Cameron Collins has a great respect for the earth and desires to live a sustainable life. He has taken a different path though the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources than most students and has even created his own individualized major. Cameron has had many experiences throughout his time as a UConn student, both at the University and through participation in outside activities.
What attracted you to UConn? UConn was not my first choice school. However, throughout my time here I have grown to love the school and appreciate all my experiences. When I first came to UConn, I felt lost because of the diverse selection of courses. Once I began to work closer with professors in CAHNR, my perspectives on UConn, as a whole, really changed.
What is your major, and why did you choose it? I have a double major in sustainable plant and soil systems and global perspectives in sustainable agroecology, which is an individualized major.
I knew that I wanted to work with plants, but I realized I was missing an aspect of sustainability, which is very important to me. At one point, I majored in nutrition, which interested me. However, I wanted to incorporate the sustainability of nutrition, plants and animals into one area of study, which is how I formed my individualized major.
I desire to live the most sustainable life I can. One day, I hope to build a farm community that works to treat the earth with respect.
Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? This summer, I had an internship living in a sustainable community in India that was off the grid. We had hand water pumps and no electricity. This helped me to wrap my mind around what it means to live sustainably and gave me a view of the community standpoint of sustainability. This internship helped me to shape my future hopes more than anything else I have done.
Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies. I worked at the UConn Plant Science Research Farm with many professors in my field, and I developed relationships and connections. In addition, I am outdoors continually, which is enriching to a hands-on person like me.
What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career? I face the challenges of a typical UConn student. For me, it was difficult at first to learn how to make the education system work for me. I had to understand how I could get the most out of my classes and apply that to my life.
When do you expect to graduate? What then? I am planning to graduate in May. Then, I will be starting a new entrepreneurial venture with a friend. We have begun experimenting with brewing beer, wine, and cider using local ingredients. We hope that the business takes off once I graduate and can dedicate more time to it. I would like to leave Connecticut and see some new places, but that will depend on where the market for my business is.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? I am very passionate about barefoot hiking and running. I climbed a number of mountains in the Northeast.
By Erin Norris