An essential part of the Whittier College experience, and what many students become very familiar with once they enter their first year at the College, is the benefit of going out into the world, especially going overseas to experience new cultures. This is true for Global Resource Management major Andrew Williams, a WSP student who took his experience abroad and brought it back to Whittier in the form of a research project.
Originally, Williams wanted to focus on international business during his time in college, but his study abroad trip to Israel inspired him to focus more on nature — specifically water. For his senior project, Williams is “analyzing the political and environmental problems within the Middle East, especially looking at the Jordan River basin—” which is a 250 kilometer basin that travels through Jordan, Israel, Syria, the West Bank, and in Lebanon. It was his trip to Israel that opened his eyes to the fascinating ways in which nature operates.
Williams “had an eclectic [assortment] of courses under [his] belt” upon entering Whittier College with what was essentially an associate degree already thanks to his dual enrollment in high school. This allowed him some leeway with exploring classes and taking his time with what specific major he wanted to choose. He came to WC knowing that he wanted to partake in the WSP program, and knew that he wanted his focus in business to be international. After some time at WC, and a study abroad trip to Israel, Williams “fell in love with water and how it interacts with the environment, politics, and economics,” which is where the ‘resource management’ part of his major came into play. “The Globe part was based on my desire to understand how transboundary resources interacted between countries,” said Williams.
Currently, Williams works as a master scuba diver, and he is “trying to [incorporate his] major to work in tandem with it.” His after-graduation plans include going to graduate school to continue his education in environmental studies, obtain a master’s degree in the field, and, afterwards, to get a job in the environmental sector. He is looking to apply to Prescott College and Cal State Monterey Bay as his top graduate school options.
Overall, Williams enjoyed the time he spent at Whittier College, and he cited “the connections you make with other students and professors” as highlights of his WC career. A few of the professors that most shaped his experiences were Director of the Writing Program Charles Eastman, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science David N. M. Mbora, and Assistant Professor of Political Science Jeff Hanlon, who is an expert in Williams’ areas of interest. “The passion and care they take to students is what makes the experience worth [its weight] in gold. The way they invest their time into educating provides motivation and drive to study and succeed in classes,” said Williams.
Although Williams did not have specific advice for students, getting out into the world and travelling seems to be the way to go. Who knows the kinds of amazing things you could see and experience? His trip to Israel inspired Williams’ capstone project, and he developed a love for travelling to the Middle East and Asia. Traveling has the possibility to bring an endless amount of inspiration. Although the pandemic may not allow it right now, get out there as soon as you can! It’s what Whittier College encourages of students, after all.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Andrew Williams