For Alexander Sebastiao ’16 CLAS, an interest in architecture led him to his double majors of Geography and Environmental Studies. Alex entered Villanova as an Arts, Undeclared student and was part of the Interdisciplinary Scholars Honors cohort his freshman year with retired Philosophy Professor John Immerwahr, PhD. Dr. Immerwahr knew that Alex was interested in architecture and the way in which we use space, so he recommended Alex look into classes in Geography and the Environment. He also set up a meeting with Robert Morro, PE, vice president for Facilities Management and an architect who was working on news paths and landscaping around campus. The architect encouraged Alex to gain an environmental perspective and background before going into architecture.
Alex enrolled in Bonnie Henderson, PhD’s Intro to Environmental Studies course and was immediately hooked. After taking more courses in the Department of Geography and the Environment, including a “refreshing and challenging” Environmental Chemistry course, Alex began work with Steven Goldsmith, PhD. Alex had never taken a class with Dr. Goldsmith but Dr. Goldsmith wanted to work with him after seeing Alex’s summer grant proposal. Alex worked with Dr. Goldsmith over the past year to measure vehicular trace metal sediment loading in the Mill Creek fords. The research worked well with his interests as he learned that he likes both lab and field work.
“The Department of Geography and the Environment has awesome teachers and resources. It worked perfectly for me because the major is flexible,” said Alex. “The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences gives students the freedom to take any direction they want and provides a lot of options in courses and professors. I never found myself stuck on a certain path, which gave me the freedom to explore and find what I’m really passionate about.”