Casey Gajewski, Sustainable Plant Systems Major

Spring 2020 CALS Outstanding Senior

“Casey is the kind of student that provides validation, satisfaction, and meaning to the faculty who have invested in her. I am confident her interdisciplinary training in art and science will enable her to have significant impact.”

- Dr. Tanya Quist, Nominator

Tell us a little about yourself.

My love for environmental science started in my hometown Granby, Connecticut.  We like to joke because of all the local farming in the area, we put McDonald’s out of business!

 I believe there’s a deep connection between art and science—specifically plant science—and this connection gives people a greater appreciation for our natural environment. In my free time, I like to take my camera with me hiking to take photos of nature. 

What have you enjoyed most about your major?

An interesting part about having two majors is seeing how two completely different worlds mesh. I love seeing how different courses connect and relate to one another. 

My favorite part about my classes is the mix of hands-on learning and lecture-based learning— it has given me a good idea of what I might be doing in my future.

Any clubs or leadership positions you enjoyed?

My involvement helped me learn more about different fields. 

One of my favorite memories is working at Atelier de LaFluer, a Tucson wedding florist decoration company. While I was leading the back of house, I learned so much about how to incorporate creativity into plant designs. Now I know that I want to do this in my future.

What internships were you involved in?

Out of my multiple experiences, one of the most memorable was an internship at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, New York. 

At this historic state park, I lived on-site in a refurbished horse barn, learning how to manage land, making new connections, and getting a well-rounded education in plant sciences.

Next steps?

In my future, I see a possible career in Phoenix as a corporate event designer, applying all I’ve learned from my internships and environmental education. Long-term, I would like to receive my Master’s in plant sciences and see where it takes me in the field of environmental sciences. 

Words of advice?

Stay motivated through your first years of courses and  you’ll be rewarded with exciting and interesting classes later on! Never overlook meeting new people; you'll never know what connections you can make.