BHC Spotlight: Sophie Gonzales '21

Major/Minor: Environmental Studies & Communication
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

Sophie Gonzales

Why did you choose the Batten Honors College?
I chose to enroll in the Batten Honors College because of the close bonds I can make with my professors and advisors who can help me form the connections that enable me to pursue my passions. I was also excited to take advantage of the study away courses through the BHC. It’s an added plus that VWU is near the beach, as surfing is one of my favorite hobbies.   

What benefits have you gained from the BHC?
I’ve enjoyed the personalized instruction geared towards my majors and the meaningful friendships and relationships I’ve gained with students in the living-learning community. 

Highlight a specific research, internship, and/or study abroad experience.
I was fortunate enough to experience my first study away class in Maui, Hawaii this past Winter Session. The course was centered on eco-tourism and adventure travel. It taught me how important it is to tread lightly in our daily encounters with nature and in our diets.

How did the BHC curriculum or program prepare you for this experience?
The BHC curriculum prepared me for the experience through the Complex Global Challenges honors course, as well as a course on the history of Hawaii.

What did you achieve/gain from this experience? 
On our last day in Maui, Dr. Dobrin told us to look at this trip not as an end, but as a beginning. I hope to carry that with me as I spend my time in the Batten Honors College. My Maui experience reinforced my passion for environmental sustainability.

What are you involved with on campus at VWU?

  • Assistant Photographer with the VWU Marketing & Communications Department.¬†
  • Marlins Go Green Club
  • Peace, Love & Happy Planet Club
  • President’s List