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Michelle Sugimoto

Kentwood, MI
Environmental Studies
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Cappuccino Chocolate Chip
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Having a space, like the MPC (Math & Physics Center), fosters a fun, collaborative community.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
Originally, I was considering a chemistry major, which requires the introductory physics courses.  I had a lot of fun in those classes, so I continued.  Now, encouragement from my professors and the prospects of being part of sustainable change for the earth keep me coming back.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
My advice is to let go of stereotypes. Most of the time, we are presented with super genius, white, male physicists.  But physicists come in every shape and size.  And it's important to remember that working hard and struggling sometimes is ok.  

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
My interest in environmentalism connects to physics through renewable energy.  The Physics Society has worked to install solar panels on the recycling cart, so keep an eye out for that around campus!  Also, an understanding of physics has given me another way to connect to bells ringing at Stetson.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
This is something that I'm still working on, but I am learning that I don't have to be number one to be proud of myself.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class at K so far has been American Environmental History.  I feel like I accomplished a lot in this class.  Also, it was really fascinating to gain a better understanding of my place within the environmental movement by learning the history of various “green” movements.

What is your SIP?
I’m not sure yet, but I plan to get an internship or REU at a lab to see if pursuing a career in research is what I really want.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I'm considering attending graduate school to get a research position in a renewable energy lab.

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