Alumni Profiles


Sara DeFranco

Class of 2018

As a Rochester native, I’m honored to be part of the Environmental Humanities Program at the University of Rochester. I’ve always been passionate about the environment—from helping friends and family learn to properly recycle to college environmental clubs, public protests, working to ban fracking in New York State (with NYPIRG), completing a Take Five year in environmental science, and now beginning my master’s in sustainability at the University of Rochester in the fall.

I’ve always loved to be in nature, camping with my family since before I could walk and swimming across nearly every lake I’ve come across. Last summer, I volunteered as a farm worker with the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) in Vermont. I hope to learn much more about sustainable and organic farming next summer in a cross-country WWOOFing road trip!

Although I earned my bachelor of music degree in vocal performance at the Eastman School of Music, I’ve followed my heart into the fields of environmental activism, research, and policy. The incredible professors at Rochester helped me make sense of the interdisciplinary and complex world of environmental studies, while also fueling my fire with encouragement, information, and their examples of passion.

I care deeply about many environmental issues but am particularly interested in the environmental injustices facing vulnerable populations across the globe, which are becoming increasingly detrimental due to climate change. Moving forward with my sustainability degree, I hope to advocate for environmental justice while also learning sustainable development techniques that will bring the world to a safer and more balanced future. I am also extremely passionate about addressing the injustices imposed on the plants and animals with whom we share this planet. I hope to dedicate the rest of my life to working toward a state of balance, where all lives are equal and the health of our mother earth and all who inhabit her are no longer threatened by greed and corruption.

I’m so grateful to all the faculty in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Environmental Humanities Program. I’m extremely thrilled to be continuing my educational journey at the University of Rochester in the fall!