Becky Gumbrewicz

Major: Environmental Science & Management

Hometown: Oxford, Connecticut

Favorite Class at URI & Why:
HPR 202: Science In Your Life Honors Colloquium taught by Professor Judith Swift. This class allowed students to research their own interests and present mini class lessons on them to our peers. It was a truly genuine group of some of the brightest people I’ve met here, and we were taught by a professor I highly admire. The class wasn’t “hard,” but rather it challenged us to think critically about our world and how science plays a universal part throughout it. Different speakers also attended class sessions to give us insight into different areas we hadn’t explored previously. It allowed everyone to impart different pieces of knowledge we all found valuable. We left the class with a greater appreciation for the prominence of scientific principles in our lives, a greater insight to our own fields and the values we have for each.

Hands-on Experience (ie: research, experiential learning, internships, etc.):
The Coastal & Environmental Fellowship Program offered here has really built my skills in the environmental field. I spent this past summer working in the URI entomology lab as a coastal fellow studying native bee ecology and the pollination efficiency of carpenter bees! It has strengthened my values in this field while also helping to prepare myself for a strong career path.

Why URI and CELS?
URI offers an unparalleled atmosphere I found at no other college I visited. It had the exact program of study I was looking for in an ideal location for volunteer and job opportunities, while also being home to some of the most hospitable people- who are now some of my closest friends. The faculty here really showed an interest in my success, which I found most comforting, and I couldn’t deny the opportunities I saw here.

Clubs, Organizations & Activities you participate in on-campus:
I am a member of WOWW, a club that stands for “Women Offering Women Wisdom” and offers women a safe community of support, stability and self-expression. I am also the Sunshine Chairperson of the volunteer co-ed fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, promoting positivity and active involvement in the community.

Top 3 Favorite Things you love about URI and/or the area?
1 – The People: Attending college is a big step, but finding the right group of friends makes it a lot easier. Here I’ve met people I know I will stay in touch with years after graduation and have made my place here feel like home. The professors are motivational and truly care about their students, even in class sizes in the hundreds. Everyone makes it feel like a very welcoming community.
2- The Location: The campus itself is beautiful, but Rhode Island as a whole is a captivating place. I have always appreciated nature, and the location of campus offers great opportunities to volunteer or perform your own research, while also having some amazing places to relax and take a step back for a little while.
3- The Opportunity: There are so many outlets for students to be involved in the community, whether it be regarding athletics, clubs, volunteering, or career exploration. Because of this aspect, so many students can find a home in URI. Even if something you want isn’t offered, you can develop the idea yourself. I definitely found many activities to keep myself busy, and I know URI has a lot to offer others as well.

What should prospective students know about URI and CELS?
Prospective students should know that a lot of colleges have similar things to offer, so try to narrow down what you want since this will be your home for the next few years. If you value the natural world and want a program that includes a close-knit community of passionate teachers, bright students, and lots of opportunity to engage in activities that pertain to your major outside of class, then the College of Environment & Life Sciences at URI is here for you.

Words of wisdom for new students:
Join lots of teams or clubs, ask questions, and be passionate. Once you find a few things you want to commit to, find your niche and pursue your goals to the best of your ability. College is the time to prepare for adult life, and yes, that’s scary, so use this time to figure out what you really care about to make the changes you want in the world. Pay attention in class, develop relationships with your professors, and find a good group of friends that will motivate you to lead a healthy lifestyle. Use your voice, and don’t be afraid to stand for your convictions.