Alumni Profiles - Meet Leah Bennett (Batey)
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Year of Graduation: 2003
Major: Wildlife Conservation
Undergraduate Campus Involvement: Dark Arts Performing Dance Company; Mu Pi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Office of Residence Life - Resident Assistant for the Christiana Towers and Hall Director for Gilbert D/E and Annex
Current position of employment or education:
Environmental Science Teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia
Describe your best College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) experience:
I would have to say that the indoor and outdoor labs were a great experience because they gave us the hands on experiences that make scientific concepts more tangible to students. You can explain a process or describe an organism through text but actually seeing the process or organism in person is truly where the learning begins.
Which CANR course was your favorite and why?
Entomology with Dr. Caron was probably my favorite class because he made the course interactive and fun. He performed the “Bee” dance for the class to illustrate how bees communicate with each other in the hive.
Tell us about your current position or program of study and what led you to that field.
I began my teaching career at William Penn High School in New Castle DE for 2.5 years and then moved to Virginia. I am currently teaching Middle School Environmental Science for Fairfax County. My passion for the environment and my experiences in working with students as an RA and then a Hall Director lead me to a career in education.
How did your CANR experiences prepare you for your career or post-graduate education?
After my undergraduate studies, I stayed at the University of Delaware and obtained my Masters Degree in Environmental Policy at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (which I believe has been renamed). My undergraduate experience gave me both discipline and a great foundation to continue on to graduate school. It gave me the unique opportunity to see how environmental studies transition from the basics of biology to the arena of public policy on the environment.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
I would tell students to do their research. Make sure that they have a good understanding of what skills and course of study employers are looking for and start there. In the field of education we say “Begin with the end in mind”. Think about where you want to be in 5 years and then work backwards to achieve your goals.