Science and Sustainability, Encouraging New Ideas 

Our undergraduate programs, regardless of discipline, are designed to produce ethical members of the global community. This includes encouraging students to engage fully with the part each of us plays in creating and mitigating social and environmental problems. Kelsey's story is just one example of how through learning and research activities at Duquesne, students gain the skills to build fulfilling careers and how their professions can improve the lives of others. 

Turning Her Playground into her Passion

When Kelsey Coates was a child, the outdoors was her playground. Her Odenton, Maryland home was surrounded by woods where she would pick up acorns, watch snakes slide under rocks and explore streams flowing near the Chesapeake Bay.

And once she understood that such areas were a resource, she became dedicated to protecting them.

It was that deep affection for the outdoors that brought her to Duquesne’s School of Science and Engineering where she could expand her horizons by getting her hands dirty – literally.

“As part of my academic program, I participated in research around community gardens and urban agriculture,” she said. “Pittsburgh has a lot of neighborhoods that are food deserts, especially in African-American or low-income areas. I’ve done work helping residents plant and garden so they can have food for themselves.”

As she gained more knowledge, Kelsey’s educational experiences spanned beyond Pittsburgh. With funding support from the National Science Foundation, through her courses, lab work and internships, Kelsey found her confidence growing as a researcher.

“I wouldn’t be who I am if I hadn’t gone to Duquesne. I love that Duquesne focuses on undergraduate research, although I didn’t know how important that was when I was a freshman,”

Kelsey Coates, S'21

A recent Environmental Sciences graduate, Kelsey also earned minors in math, chemistry and biology and said the courses helped expand her horizons.  Given her education and experience, it’s a safe bet that the playgrounds of the future will be protected for generations to come.

Kelsey's journey at Duquesne's School of Science and Engineering is just one example of the many successful ways that Duquesne walks alongside students with a commitment to sustainability.