Emely Hernandez is a geographic information science graduate student from Los Angeles, CA
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Major: Geographic information science graduate student
What is your anticipated graduation year? 2022
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
Growing up, I always knew I loved science. I never really had a specific career in mind because I was open to discovering new interests. As I got older I was even more sure that I wanted to pursue a career in STEM, even if that meant entering a field that is not very diverse with people like me.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I am a new graduate student pursuing a master of science in geographic information science, and I hope to research water quality due to tourism in Mexico. I decided to focus my thesis on water quality, not only because it is one of the most important resources to humans, but also because most of the time environmental degradations affect minorities. It helps to have minority representation in environmental research to speak for our communities.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I just began my career at NIU this fall semester but I did research here last summer and I really connected with the school. All the faculty I met, and the other students were all so welcoming and kind. This experienced really pushed me to pursue an M.Sc. here at NIU.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
So far I really enjoy spending time outside behind Davis Hall, where the fountains are located. I am drawn to this place because I think it has a good view of the lagoon.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
I think the most important advice that I would give a student applying to college is to make the most out of their experience, not only academics-wise but also connections, networking and research-wise. College is the time to learn and discover new information and new interests, and may be some of the best years of your life.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
Attending college has definitely taught me to learn how to communicate properly and in a professional manner. It also has pushed me to learn to manage my time wisely.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
When I know that I have reached my limit in studying or doing homework, I tend to cook, watch Netflix or work out in order to take a break and for my brain to relax.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
I hope to look back at this Q&A at the end of my time here and see how much I have learned and grown since.