Skip to main content

Alice Soewito '21

Inspired to work on the global environmental crisis

This year we honor Alice Soewito, an Environment and Sustainability major in the College of Agriculture and the Life Sciences, with minors in Business, Climate Change and International Development. Alice was also awarded the Cargill Global Scholars Award, was a Udall Scholar nominee for Cornell, and received grants from the American Geophysical Union and the CALS Alumni Association. She was a member of the Undergraduate Student Leadership Council and President of the Cornell Catholic Community.

Having lived in three countries, she has always been inspired to work on the global environmental crisis through cooperative efforts. Alice understands that to tackle large issues we have to “think globally and act locally”. Throughout her time at Cornell, she worked in different sectors to learn how to do exactly that. At Cornell Dining, she was a Student Sustainability Coordinator, working on food waste eradication. At the Cornell Botanic Gardens, she promoted the conservation of plants and cultures that depend on them, producing numerous print and online guides to bring more people into the gardens and educate them about what is there.

Alice is particularly interested in implementing climate policies through work in extension and outreach programs or cooperatives, such as Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE). She was given the opportunity to work with the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture to build climate- smart agricultural tools and assisted at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of Parties 25 (COP 25) in 2019. In addition to her recent stint in Singapore, Alice studied in Tanzania and Seychelles, where she continued to learn about extension and outreach in promoting ecotourism ventures that directly benefited the local communities.

After graduating, Alice hopes to establish an extension program in Surakarta, Indonesia to develop effective freshwater solutions. She was inspired by her mentor and thesis advisor, Professor Rebecca L. Schneider, who works on Cornell’s ditch extension program. Alice hopes to model that program and bring it to Indonesia to apply to non-point source pollution management, working with the mayor and key industrial leaders. Ultimately, she hopes to bridge the gaps between science and policy, and policy and communities, in working with governments and local communities to create environmental solutions.
The review committee was excited to select Alice in a year when the existential climate crisis is receiving renewed attention at the Federal level.

Among Alice's qualities are exceptional communications skills, which will both serve to engage local partners and will assure her work a wide audience. Just Google her name and watch her numerous videos on her interests and work. Here's an example: Alice's video on studying environmental science.