From the Finger Lakes town of Canandaigua, New York, senior Grace Thomas is now a biology and environmental studies double concentrator. Thomas likes the interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies, describing it as the perfect match between
the sciences and humanities.
Thomas has kept herself busy in her four years on campus. As a first-year, she became involved in “The Vagina Monologues,” which she also helped put on during her sophomore and junior years. Thomas was also a cast member in “This is Not a Play About Sex.”
“Going to those spaces with so many inspirational and inviting women as a young person is really where I started to unpack my identity and position on this campus,” Thomas said.
Thomas has two internships on campus, working at the Office of Sustainability and Haven. The Office of Sustainability has been an asset in developing Thomas’ interest in working in the sustainability sector after graduation.
“The office is a great place to implement any creative ideas you have and learn some basic skills for this industry,” Thomas said.
Her junior year, Thomas was selected as a facilitator of “Yes Means Yes,” which she describes as the “greatest privilege” of her Colgate Career.
“I have benefited so much from being challenged by this team of students who are real leaders in changing the narrative about sex and relationships on this campus,” Thomas said.
This past winter break, Thomas participated in an extended study to China with a class about environmental problems and activism. Visiting three different locations across China, the group experienced first hand the environmental crises China is facing and the organizations in China that are leading the way to mitigate these problems.
“I loved China more than I could have ever imagined, and was fortunate to have an incredible group of students and outstanding professors to travel with,” Thomas said.
After graduation, Thomas plans to pursue a career in the sustainability sector, hoping to eventually go to graduate school for sustainable development or environmental policy.
When asked about graduating and leaving Colgate, Thomas had some parting words.
“Never again in your life will you be surrounded by so many amazing faculty and students who are willing to ask you difficult questions, and work with you to understand their perspectives. This is such an invaluable gift. Push yourself to occupy spaces that might make you uncomfortable, but that will make you a better person in the long run,” Thomas said.