Sarah was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, but has spent most of her life in Texas and considers herself a true Texas girl. She grew up near Dallas and went to undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin where she pursued a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Starting off college having no idea what she wanted to do with her life (Be a doctor? Find a job?), it all started coming together at the end of her sophomore year. A project exploring the 1999 water privatization crisis in Cochabamba, Bolivia opened her eyes to the world water crisis. Having done a handful of mission trips to Rio Bravo, Mexico in high school and remembering the lack of access to clean water, she realized that she wanted devote her career to improving access to clean water and sanitation.
Sarah discovered the Master’s International program when she was looking into applying for the Peace Corps the summer before her junior year and it seemed like the perfect fit. She is ecstatic to be in Florida studying what she is truly interested in. Her research in undergrad consisted of renewable fuels (mainly from switchgrass) and Life Cycle Assessments, and she is now picking up where she left off on a project with Dr. Qiong “Jane” Zhang (as well as Dr. Sarina Ergas, Dr. Jim Mihelcic, and several other grad students) working on the nutrient model for a Sustainable Algae project. There is a possibility that this project could translate to her future Peace Corps work creating biogas from algae grown in wastewater.
Although Sarah’s first love is Latin America, she is ready and willing to go wherever the wind (i.e. the Peace Corps) takes her. After completing the MI program, Sarah will once again follow the wind (it seems to be working out pretty well so far) and possibly work for an NGO abroad and hopefully eventually pursue a PhD in some sort of program that combines environmental engineering, public health, anthropology, economics, religious studies, development studies, and international relations. J
Sarah's Blog: http://sarahwat-san.blogspot.com/2011/08/holding-onletting-go.html
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