Now Accepting Applications!
My name is Uma Bhandaram and I’m excited to be joining the Admissions Department as the new Recruiter for the 2015 – 2016 season. Mainly because this means I don’t have to leave F&ES or New Haven yet! I’ve had such a great time here.
First, a little bit about me: I’m from Southern California. I completed my undergraduate degree at University of California, Los Angeles in 2011. Afterwards, I worked as an environmental consultant in Southern California for a year and a half, interned for a reforestation agency in Haiti for a few months, and traveled around Central and South America for a couple of months before heading to Yale. I’ve grown up and lived in various areas surrounded by the beach, mountains, and desert and, most distinctly, with no snow! I certainly wasn’t ready for the intensity or duration of winter here but luckily it was all so new to me that I loved it.
There is so much to do and get involved in with F&ES. Coursework, although incredibly important and significant, was a relatively small part of my time here. I graduated with an MESc and my thesis was on using GIS for stormwater management purposes in New York City. I’ve done similar work for the City of New Haven as well. I also have worked on coastal management and resiliency issues in cities throughout Connecticut.
I was involved in a number of groups and initiatives that are focused mainly on water quality issues in the urban environment. During my two years here as a student, I worked for the Hixon Center for Urban Ecology. I did hydrologic modeling, helped build their website, and tested soil samples. The Center so perfectly integrates my interest in community building and urban ecosystems and that I continued working for them (even after I graduated!) through their non-profit arm, the Urban Resources Initiative (URI). URI has a summer program called ‘Greenspace’ through which community foresters, such as myself, provide technical advice, materials and supplies, and hands-on training to community groups around New Haven interested in the creation, maintenance, and stewardship of green spaces in the city.
Following Greenspace, I became a MODs TF. My first introduction to the high value that the school places on community building was with MODs and I wanted to be able to contribute to this tradition. This gave me the wonderful opportunity to meet the entire incoming class of 2017. I think most people who have gone through the program will agree that one of the biggest strengths of F&ES is the sense of camaraderie that is present in every activity. F&ES has been an essential and integral part in making me who I am today and I’m thrilled to be recruiting on behalf of this wonderful program and school.
Feel free to reach out to me with any and all questions you may have about the application process, student life, classes, etc.!