April 12, 2021 • ISSUE 566
A Passion for Environmental Conservation
MIU sustainable living student Carolyna Doucette just completed an internship with the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, working on a native species conservation project to protect the islands’ endangered blue iguana.
Carolyna grew up in Grand Cayman and Houston, Texas, and environmental conservation has been a part of most of her life. Three years ago she became a certified coral reef restoration diver, and she has been volunteering with the Department of the Environment to contain and identify new areas of the spread of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in Grand Cayman.
Carolyna studied cosmetology at Aveda while attending community college. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to start a mobile aesthetic cosmetics business, which she sold three years later. She wanted to pursue a career aligned with her passion to save the environment. She found several universities that interested her; however, when she attended a Visitors Weekend, she felt a sense of belonging in Fairfield and chose MIU.
The practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique has added an experience of calmness to Carolyna’s life that she didn’t have before. “I feel equipped to handle life’s turbulence with ease, and I am grateful for the simplicity and accessibility of TM,” she said.
Carolyna is graduating this June and is currently working on her senior project, which aims to increase recycling streams on campus. “My vision is to turn MIU into the very first zero waste university,” she said. “Tackling waste on a larger scale can make a big impact and change people’s perception about what trash really is and how to manage it as a conscious consumer.” With the help of recycling company TerraCycle, she plans to install recycling bins for materials not collected by local waste management, such as art supplies, chewing gum, and certain plastic items.
Carolyna is also part of MIU Student Government. In her first year she took turns serving as vice-president and then campus sustainability representative, and this year she is student body president. She enjoys being in leadership roles and educating others about living a more eco-conscious life.