Alumni

Alumni Profiles

Neil Fitzharris

Turks & Caicos Spring '09

Neil Fitzharris

About

We were an amazingly tight-knit group of like-minded individuals who became instant friends. As a 30-year old I have come to appreciate how rare that is.

 
SFS PROGRAM: Marine Resource Studies | Turks & Caicos | Spring 2009
HOME SCHOOL WHILE AT SFS: DePauw University
CURRENT POSITION: Origination Associate at EDP Renewables
 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OR MOST STRIKING SFS MEMORY?
I fondly remember a particular night around a bonfire. There is a beach 30-minute walk north of the Center for Marine Resource Studies on South Caicos with a few abandoned buildings and a spectacular view of East Bay. The students decided we should gather there one night. There was nothing special about that night, we just had some time and we wanted to spend it together. Every single student on the island was there. This memory sticks out to me for two reasons: one, we were an amazingly tight-knit group of like-minded individuals who became instant friends. As a 30-year old I have come to appreciate how rare that is. And two, the natural beauty of that spot will always stay with me and often pops up during the surprisingly common nature vs. development conversations I find myself having in my current role.

 
LOOKING BACK, WHAT DID YOU GAIN FROM YOUR TIME AT SFS?
I currently work for a large renewable energy developer. It’s a commercial role, but we do exactly what I learned in those days: utilize natural resources to promote sustainable, human development. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my Master’s Program at Indiana University’s School for Public and Environmental Affairs, and I would not have pursued that post graduate education were it not for the School for Field Studies program.

 
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A PROSPECTIVE SFS STUDENT?
For those considering SFS, you will not find a more culturally immersive program than this. Talk to alumni, learn more about what impacted them, for every conversation and every walk into town is as educational as the high-quality classroom learning, and every alumnus has more than one story.

 
RECOMMEND A GREAT BOOK OR FILM THAT HAD AN INFLUENCE ON HOW YOU VIEW THE ENVIRONMENT
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman.

 
IF YOU WERE AN ANIMAL OR PLANT, WHAT KIND WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE AND WHY?
An eagle ray. I cannot think of a more elegant creature, and they are capable of joy (evidenced by the jumping rays visible from the SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies)!

 

January 2019