Lauren Pawlowski is a rising senior at the University of Connecticut and will graduate in May 2022 with a dual degree in Environmental Studies (EVST) and Economics. Lauren has an impressive workload this summer, showcasing her drive and motivation. She is a Sustainable CT Fellow, aiding Connecticut towns in becoming more environmentally sustainable, while also working in the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) collaborating with other Councils of Governments in Connecticut to draft a new Regional Sustainability Plan. Additionally, Lauren is working with CTDEEP to update the Cultural Resources Inventory (CRI) with more recent documentation of DEEP-owned infrastructure and assets. She has also received a UConn IDEA Grant and is creating a documentary and photography exhibition to showcase youth environmental conservation and action. Other worthy mentions include that she is a LEED Green Associate, has joined the Connecticut Green Building Council, and is preparing to participate in the Food & Sustainability Studies Program at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy, this fall.
Lauren credits UConn with providing her with many opportunities to learn about and partake in sustainable solutions through several student environmental organizations, as a Student Fellow at the United Nations COP25 in Madrid, and as an intern for UConn’s Office of Sustainability. Lauren has utilized the skills gained, combined with what she has learned during her classes at UConn, to pursue jobs and extend her professional development beyond UConn and into the community. She mentions that “summer is a critical time for developing [her] professional network,” and that the opportunities from this summer have inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in city and regional planning, with a focus in community and economic development. This will allow her to continue to expand upon her skills and grow her knowledge of environmental studies. UConn has created space for this growth and provided the tools for Lauren to expand her horizons and make changes within UConn’s community and beyond.