Transylvania senior gets to study and live out her passion for sustainability

Transylvania University senior Caroline Hawk has always had a love for wildlife and the environment. It’s why she dived into the Transylvania Environmental Action League, promoting conservation and cultivating a community garden near campus. 

But it hasn’t stopped there — she’s brought that passion into her research, as well. The biochemistry major began researching microscopic worms and nanoparticles in an environmental toxicology lab through the summer SURES (Undergraduate Research Experience in Environmental Health Sciences) program at the University of Kentucky, funded by the National Institute of Health. Those nanoparticles may be able to be used to develop environmentally friendly pesticides for farmers. 

Her peers in the summer programs, many of whom were Ph.D. and postdoc students, noted how she had gained valuable experience at Transy with equipment and software that many of them never saw until graduate school. She saw how Transy had prepared her to make contributions in the lab, and how the breadth and rigor of her liberal arts background made her comfortable communicating with people of all levels and interests.

After Transy, she’s considering a dual-degree program in veterinary medicine and a Ph.D. I can work with animals, hands-on, and contribute toward conservation research for the environment, which is the perfect pathway for my two interests,” she says. 

And she’s been able to do it all without sacrificing the community work she loves to do on environmental activism and sustainability.

“Transy does a really good job of giving students a platform to promote their voice. You have a lot of opportunities to get involved and find something you’re passionate about.”

Transy is the perfect place for students to live out their passions while getting an education that will guide them toward success in whatever field they choose. Apply today to join the Class of 2025, and find out what Pioneers are really made of.