SEAS student Nikita Hahn: 'Making a difference for those who need it most'
“I want to take my passion and what I have learned at SEAS to implement that knowledge in the world, where my work can make a difference for those who need it most.”
Nikita Hahn is earning a master’s degree in Sustainability and Development and Ecosystem Science Management at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) following a successful career in nutrition. A first-generation student, Hahn supported herself through her undergraduate education in health sciences and went on to work for five years as a milk room dietetic technician at Michigan Medicine’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. She found the work rewarding, but when she went on a trip to Yosemite National Park, she knew she needed to make a change in her path and pursue her purpose of caring for the natural environment.
Hahn soon made a brave shift from her professional training to pursue further education at SEAS. She is particularly passionate about promoting and preserving fresh water quality and access; currently, her research is focused on determining the feasibility of beaver reintroduction in an area of Homer, Alaska, and evaluating how reintroduction can mitigate the impacts of climate change on peatland ecosystems. Her professors remark that she approaches her work with remarkable “detail, passion, rigor, and maturity” and recognize her as an “outstanding, inquisitive, and motivated student” who will make a positive impact on the world.
In addition to her research at U-M, Hahn has served as a student track leader for the Sustainability and Development specialization and a Wolverine Support Network leader, facilitating and supporting discussion around student mental health and well-being. Going forward, Hahn says, “I want to take my passion and what I have learned at SEAS to implement that knowledge in the world, where my work can make a difference for those who need it most.”
The Center for Education of Women+ (CEW+) celebrates Hahn's bravery and passion for the environment and names her an Elizabeth M. Dusseau Scholar.