A Sense Of Place How CSUF's Sustainability Project Coordinator Found Her True Passion

Tamara Wallace came to CSUF as an undeclared freshman with hopes of a BFA in Musical Theater. Luckily, she realized rather quickly that she wasn’t truly as passionate about that trajectory as she once thought, “I don’t like to practice, I have no personal drive to go to auditions, etc…” Wallace admits.

With her musical ambitions quickly set aside, she was free to entertain all possibilities, and soon discovered that she was very interested in fields such as political science, international affairs, and sociology. “A few introductory courses in Geography allowed me to see the interconnectedness of all of the world’s systems through key geographical principles. Coursework that examined these global systems, and the collaborative spirit of my fellow students made me fall in love with the discipline.” Wallace says, making the decision to declare her major a "no brainer."

After receiving her undergraduate degree, Wallace returned to CSUF to earn a graduate degree. Her master’s thesis research considered the impact of sustainability assessments on the campus employee populations, and placed a focus on student awareness of campus sustainability in relation to general awareness of sustainability principles and practices.

Today she is the Sustainability Project Coordinator here at CSU, Fullerton, where she works to establish the campus as a leader in the field of sustainability at the state, regional, national and international level by promoting broader awareness of Cal State Fullerton's environmental success and accomplishments.

“I have grown to understand the value of having what geographer’s call a ‘sense of place.’ I am sure in that, however HSS and the Geography Department might evolve in the future, I will always have a home where I grew up.” Wallace says, adding, “It is a place that fostered a sense of value and purpose in this chaotic world, and I have a responsibility, as an alum, to give back to those programs.”

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