YSE students planting a tree during MODS 2023

Students plant a tree for a local homeowner in New Haven during a Science-to-Solutions orientation program in August. Photo: Ian Christmann

Class of 2025 is Focused on Sustainability, Equity, and Global Solutions

This year’s incoming class is one of the most diverse in Yale School of the Environment’s history, with students coming from six continents and 31 countries and from 29 U.S. states and territories.

After spending the past few years in the professional world, Isaac Carroo ’26MMEM/MDiv is eager to get back to the classroom.

“I am really excited to join a community that is as engaged and passionate as YSE,” Carroo says. “I can already see how many amazing opportunities there are here to expand my horizons and build my skills, and it will be such a privilege to do that alongside peers who are down-to-earth yet dreaming big.”

Carroo is one of the 156 incoming master’s students who attended MODs — a 10-day summer orientation period at which students get to know each other and gain experience in collecting, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing data.

“Even throughout the early days of orientation, I can tell there is so much that I am going to pick up from my classmates outside of the typical learning environment,” Courtney Megerian ’25 MEM says. “Everyone is coming to this program from such a wide range of specialties, so it will be fun to hear how different backgrounds view different issues.”

This year, MODs included a “Self-to-System” program in which students explored their personal motivations and lived experiences. It also included a “Science-to-Solutions” component that gave students the opportunity to experience the flow of information from data collection through to solution implementation while considering issues of measurement, analysis, bias, and translation.  For some students, this was done in New Haven where they explored East Rock Park and the Mill River, while others explored these themes at Yale-Myers Forest.

This year’s class is also one of the most diverse in YSE’s history. International students make up 40% of the class, and almost 20% of domestic students identify as people of color. Incoming students hail from six continents and 31 countries and from 29 U.S. states and territories. Students range in age from 21-55, with an average age of 27, and the class has an average of 3-4 years of work experience.

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“I am excited to be at YSE to explore the intersectionality of environmental issues with other environmental professionals from all over the world," says Cindy CiFuentes, ’25 MFS, who most recently worked as the Director of Natural Resources and Research at Wesselman Woods in Evansville, Indiana. 

More than half of the class, 112 out of the 156 students, will be part of the Master of Environmental Management program, while 19 students will pursue degrees in the research-oriented Master of Environmental Science program. Thirteen students are enrolled in the Master of Forestry program, and five incoming students are pursuing Master of Forest Science degrees.

Enar Kornelius Leferink ’25 MESc, an international student from Iceland, says he is looking forward to working on research related to sustainability. 

“After having studied economics at UChicago, I feel excited to take courses on environmental science to create my own research project. Now is a critical time to work toward sustainability, and what better place to do that than with the amazing mentors and peers at YSE?” he says. 

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