EPA Scholar Michelle Brotherton Graduates
Date: June 6, 2002
From New Program
Contact: Chris Curran
By: Martha Ybern
Phone: (513) 556-1806
Photos By: Colleen Kelley
It isn't often that students get the opportunity to grow with a program, to be part of it from the beginning, nurtured by its wonderful influences as they gain a sense of purpose in their lives. From the start, that's what happened to Michelle Brotherton, a graduating senior in the Environmental Studies Program (ESP) at UC.
Four years ago, she ventured into ESP, a new program at the time. Immediately, Brotherton connected to it, drawn by sheer interest, and says that ESP was a good fit for her. According to Brotherton, she's an environmentalist at heart; her goal is to work on projects where she can find solutions to environmental problems.
She grew up in Norwood but later her family moved to Clermont County. She has always been interested in the environment. She likes the way ESP incorporates various disciplines and is glad people are becoming more aware of the environment.
A 1998 Bethel-Tate High School graduate, Brotherton is the recipient of a scholarship from the Clermont County Soil and Water Conservation District, where she worked a summer for the agency, learning about soil maps and surveying. She even helped to put together an educational library for public use. She is also a recipient of a McMicken College of Arts & Sciences scholarship for the past two years and earned the Environmental Protection Agency Scholarship this year.
She works at the Cincinnati Zoo, as a part-time instructor for the Overnight Nocturnal Adventures Program. As an educational guide she shares the secrets of the zoo with kids from 6:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. It's part of an amazing program that teaches children about adaptations of animals to their environments, says Brotherton. Highly popular is the Sleep with the Manatee Program, where kids get to camp right in front of the Manatee Tank. "It's a great program. We teach about biodiversity, the diversity of life, animals and plants," she says.
Activities at UC have kept her busy, too. Michelle is a founding member of ESAVE, Environmental Students for Awareness, Volunteering and Education. She also serves as the philanthropy chair of the Golden Key International Honor Society. This past summer, the group traveled to Dallas for a leadership conference and personal development.
In summer 2001, she studied in Queteraro, Mexico, where she lived with a host family for six weeks, went to school four hours a day and earned 15 credit hours. The purpose of the trip, according to Brotherton, was to experience Mexican culture on a different level. "It was a wonderful experience that I would recommend to other students," she says.
After Commencement on June 7, she would like to go to grad school, but wants to take a year for something else first. She plans to apply to the Peace Corps in hopes of getting a Latin American environmental assignment.
She believes it's important for students to connect to their beliefs when selecting a major, because it is essential to a fulfilling career. For Michelle Brotherton, connecting to nature is undoubtedly going to be an important part of her life and whatever path she chooses.