Student Profiles

Name: Annie Davidson

Degree Program:  Environmental Studies


How did you find Naropa?

I came to Naropa after attending 3 other universities that were all very traditional and I finally realized that I needed a more ‘well rounded’ institution in order to feel like I could really become invested in my education. 

What is your role among your friends and in the community?

I have just helped to start a group called The Honeybee Society. Our intention was to create a sacred space in which we could explore the complexities of the environmental world today. We can be sad, hopeful, excited, frustrated, outraged, whatever it is, we just need to be together through this! So it is about creating community as well as exploring our options for different types of environmental action.

How has the Environmental Studies program impacted you?

I love the major because it offers me a little bit of everything that I feel like I need as I prepare for life post-graduation. There is a spiritual aspect to every class, some more prominent than others, there are some very science based courses as well as hands-on restoration work. The professors all offer such different perspectives. They challenge me in a way that breaks down a lot of what I thought I was and they also help me put myself back together as a more enriched and environmentally responsible individual.

Contemplative Education is...

I had never meditated before I came to Naropa, but with a little bit of help from a meditation instructor (an amazing service that Naropa offers!) I have been able to adopt a daily practice that certainly affects how I interact with my inner and outer world. There is a lot of material in the Naropa curriculum about Chogyam Trungpa’s Shambhala teachings that it just makes sense to at least try on the practices and see if and how they can be helpful or incorporated into your life. I told myself that if it didn’t feel right, then I would let it all go, but it has felt incredibly life-giving and purpose-filled.

Name: Rebecca Wasserman

Degree Program: Environmental Studies BA program; focus in Horticulture.
Minors:  Contemplative Education and Yoga
Age: 21
Hometown: Ipswich, Massachusetts
Organizations: Earth Week Planning Committee, recently completed a summer internship with Growing Gardens and the Cultiva! Youth Project


Off-campus activities/hobbies/interests:

babysitting, jewelry making, yoga, cooking, sewing, holistic health and nutrition, gardening, going to see live music in and around Boulder

What’s your favorite place on campus and why?

The green behind the Arapahoe campus, which technically is part of CU’s Family Housing, I believe. I like the open space, large trees and great view of the flatirons. It’s a nice, quiet area that’s great for napping/reading/practicing without too many people around to distract you.

I also really love the huge sycamore trees in the center of the Arapahoe campus. The tress are just so huge and beautiful; every time I look at them I’m just in awe, and this effect never seems to dull no matter how many times I’ve walked by them.

Contemplative education is...

Fresh, inspiring and constantly evolving. It takes education to a level in which your own process is part of the larger process. It is not just examining a subject from the outside, it is taking a look from all angles and integrating what you learn into how you live your life.

How did you find Naropa?

I actually had to go to West Africa in order to find Naropa. While spending a few months in Ghana volunteering at a preschool I met another volunteer in the same program who said she went to school in Boulder. She told me how she had gone to CU for a few years and then transferred to a small, Buddhist-inspired university in town. Coincidentally (or not?), I had already deferred my admission to CU and after I completed my first year of college there, I transferred to Naropa.

Name: Leigh Burbank

Degree Program: Environmental Studies
Age: 26
Hometown: Rochester,New York

What is your role among your friends and in the community?

My role in the community seems to be just starting to surface. As an older student I seem to provide a safe zone for younger students and be a leader in many of my classes. I hope to utilize my skills and interests further within my community in order to spark more movement and decision making within the environmental studies student community.

How did you find Naropa?

I found Naropa after attending 2 previous universities. Naropa provided the contemplative aspect in education that I had been performing for myself for many years prior. I wanted a school that further stimulated my quest for understanding life in a non-linear manner.