In Their Words: Han Zhang, James Stuart Chanley Award

June 04, 2015


Han Zhang, a student in the division's Environmental Studies department, received the James Stuart Chanley Award.

Congratulations Han!

Department: Environmental Studies

What Scholarship did you receive? James Stuart Chanley Award

What year are you (1st year, 3rd year)? 5th year.

College: Kresge

Where do you call home? Santa Cruz, for now.

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?

It's proximity between forests, meadows, and beaches. The strong organic and local food culture of Santa Cruz in which the farmers markets are my favorite. The mild and sunny (perhaps too sunny) Mediterranean climate. it's tremendous suitability for ENVS programs.

What is your field of focus? Agroecology

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?

Since I will be studying in France this fall, I hope that the cultural immersion that I will experience there will help me do something that integrates agroecology, research, and cultural heritage. Since I’m a first generation Chinese American, I know first hand the importance of intercultural understanding in our efforts as a human race in
creating an ecologically thriving world. I want to take what I will learn in France to help me gain a better global perspective in whatever I do. Some possibilities I’m considering are winemaker, garden teacher, researcher, artist, chef, farm consulting, etc. ENVS is a broad major that has given me the flexibility to explore many professions.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?

One memorable moment was my first time teaching agroecology to Japanese exchange students from Keisen University in Tokyo, Japan that took place at the Sustainable Living Center on UCSC during August of 2011. The Japanese students hosted a cultural exchange on the last day where they had us sing in Japanese, wear kimonos, drink miso soup, play Japanese games, and make origami cranes. I love it when a culture can celebrate what makes itself unique, which always becomes something new that I can learn about humanity and how beautifully diverse it is.

How will this scholarship impact your academics/research?

I will use this scholarship to fund my study abroad in Bordeaux, France this fall. This will help me make my first time experience outside the U.S. possible, as my family had not able to afford flying to stay in hotels in other countries for vacation. My studies abroad will be focused on French language and culture.