Colleen Stevens is a student athlete and honors program student who is passionate about her future career in environmental conservationism. She is an impressive biology major, who completed an internship with the Rockland Conservation and Service Corps (RCSC) last summer. Under the Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources, Colleen helped maintain 9 different county parks with over 26 trails, as well as assisting with larger projects such as the installation of culverts at Kakiat Park to replace the bridges that kept being washed away by floods. Colleen loves being in nature; she chose STAC not just because she “wanted a school where you could really get to know your teachers and be a part of a community,” but also because of its proximity to many hiking trails. As someone who grew up in the southern Catskills, Colleen says the abundance of nature and trails makes STAC feel like home.
Colleen recognizes Dr. Bianca Wentzell, Dean of the School of STEM, as someone who has advised and encouraged her throughout her time at STAC. Colleen first met her at the Honors Program Induction Ceremony before her freshman year and was impressed that Dr. Wentzell remembered her months later in class. Since then, Colleen says, “I have had Dr. Wentzell for multiple other classes” with “this year being the first semester I have not had her”. Colleen notes that Dr. Wentzell is “someone I can always go to when I have questions about future careers and internship opportunities and someone who is more than willing to help.”
“Colleen added such rich knowledge to the class and was always very helpful during our field activities,” Dr. Wentzell says, “I was so proud of her when she participated in the RCSC internship program this past summer and I know that she will do great things in the fields of environmental conservation and ecology”
In 2020, Colleen was the recipient of the St. Thomas Aquinas College Environmental Writing Award in Honor of Rachel Carson. In a researched argument paper, Colleen extensively outlines why cougars should be reintroduced into the Eastern United States. Predator species are an area of interest for Colleen, with Dr. Wentzell noting that “Colleen has always been particularly drawn to predators such as cougars and coyotes.”
Colleen plans to continue to explore these interests in the future, stating that, “in 5 years I will probably still be in school. After STAC I have to go back to school for a second undergraduate degree in wildlife biology, then either a master’s or PhD. My plan is to continue studying to become a Conservationist, specifically in Predator species”
Besides her many achievements in environmental biology at STAC, Colleen is also a scholar athlete who has been playing soccer since she was 5 years old. And now, she shows her Spartan pride as goalkeeper for both the STAC Soccer and STAC Lacrosse teams!
When she’s not busy excelling at STAC, Colleen enjoys hiking, painting pictures of animals, and watching Criminal Minds. She also enjoys spending time at home with her four siblings and five pets—which include a dog, a cat, a snake, and two frogs.