Rebecca Walters

Rebecca Walters

Rebecca Walters

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Double Degree
  • Year commenced: 2019
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies
  • Major(s): Ecology and conservation biology

Why did you decide to study science?
I was eager to discover how science can be harnessed to develop understanding of complex challenges facing communities around the world and practical solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues including biodiversity loss and climate change. In my final year of school, I attended a talk by Dr. Jane Goodall, conservationist, environmentalist, humanitarian. The evening was pivotal in my decision to study a Bachelor of Science/Global Studies, as I wanted to study a degree that is committed to positive social and environmental change.

What made you choose Monash Uni in particular?
I was excited by the prospect of studying a double degree at the intersection of science and global studies; to develop a skillset to understand complex challenges facing cultures and communities across the globe. I was drawn to the Monash ethos that has an emphasis on developing change agent capabilities and making positive social change at university and in the wider community. In my first visit to Monash, the staff and students made me feel welcomed and I had an overwhelming sense that I would be supported moving interstate away from my existing support network.

What's your favourite aspect of studying science?
I love being able to study the interconnectedness of organisms, people and the environment. I value that science involves exploring conservation efforts that may combat global challenges including biodiversity loss, habitat degradation and climate change, and appreciating the complexity of intersecting environmental, sociocultural, economic and political factors.

What has been the highlight of your science degree so far?
One of the highlights of my science degree has been the Green Steps program. The program connected me with a cohort of people from diverse disciplines who are passionate about sustainability and enacting positive social and environmental change. From the program, I was selected to work in a consultancy team of four Monash students for the Yarra Ranges Council to review options for a community ownership component of a 5.4MW solar farm and recommend a best governance structure. I was grateful for the opportunity to utilise the knowledge, capabilities and confidence the Green Steps training provided me and apply my studies to real decision-making.

What's the biggest misconception you had about studying science before you started your course?
In first year, I was expecting to be met with traditional-style lectures. Rather, we had workshops that facilitated interaction and collaboration through kinaesthetic learning. I was delighted to find how collaborative the field of science is! In Ecology and Conservation Biology, we engaged in citizen science which encourages community participation in scientific research. I love how science can bring people together. Through the Science Peer Mentoring program, as the Biological Society general representative, and as an In2Science mentor, I have experienced science fostering a shared passion and sense of curiosity.

If you were to give some advice to someone who's thinking about studying at Monash Science, what would you say?
Follow your passion! Think about the subjects you enjoy studying in secondary school, what you do for leisure, and the issues you care about. Monash Science has incredible opportunities, facilities, academics and a vibrant campus life that will support your learning and passions.

Give us a life hack or piece of advice you live by:
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” ~ Dr. Jane Goodall