! Experiences in and out of the classroom at SMC are directly effecting my day to do work and I would not be where I am without those experiences!

Emma Timmel ’19
Major: Chemistry & Environmental Science
Graduate Student in Chemistry at the University of Oregon

“My classes, professors and experiences at St. Mike’s have provided me with an awareness of several issues that our environment faces, as well as foundational knowledge to begin pursuing solutions to these types problems. A really pivotal component of my experience at St. Mike’s was the opportunity to conduct grant-funded research surrounding the synthesis of algae-derived biodiesel. I am currently putting the skills I gained at St. Mike’s to use as I pursue a PhD in chemistry that is centered around sustainable materials. I’m really thankful to St. Mike’s for providing me with the training and fostering the passion for environmental sciences that drives my career path today.”

Jessica Reid ’17
Major: Anthropology
Agriculture Extension Volunteer, Peace Corps Madagascar

“My experience at St. Mike’s begins in an Anthropology classroom and ends at the farm. As a student majoring in the Anthropology/Sociology department, I loved the new lens such classes provided, as well as the practice of engaging and understanding different cultures. Then, in my second year, a friend suggested that I work with the St Michael’s garden. At that time, the garden was a small plot to the north of campus. Though I had little experience in agriculture, this gave way to a lot of interest. I continued my involvement in the garden and related events on campus, and I was thrilled to be involved with the establishment of the new farm site the following season. Here, the scale and vision of agriculture work on campus expanded, and excursions to local farms and businesses helped support us students as we grew in our understanding of local food systems. We then transferred this understanding to our campus.

Under the mentorship of staff both on the farm and in the classroom, I honed in on an interest at the intersection of anthropology and agriculture. Events on campus, such as gardening with veterans, provided opportunities to engage with this crossroads of food and people. I am now working within that interest as an agriculture volunteer at Peace Corps Madagascar, and expect to continue working within such fields in the future.”

Graham Kaigle ’18
Major: Environmental Studies with a concentration in Justice and Sustainability,
Kaigle’s Automotive Repair

As a student at St. Michael’s College I found my course work, but most importantly my mentors to be fundamental in developing an understanding about what field in which I wanted to pursue a future career. Taking Professor Achilichs’ course on Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture was a major point in my life where I could really see the connection between my degree and where I could take that after graduation from St. Michael’s. Kristyn really taught me how to think critically about the relationship I have with the ecological world around me whether it was in the classroom or elsewhere in life. Over time we had many discussions about where I wanted to take my career path in the future, and where I was currently at as a student. Through those discussions I found myself pursuing work on a farm in Hinesburg, Trillium Hill Farm, where I worked and learned about the true woes of small-scale sustainable agriculture as a means of subsistence.

Throughout my academic career at St. Michael’s I took a number of courses from another teacher and mentor, Trevien Stanger. Many topics were discussed regarding the human role within the natural environment, as well as the impact the environment has on our subconscious self. I began to find work and play within the ecological world to become far more relatable on a scale that I had previously not understood. Although my current career is as an automotive technician for my families repair facility, I have noticed a diversity of ways in which the functionality of our business could become more ecologically conscious. The recycled use of oils to be burned in our used oil furnace as an alternative heating source or even the refinement of previously defunct recycling systems were just a couple of major changes which the business had previously not experienced.

Through my time at St. Michael’s one thing I realized was not to be sorry about where you come from, but to own it and understand where major changes can be made, especially from an environmentally focused standpoint. As of late I’m pursuing a position for a green construction and water drilling company based out of the Palm Springs area in California. Finding more effective ways in which I can implement environmental practices and ideologies highlighted by my mentors at St. Michael’s has pushed me to continue to pursue new career paths in which a diversity of skills can be applied.”