Personalized Experiences,
Plethora of Opportunities

Celia Darling ’24

The Clarkson Fund » Celia Darling ’24

When considering colleges, I applied to 13 small liberal arts schools — and Clarkson, a vastly different choice. Why Clarkson? I had comfort in knowing others who applied, but I had also heard about the generous financial aid and scholarships. As I learned more about the University and the opportunities that abound, I became more excited about attending. When my aid package arrived, I was in awe. I knew I had to make Clarkson my home for the next four years.

I’m somewhat of an unconventional Clarkson student. I’m a political science major minoring in Environmental Science, Environmental Policy and Anthropology. I’m also a student in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment. Recognizing our remarkable environmental, humanities, and social sciences programs is important. These smaller, hands-on programs offer more opportunities than our students can fill; there are countless options to personalize my learning and create my own unique Clarkson experience, which is just what I have done.

Last year, I participated in the Adirondack Semester. For our project, we developed an aquatic connectivity restoration plan for the St. Regis watershed, looking specifically at the relationship between indigenous lands and watersheds. Clarkson’s Adirondack Semester is an impressive resume builder; it’s helped me land several internships, including one with the Alaska Conservation Foundation’s Ted Smith Conservation Internship Program, which offers just 14 paid and funded internships a year.

I spent the summer with The Alaska Center Education Fund, working for its Alaska Youth for Environmental Action program. Of 400 applicants, I was the ideal (and youngest) intern because of my Adirondack Semester experience and integrated research project. Coincidentally, one area of my work focused on taking kids on a camping trip to get them excited about environmental action and aquatic connectivity on indigenous lands. It was a perfect fit and very rewarding.

I owe Clarkson a lot for offering opportunities that fit my interests. I know I won’t make as much money in my career as graduates in STEM fields; however, I hope to impact the world just as much — if not more. Being able to walk out of Clarkson virtually debt free is a gift. Scholarships have made it easier to focus on developing my passions and putting them to work. I’ve always been wired as a changemaker and genuinely enjoy teaching young people that they have the power to do things that matter to them while also benefiting society.

I owe Clarkson a lot for offering opportunities that fit my interests. I know I won’t make as much money in my career as graduates in STEM fields; however, I hope to impact the world just as much — if not more.

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Celia Darling ’24

Hometown: Webster, NY
Major: Political Science, Honors Program
Minors: Environmental Science, Environmental Policy and Anthropology

Clarkson Experience Highlights:

As an intern with the Institute for a Sustainable Environment, I lead the campus-wide food waste management and composting program. I’m president of the Sustainability Club, which hosts plant swaps and helps with the compost program and other green action on campus. I’m also the Honors Program historian. This semester, I’m working with IMPETUS (Integrated Math and Physics for Entry to Undergraduate STEM), a partnership among the school districts in St. Lawrence, Lewis and Franklin counties and Clarkson which is funded through the New York State Education Department’s STEP (Science & Technology Entry Program). Additionally, I am working as an education and outreach intern on a New York State Pollution Prevention Institute grant, helping with food waste audits at five universities across the state.


I established Clarkson’s Peace Action chapter, which focuses on peace and social justice from a campus perspective to the state level. We host a webinar every semester to discuss peace and social justice topics.