Andie Mitchell is an environmental studies and international affairs double major. Growing up in Seattle, Andie developed an early interest in environmental stewardship. While taking an AP environmental science course in high school, she discovered there are many social science areas of studying the environment and really liked the interdisciplinary nature of the topic. Mitchell considers the environment one of the most important issues of our time. “Environmental Studies can be applied practically. It will lend itself well for work after graduation, and I like learning about it,” Mitchell explained of her interest in the major and the topics it encompasses.
During her time at Lafayette, Mitchell had the opportunity to expand her interest in environmental topics through several study abroad experiences. In addition to taking an interim Geology course in Iceland, Andie spent both the fall and spring semesters of her junior year studying abroad. She studied food security in Tanzania, Italy, and India through the School for International Training. Studying food security informed Andie’s plans for attending graduate school. “It was inspiring to be with groups of students who were really engaged and had different perspectives,” she recalled. Mitchell then went on to study Sustainability and Environmental Action in Australia, another SIT program. While in Australia, Andie completed an internship with a climate change non-profit and advocacy organization called 1 Million Women.
Studying off campus her entire junior year didn’t keep Mitchell from participating in research and community-based projects on campus and in Easton. One of Andie’s favorite aspects of campus is LaFarm. Working at LaFarm was a transformative experience for her, deepening her interest in sustainable food issues. Having a campus farm allows students with no previous experience to gain practical skills in applying farming techniques. Mitchell also found the ability to conduct social science research with Professor Cho from the Government and Law Department to be transformative. The research regarded renewable energy networks and the EU in East Asia. Additionally, Mitchell participated in research on the Vegetables in the Community program with professors Cohen and Malinconico during the summer of 2017. With the start of her senior year, Andie began work on one of the first ever thesis projects to be completed in environmental studies at Lafayette. The topic of her thesis is seeds, policy and food sovereignty.
After graduation, Andie plans to pursue a master’s of science in food systems. Mitchell has also been researching fellowship programs and considering working on a farm. She is happy to have several great options to consider after graduation and hopes to end up working in academia or a non-profit with a focus on food systems or environmental justice.