Originally from just outside of Boston, senior Paige Smalley thought that she wanted to go to college somewhere close to home because of her close bonds with her parents and two older sisters. After visiting Colgate, however, she knew that it was the place for her and applied Early Decision.
“I think it’s so cheesy, but I did just have a good feeling when I was here. All the things that I had hesitations about at other schools weren’t present at Colgate,” Smalley said.
Smalley is an environmental economics concentrator, but that wasn’t the path she originally intended, despite knowing she was interested in the environment.
“I thought I wanted to do environmental biology and then I took chemistry freshman year. I really did not like labs, and if I was going to do environmental biology, I would probably be doing lab work as a job,” she said.
She decided on environmental economics after taking Introduction to Economics with a professor who is an environmental economist. Smalley was intrigued by his work and the field and knew she’d made the right choice. One of her favorite classes in the major was Environmental Justice.
“I learned a lot and the cases that we read about were interesting. It gets you fired up to see how much stuff is going on that’s kind of messed up and unfair surrounding the environment. It reinforced my original interest in the field,” she said.
Outside of the classroom, Smalley brings her knowledge of environmental issues to Green Earth Gang, a COVE club she co-leads. The Gang goes to Madison Central School every week and teaches second and third graders about the environment.
“I love getting to meet other people on campus who have similar interests and teaching little kids about the environment. They get really excited about it,” Smalley said.
After snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef during the Colgate study group to Wollongong, Australia, she gave a lesson about her experience to the MCS children once back in Hamilton. Smalley loved seeing the kids get excited over the pictures of her at the reef and show an interest in the environment.
Not to be defined by any one thing, Smalley is also a dedicated French student in addition to working at Career Services, being a member of Madison Mentoring, Student Council and Kappa Kappa Gamma.
When asked what she’ll miss most about Colgate, she cited the sheer number of events and opportunities for students, the tight-knit community and the amazing professors.
“I’ve also never had a professor refuse to meet outside of their office hours—they just care so much,” she said.
Smalley’s advice to students is to enjoy the community and take advantage of opportunities without stretching yourself too thin.
Contact Haley Fuller at email@example.com.