I chose Fletcher because I was looking for a degree program to build off of my past experiences in environmental science and agriculture, while acquiring new skill sets to help me bridge the gap between life sciences and social sciences. Before coming to Fletcher, I spent the past three years working with smallholder farmers, university students, nonprofit organizations and private and public sector entities in Haiti. During this time, my approach to agricultural development and natural resource management was informed mostly by my previous training in agronomy and environmental science - for example, conducting field studies to identify best practices for peanut cultivation in Haiti, and managing training programs to disseminate information about optimal seed and row spacing, high-performing cultivars, cost-effective irrigation and soil conservation technologies, and post-harvest crop management to smallholder farmers. During this time, I realized that I could add much more to the conversation with a stronger background in public policy and economics, especially as they relate to agriculture, rural development, and conservation of natural resources. In researching the Fletcher School Ph.D. program, I found the interdisciplinary focus that I was looking for, especially in the work of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP). My adviser is conducting research that looks at a wide array of factors that play into forest management, including agricultural policy, socioeconomic status of rural communities, and physical sciences such as climate, soils and ecology. I feel that this program will help me develop the capacity to integrate diverse fields and disciplines to have a greater impact in my work.
On the Ph.D.
I chose the Ph.D. program because it felt like a natural progression from my master's of science in environmental science, which I obtained from Brigham Young University in 2015, and several years of working in the field of agricultural and environmental development. I knew during my master's program that I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. and become more deeply involved in research, but I was not certain as to which program to pursue at that time. Working in Haiti for three years gave me greater clarity and enabled me to focus my interests. While applying for programs last fall, the Fletcher program looked ideal to me due to its interdisciplinary nature and blending of social and physical sciences.
How has Fletcher broadened your global perspective?
Before coming to Fletcher, the bulk of my international experience has been in Haiti specifically and the Caribbean generally. Being at Fletcher, I have met and interacted with students and faculty hailing from and working in a wide array of countries. I have been able to study applications of the same environmental and agricultural issues that interest me, but in countries and contexts with which I was previously unfamiliar. This has broadened my perspective of potential places where I can work, consult, and conduct research. I plan to continue working in Haiti in the future, but also to explore research opportunities in other areas of Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Activities involved in at Fletcher
- Ph.D. Student Group
- International Development Group
Fletcher Energy and Environment Club (FLEEC)
Education before Fletcher
- Master of Science in Environmental Science, Brigham Young University
- Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Brigham Young University
Experience before Fletcher
- Director, Centre d'Agriculture Saint Bernabas, Terrier-Rouge, Nord-Est, Haiti
- Agriculture Program Coordinator, Meds & Food for Kids, Quartier Morin, Nord, Haiti
- Haitian Creole Instructor, Brigham Young University, Center for Language Studies, Provo, UT