Navarana Smith - ES student recipient of 2015 3M National Student Fellowship
Top row: Justine Baek, Jason Earl, Emilie McIntosh, Nicola Paviglianiti, Piper Riley Thompson.
Bottom row: Wali Shah, Navarana Smith, Vrindy Spencer, Karen Young, Aniqah Zowmi.
Navarana Smith is a third year BSc. student in Biology and Environmental Studies.
Like others, Navarana sees universities as a place where ideas start, habits form, and practices can be exemplified. Universities gather tremendous knowledge and capacity, and there is immense potential to better harness students’ efforts towards social and environmental change. Navarana sees providing opportunities for students to develop and sustain their passion—even after long hours spent under library florescent lights—as one critical component of this shift.
Communities have been the bricks of Navarana’s education. Coordinating the Victoria Sierra Club’s field trips— hiking, bird watching, and workshops for students and community members—brought opportunities to contextualize classroom learning. At the 2013 World Student Environmental Summit, Navarana and fellow University of Victoria delegate reflected on both the student and university responsibility in campus engagement. Space for advanced sustainability conversations was made while working with the organizational teams of the University of Victoria Environmental Round Table (UVERT) and environmental magazine publication (ESSENCE). Navarana has been involved as an intern for WWF in southwestern Madagascar, and as a trip leader for remote backpacking and canoe trips. These experiences continue to inform her perspective on how we can bridge the gap: with classroom effort that is relevant to students and surrounding communities.