Amy Asmussen ’23, Creating Writing major and Environmental Studies minor.

This month’s Career Corner has been taken over by Wilkinson College senior, Amy Asmussen (Creative Writing major and Environmental Studies minor). 

Wilkinson College’s growing portfolio of Interdisciplinary Minors, including Africana Studies, Law and Liberal Arts, Creative and Cultural Industries, Disability Studies, and Ethnic Studies, among others, represent the heart and soul of Chapman University—its liberal arts core—through experiential learning and inquiry in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Facing anxieties surrounding our changing environment and my relationship to it, I realized I couldn’t let myself fall into paralysis. I had to act. Hoping to build a foundation for understanding these anxieties and pursue solutions to the climate crisis while balancing my pursuits as a Creative Writing major, I declared a minor in Environmental Studies. The decision, influenced by Wilkinson’s commitment to interdisciplinary study, changed the trajectory of my career.

My inquiry into the intersection of art activism and environmental study, supported by Wilkinson’s interdisciplinary programming and Career Resources, has convinced me to pursue a full-time career in climate communication post-graduation.

The Environmental Studies minor blends coursework from a broad selection of subject areas, from sociology and political science to English, economics, and philosophy, and allowed me to select courses that complimented my background in English and Creative Writing. Courses like Dr. Richelle Tanner’s “Environmental Advocacy Through Story” and Professor  Jaime Campbell’s “Environmental Rhetoric” set the climate issue against a familiar backdrop: rhetorical analysis. I kept asking myself the same questions: how can I communicate about climate in such a way that motivates people to act? and, more importantly, how do I factor into the climate issue? What privileges, perspectives, and avenues for inspiring action can I bring to the table?

Wilkinson’s Environmental Studies Minor positioned me to join Climate Now as a science-writing intern, supported by a blend of study in the arts and sciences. Climate Now is a multimedia educational resource on the science and economics of climate change. Climate Now’s Webby Award Nominated podcast features interviews with top experts in a range of sectors: including oceans, energy transition, transportation, the built environment, and carbon capture and storage.

For my Climate Now internship, I’m applying the skills I developed in my coursework to edit transcripts of each podcast episode for publication on Climate Now’s website, build partnerships with leaders in the climate sphere, and source and vet the latest science as potential podcast and video topics.

Consider adding one of Wilkinson’s Interdisciplinary Minors, and enhance your degree with holistic and personalized inquiry in the arts, humanities, and social sciences that might set you on a new career pathway!

Wilkinson is adding Health Humanities to our Interdisciplinary Minors list in fall 2022.