My name is Aida Amirul. I'm from Malaysia. I go to Western Michigan University where I am a BS candidate in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?
Issues on waste mismanagement have always been something I’m highly concerned about. Problems arising from irresponsible toxic dumping does not only pollute the land but affects the living quality of neighboring communities, restricts the access to potable water, and damages the surrounding ecosystem. Polluted neighborhoods are also commonly related to socio-economic and racial segregation -serious social issues that deserve more public attention. Besides that, I also believe that environmental education should be made accessible and interesting for all. Irresponsibility sources from low-awareness and being aware will is a huge precursor for change.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
I started a compilation of real-life climate crisis stories told from people of different demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds from interviewing international students on campus. This project aims to share the unspoken struggles of the population in poorer, developing countries. Besides that, I will hopefully be working on an undergraduate thesis on neighborhood exposure to toxic releases and its community impacts.
What are your plans for the next five years?
Ideally, I’d like to be back in my home country, Malaysia and be involved in developing habitable brownfield sites for communities; sustainable urban planning research and projects. I also want to do more works of voluntary environmental advocacy and education especially to those who don’t have access to extended resources and higher education opportunities.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
I’m always looking for opportunities to learn and increase my knowledge about topics surrounding environmental sustainability and engage myself in discussions with like-minded people.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?
Biking in the city in the summer, discovering new, cool hangout spots, and exploring Chicago’s vegan scene.
Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
I LOVE cats. I have 4 back home!