At Stevenson, Diamonique worked for the University’s center for Environmental Stewardship as a stepping-stone to a career in promoting sustainable practices that protect the environment.
A quick look at the many extraordinary activities experienced by Diamonique Clark makes it easy to see why she considers herself an environmental steward.
The Environmental Science major wrote an op-ed for The Baltimore Sun for Black History Month celebrating the many efforts of African-Americans to promote the environment.
In addition to the many clubs, organizations, and honor societies Diamonique was involved with as a student, she focused her efforts on being an effective change agent for the environment. “As a work study student at the Center for Environmental Stewardship, I started the Leave Steve Green End-of-Semester Food and Clothing Drive program,” she says, noting that since its pilot run in December 2015, Stevenson has donated approximately 3,065 pounds of food and 14,545 pounds of reusable items. The food donations have gone to several food support charities and the other items have been collected by Goodwill. “Additionally, in fall 2017, the CES started a partnership with Savers to turn the non-food items into a fundraiser. Now we earn 40 cents per bag to fund sustainable campus initiatives.”
Diamonique took advantage of the undergraduate research opportunities offered by the Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences. In addition to assisting with research on oyster restoration in the Chesapeake Bay, she was able to present her research at the Benthic Ecology Conference in Quebec City, Canada.
“In 2015, I was selected for the National Science Foundation funded Research Experience for Undergraduates Program to study tropical ecology in Puerto Rico for 10 weeks. While there, I conducted an independent research study on the wetland tree Pterocarpus officinalis.” After graduation, she returned to Puerto Rico to conduct a four-month seedling census in El Yunque Rainforest.
Today, post-graduation, Diamonique is working as a Chesapeake Conservation Corps member, supporting the environmental efforts of her host organization—which, in this case, is Stevenson, allowing her to continue helping with campus sustainability programs.
“As a corps member, I have access to a lot of professional development opportunities,” she says. “I’m learning a lot about leadership and the importance of cooperation. Also, since the corps cohort is so large this year, I get a glimpse into very different organizations that are helping me identify the things that do and don’t interest me.”
Working with these groups is helping to further her career and personal goals, she says; her long-term goal is to direct a non-profit that promotes environmental sustainability and human welfare.
When asked her favorite part about her major, she simply says, “The use of the outdoors as a living classroom.” As for advice for prospective or current students: “Try everything! Volunteer, find a job, and participate in internships in the areas you have interest to determine if it’s what you really like.”