Katherine Hallinan

The Big Picture

I think we’ve all asked ourselves the question, “How can I make a difference in the environment if I’m just one person?” With all of the discussions surrounding climate change and pollution, it’s hard to imagine how small changes will make a positive impact.

Even Katherine Hallinan ’19 used to have those thoughts. Though she’s a liberal arts math and science major, she too had trouble seeing the big picture – that is until she took a class with SUNY Corning Community College Professor of Biology, Dr. Donna Moore Powers.

“I initially had a really nihilistic approach to environmental issues because I felt like there wasn’t anything I could do,” said Katherine. “[Donna] taught me how to become a more solution-oriented person, and I realized I wanted to spend my life focusing on these issues.”

According to Donna, Katherine is studious, curious, and committed.

“Katherine seeks to dig below the surface,” said Donna. “She helps out her fellow classmates, and goes above and beyond the classwork. She is a great student”

As an ASY (Accelerated Senior Year) student, Katherine’s original plan was to only stay for one year and then move on to a four-year school.

“After I spent my first year here, I realized this was a really good place for me to be,” said Katherine. “The classes I’ve taken here played a big role in my decision to go into engineering. I didn’t think I was that great at math, but the teachers here showed me that I was capable of being a good math student.”

After graduating from SUNY CCC in May, Katherine is transferring to SUNY ESF (College of Environmental Science and Forestry) in Syracuse. She plans to major in environmental resources engineering to become an ecological engineer.

“Ecological engineering is something that’s extremely important right now, especially in developing countries,” said the Elmira, N.Y., native. “I would love to do international work with the Peace Corps in the future, possibly creating sustainable waste water treatment systems.”

Katherine is looking forward to integrating herself into a larger community of people who care about the community and share the same values as she does.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and finding my place in the world,” said Katherine. “I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to learn how to help people.”