Published: April 29, 2021

Lauren Oertel, a sustainable planning and urban design major from Dubuque, Iowa, plans to get a full-time gig where she can be challenged and inspired before attending graduate school.

Lauren OertelNo matter where you go or what you do, I hope you use your platform to do some good in this life. Congrats grads!

Tell us about your involvement and/or student leadership roles in and/or outside of ENVD.
Research Assistant for the Just Environments Lab, Program Intern for the CEDaR Center and Growing Up Boulder, Teaching Assistant, Student Success Specialist for the Emerging Leaders Program, Event Planner (but mostly a member) of Designers Without Boundaries, President for the Muslim Student Association

What inspired you to come to ENVD when choosing your school?
The interdisciplinary education, the holistic community, and my sister's advice to get my life together.

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?
We are all rare and capable of bringing unique stories to the table - we just have to stay true to who we are, and listen to others that have something different to say.

Based on what you know now, what is your best piece of advice for other students?
You won't save the world, but don't let that stop you from trying.

Describe one of your favorite memories.
Literally the goofiest and most real conversations from our over-worked, sleep-deprived nights - like how did we even do that all these years? wow.

What does graduating from college represent for you?
A first-generation celebration!

What are your plans beyond graduation?
Short-term: get a full-time gig where I can be challenged and inspired, then graduate school. Long-term: start an interdisciplinary think tank and make some movements happen.