UNDERGRADUATE DEPARTMENTAL REPRESENTATIVES (UDRS)
The Undergraduate Departmental Representatives (UDR) program is designed to open avenues of communication between students and faculty. UDRs serve as student representatives and provide feedback to the program.
Margaret Back '16
Margaret Back is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies and American Studies. Growing up in Pennsylvania, Margaret became interested in human health issues stemming from environmental harm, such as fracking and contaminated waterways. She was a member of the 2013 Environmental Health and Justice JBS, where she and fellow students studied the connections between social justice and human environmental health, and conducted a nail salon air quality study in local Boston area salons. She and two others also presented this study at the International Conference on Environmental Sciences and Technology in Houston, Texas, last summer. Margaret also studied sustainable development abroad in Costa Rica with the School for Field Studies in the spring of 2015, learning her mortal fear of scorpions. Margaret likes the intersection of the environment with social justice, and is helpful with information on social science electives and the many options available with an environmental studies major! If you are curious how to match up environmental studies with other interests, she is a good idea of many options, having interned at a zoo, historical society, and the Thoreau Institute in her time at Brandeis.
Jay Feinstein '17
Jay Feinstein is a junior majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Economics. As president of the Farmers Club, which manages Brandeis's rooftop farm and farmers markets, Jay often finds himself on the isolated roof of Gerstenzang harvesting husk cherries and cherry tomatoes. But don't be a stranger: Jay loves talking about the Environmental Studies Program and how to be involved in sustainability on campus.
Jay's favorite aspect of environmental studies is the experiential learning opportunities offered by its programs and classes. Recently, Jay completed the Brandeis Environmental Health and Justice Community Field Semester (formerly known as a JBS), which takes a hands-on approach to studying the implications of human health on the environment. He served as a data coordinator for the capstone of the program, a scientific study assessing occupational exposures to toxic chemicals in hair salons targeted towards black women.
Feel free to reach out to him to ask about hands-on classes, the rooftop farm, starting a sustainability project on campus, or if you need a buddy to make farm fresh veggie stir-fry!
Madeline Rosenberg '16
Matt Smetana '17
Matt is a junior majoring in Environmental Studies and is from a town outside of Chicago. His family would frequently hike and stress the importance of keeping in touch with the earth, ever since then he’s been fixed on exploring the natural world and making it a better place. He has an extreme passion for ecology and animal behavior and spent this past summer working for a pollinator ecology lab at University of California Davis (ask him about it!). He is also a chair of the Brandeis Sustainability Committee and Class of 2017 Senator, and uses these positions to bring positive change to campus. In his free time he enjoys touring Brandeis with The Sibley Guide to Trees, creating watercolor paintings, and catching up on (far too many) TV shows.
He is a great resource for the ‘natural science’ electives, but would love to answer any questions related to the ENVS major (or Brandeis in general). And if you love chameleons you’re already one of his favorite people.