Bella Manzo, a landscape architecture major from Indiana, will graduate with a minor in ecology and evolutionary biology and plans to keep farming and apply to graduate school programs in regenerative agriculture systems.
“Bella has given so much to ENVD over the years in her work ethic, community-building and leadership among her peers. In the last few years, her unwavering sense of joy and optimism built up those around and set an example of what it means to be resilient. I admire her strength, creativity, and uncanny sense of humor (those never-ending puns though!), and trust that she'll amplify her unique light anywhere she chooses to go.”
I really wish that we would've gotten to say goodbye, and I know that you all are going to go on to do great things! You are the most passionate and wonderful people I've had the privilege of knowing, and I hope you carry that passion on in whatever comes next.
Tell us about your involvement and/or student leadership roles in and/or outside of ENVD.
I've been a Peer Advisor for two years, and this past year have been the Peer Advising Coordinator at the ENVD advising office. I've also been involved with The Rural Project as a member, Vice President, and Interim President.
What inspired you to come to ENVD when choosing your school?
I transferred into ENVD as a sophomore and was inspired to come here because of the school's focus on ecology and environmental responsibility in design. I thought it was great to have an interdisciplinary program that would let me explore multiple design professions.
What is one of the greatest experiences or lessons from your time at CU Boulder that you'll carry with you into the next chapter of your life?
The greatest lesson that I've taken away from my experience has been to speak up for myself. I've always tried to be pretty easygoing and have often been a bit shy. I've learned in my time at CU that it's vital to communicate what you mean, people might value what I have to say, and it actually can have an impact.
Based on what you know now, what is your best piece of advice for other students?
Don't forget to think about what it is that YOU want to do. What are you passionate about, what excites you, what makes you happy? You can say no to things that may seem like good opportunities, but don't fall in line with what you want to do.
Describe one of your favorite memories.
The most cherished memory I have from my time at ENVD is being in the Scone Zone studio. I had transferred into ENVD the semester before, and that studio brought me together with so many friends and showed me how amazing the community here is.
What does graduating from college represent for you?
For me, graduating from college means that I get to take a break. I feel like I've been toiling nonstop between classes all week and work every weekend for the past four years, and now I get to enjoy having just one job. The end of this experience also means that I've overcome some nasty obstacles and that I'm much stronger and more resilient than I knew I could be.
What are your plans beyond graduation?
Sleep, in the immediate future. Looking forward though, I'm planning to keep on farming for the next year and apply to graduate schools in the fall for master's programs in regenerative agriculture systems.