February 24, 2017

Shawn Hogan – Environmental Studies ’17

Shawn Hogan is an Environmental Studies major with a second major in Economics.  Hogan views economics as her tool and environment as her issue, and would recommend the combination of majors to students thinking about double majoring.  Shawn’s interest in the environment grew by watching documentaries and reading books about environmental concerns.  One of the reasons she chose Lafayette was because of the existence of the Environmental Studies Program.

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Hogan (right) representing Take Back the Tap at the 2016 Earth Day Festival

During her time at Lafayette, Shawn has been extremely active both on and off campus.  Shawn’s on campus involvement began when she joined LEAP her freshman year.  Hogan participated as the treasurer of the group for the second half of her freshman year through the first half of her sophomore year.  She’s also been involved in the Take Back the Tap initiative on campus from its start and served as the group’s leader her junior year.  In addition to her participation in student environmental groups, Shawn is also a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Off campus, Shawn has had unique experiences through studying abroad as well as volunteer and internship work. Hogan studied abroad in Prague during the spring semester of her sophomore year.  As part of the CIEE European Studies Program, she had the opportunity to visit the Czech headquarters of Green Peace.  Shawn also did some environmental exploration of her own and gave a lot of thought to how European countries handle environmental topics while in Prague.  “I thought about doing a full environmental program for abroad, but I fell in love with Prague and decided to guide it in an environmental direction myself,” Hogan explained of her experience.  Hogan feels she was able to observe what can happen if the government cooperates and has environmental issues at the top of their agenda. Shawn would recommend studying abroad sophomore year to students who feel they are ready to do so. This option is a good alternative for students who do not want to miss part of their junior year on campus.

The summer after studying abroad, Shawn completed an internship with Food and Water Watch in Philadelphia. The internship involved planning a forum entitled Faith, Climate, and Fracking in her hometown of Newtown, PA. She worked with local chapters of non-profit organizations such as 350.org, Americans Against Fracking, and NoFrackingBucks to organize, advertise and put on the event.  The forum was well attended and a great experience for Hogan.  Additionally, she was able to continue working with Food and Water Watch through her involvement in Take Back the Tap.  Shawn also completed externships with Novita Communications in New York, NY, a PR firm that works with architectural and design firms, most of which have a focus on sustainability or the environment, as well as Perpay, an online marketplace.  During her senior year, Shawn is working with Philadelphia Energy Authority, a small municipal body in the city of Philadelphia.  The mission of the Philadelphia Energy Authority is to make the city more energy efficient, with a focus on municipal buildings and street lights.  They seek green investors to fund projects such as retro-fitting low-income housing units.  Shawn is handling their social media and blog posts, and regards the experience as an amazing opportunity.

When asked what advice she’d give to someone interested in a major in Environmental Science or Environmental Studies, Shawn said, “They are two majors that you can apply to every single part of your life.  Don’t isolate your learning to just writing papers and taking exams.  Take it out of the classroom and apply it to your life!”  After graduation, Shawn hopes to move to Philadelphia and potentially pursue a position related to water or sustainability.