Jason Hagani CC’19

Habari! I’m a senior in CC studying environmental science, but with a particular interest in animal conservation. I spent the spring semester of my junior year going full-on Lion King on the Columbia in Kenya study abroad program. I traveled all over the country – everywhere from mountains to rainforests to swamplands to deserts. Throughout my semester, I studied environmental biology, conservation, and behavioral ecology with the greatest conservationists and scientists Columbia, Princeton, and Africa have to offer. I learned about the complex undertones of human-elephant conflict in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro, human evolution at our birthplace in Lake Turkana, and much more. As an environmental scientist going to school in New York City (which is arguably quite urban), I believe my education needed the field experience and research opportunities that only traveling to an environmentally challenged country could provide. Along the way to the most enlightening 3 months of my life, I also got to make some unforgettable memories. I gave a baby rhino a mud bath, climbed a 17,000 foot mountain, stood face-to-face with some of the world’s most unique and spectacular animals, and made some lifelong friends. So if you’re interested in an outdoorsy, adventurous, and environmentally-centric program in the most special place on Earth, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d love to chat about my experiences (or send you a million photos…)!