• A Hartwick professor helping a student during class.
  • A Hartwick student using a microscope for research.
  • A Hartwick student using a microscope in the science lab.
  • A Hartwick professor discussing Botany with a student.

Meleia Egger, biology major

I am a biology major because I am fascinated with life on earth. I am women’s studies/ environmental science and policy double minor because I feel passionately about defending women’s rights and environmental rights.  Everything else I do within the community is because I want to work with the world in dynamic ways. Constant engagement with positive activism, learning and teaching, and defending causes makes me feel alive. All of my work at Hartwick has been in the context of growing globalization issues facing our world today.

Since coming to Hartwick, I have been involved in a growing number of activities and groups each year. The first group I joined was Grassroots Environmental Activism and Education club.At first I had a narrow view of what environmental action meant. I saw such action as clean ups, conservation, and recycling programs, but gradually my perspective has broadened. 

Grassroots worked to organize a successful organic dinner bringing attention to farming and pesticide issues. This event has now been running for two years and will continue to be an annual Grassroots event.  I have helped organize other Grassroots events, including: Earth Day events, such as tree plantings and clean ups; a lecture series called "Environmentalism across the Disciplines"; and an Eco-Art weekend. The environmental issues facing the earth link us fundamentally through our need for natural resources. These environmental problems are directly affected by the global expansion of human development.

The other main group I have been a part of is the Women’s Center. Keeping women’s issues in a global context is crucial for understanding the position of women internationally. The larger picture of globalization’s impact will emerge in many Women’s Center events this year.

My work with Student Alternative Voice (SAV) last year rallied around the issue of the war in Iraq. This group participated in regular protests, peace vigils, and worked closely with Citizens Alternative Voice.  The function of the group was to provide the perspective on current events that are underrepresented in the media.  Last year, this group organized a thoughtful and lively panel on the war in Iraq with a range of perspectives on why opposition to the war is important.  This group will continue to bring attention to political issues in the world today. 

In Student Senate this year, I am serving as the vice president of off campus affairs.  I look forward to the opportunity to build bridges between Hartwick and the Oneonta community.  In general, I hope we can promote the question among campus organizations, “How can I get the community involved?” I have several  ideas of how to link the school with the community in meaningful, positive, and long-term ways.   

All the work I have done over the past three years and will continue to do this year fits within a global framework of issues that shape the world.  Keeping the bigger picture in mind as I work within these small local networks helps me keep in mind my place in the world and how my actions impact other people.  Reaching out and continuing to learn outside of a classroom setting is an amazing opportunity and responsibility.  The globalization theme for this year helps to  crystallize the need for this kind of responsibility for the future of humanity.