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October 20, 2011

Meet Michael!

Hey Hey!

My name is Michael Kawabata and, while I’m sure you’ve never heard of me, I’ve been with USEE for some time now. You might say I’m a behind-the-scenes kind of guy (the intern); but I prefer to think I’m USEE’s secret weapon! All the same, I’m coming out of the shadows for the introduction I was due for in February.

I am currently a senior at Weber State University - a candidate for a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Sociology - but not for long! I graduate in a mere seven weeks and will later (next Fall) embark upon the graduate school experience where I plan to begin coursework toward a Ph.D. in organizational and environmental sociology. I like being outside, around people, and into everything. I think that to be cognizant of the future is to be concerned with the environment right now and that everyone has a job to do. I believe in the golden rule, respect to all things, "pleases" and "thank yous," and learning from experience. In fact, these basic principles provide me with a guide to most everything I do.

I feel so fortunate to be involved with an organization whose interests and values are so closely parallel to my own and one whose goals also consider my personal and professional development. Thus far, the Utah Society for Environmental Education has allowed me the opportunity to apply skills gleaned from my studies in sociology to social situations close-to-home, become involved with meaningful and far-reaching projects that serve to educate the public on myriad environmentally relevant concerns, and has taught me elements of environmental issues and networking that I have not encountered in the class room. I could go on to talk about how incredible the staff is at USEE and how such tremendous things happen because of the efforts of relatively few, yet spiritous individuals. However, if you have experience with the organization, you understand it’s potential.

As mentioned, my educational goals will be taking me to graduate school within the next year and I have USEE to thank for experience with a topic that I will surely encounter in the future. I have big plans for my education and career; they include studying organizational environmental behavior at both domestic- and international-levels in the service of understanding the dynamics that exist between such social groups and their immediate ecosystems. The aforementioned research interests also examine the micro-implications of these macro-dynamics for environmental conditions worldwide. My professional goals also include being involved with the initiation of programs that address such issues at the corporate-, organizational-, institutional-, and community-levels. Eventually, and in the latter end of my career, I hope to teach at the university-level.

I’m very excited for the rest of this year and can’t wait to be involved with USEE in the future. We have great things in the works so check back to see what they are! And if this is the first you’ve heard from me, it won’t be the last; you can definitely expect more blogging from this kid now that he’s got a vehicle for outlet! Until then...

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