Seon Altius started his journey at Goodwin in 2007 on Burnside Avenue and graduated with an associate degree in Environmental Studies in May 2013.
His fascination with the environment began on the tropical Caribbean island of St. Lucia. “Growing up in St. Lucia and being outside in nature, I became interested at a young age. It’s truly my passion.” Altius noted.
“My family gets tired of hearing me talk about it,” he added with a laugh.
Inspired by his early experiences on the beautiful island, Altius wanted to make a difference in how we steward our planet, so he enrolled at Goodwin College hoping to build a career that would reflect his passion. Through his studies, he gained in-depth knowledge on such topics as water systems, ecology, river systems, species, plants, and water tables.
Thanks to Goodwin’s unique location, students are able to use the Connecticut River as a classroom for hands-on learning in environmental studies. “We were able to actually see what we were reading about — you gain a lot more by doing,” Altius explained. “Having the campus on the banks of the river is a big plus. The school is ‘in the field’ — literally.”
Altius connected with the down-to-earth professors who helped him every step of the way. While still in school, he landed a job as a public health inspector and was able to work full-time while completing his degree. In his position, he inspects properties for pollution, trash, or debris. If he notices a violation, he issues a citation to the property owner, thereby helping to maintain a healthy, safe environment.
Altius hopes eventually to move into a lab position that is more hands-on and research based.
“Goodwin really is different than other colleges. The majority are working students who are dedicated to improving their lives and their world,” he said.” By coming to Goodwin, a lot of doors opened for me.”
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.