23 Jan

Introducing Rachel Fritz: AGS Spring Scholar-Intern

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IMG_5068Hello! My name is Rachel Fritz. I am in my second year at Montclair State University where I am pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Sustainability with a minor in Public Administration. I was born and raised in a small town on a lagoon in South Jersey.  While in high school, I experienced my home flood from Superstorm Sandy and unfortunately, my family is still struggling from the effects. This pivotal moment in my life sparked my interest in the results of climate change, specifically the issues related to flooding. It is my life goal to share my knowledge and awareness of global climate change in hope that governments will change their policies accordingly.

Traveling allows you to learn more about yourself and the world around you by experiencing another lifestyle. I traveled to my first third world country, Dominican Republic, in high school with a group of students my age. In the town of Bayahibe, I volunteered to tackle environmental issues pertaining to sand erosion, human waste pollution, and the destruction of coral reefs. I will never forget the moment where I witnessed a live mother shark being killed on one of the beaches in the Caribbean Sea. Experiencing this environmental problem changed me in a way that can not be related to reading about it online. Recently, I traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on a study abroad program to look at issues related to flooding, massive urbanization, energy, and water quality. I met with representatives from the local Vietnamese universities, governmental agencies, and private companies associated with environmental sustainability to discuss these issues facing the region. I work in the Marketing department at Montclair State Campus Recreation managing our social media platforms by creating content to promote our events, filming plus editing videos, and creating giveaways. This internship with American Geographical Society will allow me to integrate both of my passions and I hope to educate fellow geographers through social media!

A quote that I would like to leave you with is “The beauty of life is to experience yourself,” a saying that randomly has stuck with me ever since I read it on the string of my tea bag a few years ago. Life is full of different possibilities and taking each opportunity that presents itself in your life is imperative to success and happiness. Seize the day and always be willing to change yourself and do something new. Never expect that what makes you happy will eventually come to you, take initiative and find it by exploring all that life has it offer.

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