Dale Browne — who recently became a U.S. citizen — believes to be a full citizen, you must give back and engage with others. Dale’s been an active volunteer for years and wants to incorporate it more into her professional life.
Dale discovered the environmental studies program at UM-Dearborn and found it to be a perfect fit. She’s made the Dean’s list for seven semesters and is a founder and president of the Urban and Regional Studies Club. She’s presented her research on environmental justice and climate change at the 2020 Michigan University-wide Sustainability and Environment conference. She’s a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association of Interpretation. Additionally, she works at the Environmental Interpretive Center (EIC), a campus job in a field directly related to her area of study. Here, she shares more about what it’s like to work with children at the EIC and what her university experience means to her.
Dale, in her own words
On working with children at the Environmental Interpretive Center. “It means so much if my job can inspire children. It's really exciting to see kids who are from an urban area coming into the natural area that we have here at UM-Dearborn. It might be, for some of them, their first time in the woods. To just see the curiosity and excitement on their faces — it's magical.
I had an experience recently which was really fun. There was a girl, an eighth grader, in a special needs class and she was so brave and curious and smart. I was so impressed by her. At the end of the day, we made maple syrup. We were boiling off the water and steam rose up in the air. She said, ‘You know that the clouds are going to be able to taste a bit of this too.’ It was so magical because it was poetic and I really think that science needs that. In science, so much of the time we focus on data and facts and being in our heads — but we have to be poetic and curious too.”
On returning to school at UM-Dearborn. “I was doing a lot of volunteering at various places, a lot of citizen science projects. I was also working with children and I wanted to incorporate that into my career. I decided to come back to school and UM-Dearborn had the program I was looking for with environmental studies. I love UM-Dearborn. It's been an incredible experience. I have one-on-one relationships with all my professors and everything is accessible.”
On being a Difference Maker. Well, I was really surprised to find out that I am a Difference Maker. I'm very flattered and honored that I was nominated by some fantastic people and I think that being a Difference Maker doesn't make me a special kind of person, it just makes me the sort of person who goes out and does things. You have to just go out and do it. I had a friend who told me one time that the secret to success is just to ‘do the work,’ so that's been my mantra ever since. It really works.”