Sarajane RoenkeSarajane is engaged in a PhD program in environmental engineering at Notre Dame University. Awarded a full tuition scholarship and a $32,000 per year stipend for up to six years of study, Sarajane is focusing on mathematical modeling of the application of biofilms in wastewater treatment plants. Her research focuses on the use of bacteria to transform toxins in wastewater to benign or even beneficial substances.

Sarajane graduated from Hartwick College in May 2017 with two degrees, one in environmental chemistry and one in mathematics and economics. She majored in mathematics, economics, and environmental chemistry, and minored in environmental science and policy. President of the Senior Class Council and member of the Student Senate, Sarajane overcame a huge hurdle in her junior year, when she fell from a fourth story window in her dorm. Determined to stay on course with her education, she was back in class in three short weeks despite two broken wrists!

Sarajane says that her education at New Roots had two-fold benefits. “I always wanted to find a career that would help people, that would make a difference. New Roots made me see that doing environmental work would be the best use of my skill set to accomplish this, and it gave me a head start in the field before college.”

Sarajane went on to say, “New Roots also helped me make the transition from homeschooling to college. The hands-on learning aspect helped me be a lot more prepared for a variety of different projects – I’m ready to dive into any challenge or project that I am presented with!”

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