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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.


My name is Brooke, and I can’t wait to meet all of you next month! I have really enjoyed reading all of your bios – you all are so cool & you’re making me more excited for the semester!!

I know we are not supposed to say where we are from, but so much of my identity is rooted where I grew up. I am a sixth generation Californian and native of the Silicon Valley. I’ve grown up surrounded by high-tech start-ups and iPhones, organic fro-yo and the best weather in the world. In a lot of ways, my techy, progressive, foodie home has rubbed off on me – I’m vegetarian, can solve a Rubik’s cube, and drive around in a blue Prius. At the same time, I see a lot of problems with the “innovation for the sake of innovation” mindset that’s behind the tech boom.

I’ve listened to powerful men in my community advocate for women in STEM and joined my high school robotics team so that I – a woman – could be an advocate for girls. I watched friends move away as a housing crisis unfolded, and then worked at a tenants’ rights organization to help stop unlawful evictions. At college – I’m a junior at Wesleyan University in Middle(of nowhere)town, Connecticut – I have continued to explore these questions as a Science in Society and History major. Last semester, I took a class called Social and Cultural Studies of Science where I justified how iPhones are like slot machines. (Needless to say I’m pumped for the no cell phones aspect of this trip!)

I’m super excited to dive into the history of food & agricultural practices in Bolivia and Peru, and to hike in the Andes. I’m less excited about the mosquitos, but we’ll get through it. I’m nervous to use my limited Spanish and make a fool of myself over and over again, but I’m hoping to laugh through it. I am also hoping to be less self-deprecating in my sense of humor, so please call me out on that.

I’ll end with a few things I like and a few things I don’t. As long as you don’t pour maple syrup on me while forcing me to do algebra I think we’ll get along juuust fine 🙂

Things I like: hiking, yoga, chocolate, coffee, laughing, sleep, rings, music, dogs, star gazing, black holes, talking about the meaning of life.

Things I like less: math, being sticky (this might be a phobia, honestly), cats.

Can’t wait to get to know all of you better and embrace each other’s quirkiness!!

See you soon,