By Jay Gulshen
As an international political studies and environmental science major, I’m often asked: “So what are you going to do with that?” For a while, I couldn’t come up with a good answer. It’s not that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t entirely convinced that what I wanted to do was an actual job. Picking my majors based on what I was good at and getting involved on campus (as president of the Fanthers, Vice President of SGA, a member of the Enactus team, and an R.A.) were part of my college experience. I knew this experience was supposed to prepare me for starting a career, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted my career to be.
This uncertainty was wiped away last November, when I went with my water resources class instructor, Loring Bullard, to a conference here in Springfield for local watershed managers. The keynote speaker for the afternoon was Dr. Aaron Salzberg of the U.S. State Department, and after hearing him speak, I finally knew what exactly I wanted to do with my Drury education.
Dr. Salzberg pointed out that working with countries across the world, we can mitigate the challenges posed by water scarcity. Through international cooperation and domestic development projects, all states— both rich and poor—can improve their water resources. Dr. Salzberg estimates that the nations of the Nile River Basin could all improve their utilization by at least 25% through effective cooperation. By promoting responsible and effective use of our fresh water now, we can make great strides in not only avoiding the devastating consequences of water scarcity, but also in improving the health and wellbeing of people across the globe.
I’m grateful that I attend a school that encourages exploration of all kinds of disciplines—and that my instructor exposed our class to the conference that allowed me to discover my passion.