Leslie Sawyer

Leslie Sawyer
Broadalbin, NY
Year of Graduation

Why SUNY Oneonta?

My mom suggested I look into Oneonta for the dietetics and theatre programs because I like to cook and I participated in theatre during high school. So we toured here and I cried. Within five minutes of being on campus I started sobbing. I was like, ‘This is where I’m going to go. This is what I need.’ And I love it. Being here is my favorite place to be. …It goes by so fast. I’m not ready to graduate.

My Activities

Mask & Hammer, APO theatre honor society, Identity Play Reading Series, Chemistry Club; Human Ecology Honor Society

Best Experiences

Since I was a freshman, I’ve been coordinating a pollinator garden on campus. It’s right behind the tennis court lot. It should be done by the time I graduate. I hope that it’s going to start bringing awareness to our community about honey bees and their importance. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of. Coordinating it on my own has been an experience! It’s something I’m very interested in.

I started buying honey locally, but the store I bought it from didn’t have any one day and had a sign up that said the bees they normally buy from had died from colony collapse, which was weird because we had put on a show in the Theatre Department called “Colony Collapse.” It became very real to me, so I went home and researched what we can do as human beings to help reduce colony collapse in bees and it all just kept coming back to pollinator gardens, which give the bees a healthy, safe environment to thrive. I reached out to Phil Bidwell from the Facilities office with all of this research and all my ideas and the first time he came to meet with me, he brought printouts of campus and was like, ‘Alright, pick a spot! Let’s make it happen!’ It’s been so cool. I was a guest speaker at the campus Sustainability Showcase. I’m excited to come back and see it in 10 years. Hopefully it will still be here.

Plans, Goals, Dreams

I want to work for the World Health Organization. I want to do my dietetic internship at Cornell and my master’s in nutrition policy there. My sophomore year, I was chosen with five other students to go to Ghana over spring break for a pilot study abroad trip. On that trip, we put together a nutrition-focused lesson and taught it to 120 rural students in Western Ghana. The second half of our trip was spent in a hospital, helping them establish a dietetics program and healthcare system. That trip changed my life. I want to do that for the rest of my life – help establish facilities in these places that need it. And if that doesn’t work out I would love to have a cooking show!

About My Major

I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities to do research, which has been amazing. Right now, I’m researching a compound in sunscreen that has been shown to impact the female reproductive system. We’ve been testing a lot of concentrations to see what would cause the impact. So there’s a lot of different experiences and opportunities within my major AND my minors that I’ve really, really loved. The theater – being comfortable getting up in front of people and having that creative mindset and outlet has helped me in my other fields, as well. It’s fun that we have this theater environment here where anyone can participate, even if that’s not your major. That’s what I love about it.

Favorite Classes

Stage Makeup! I love it. I learned how to do cuts and bruises and black eyes so that was always really interesting and fun. I loved Stagecraft because I got to build sets. Acting classes are so much fun, too. What I really liked about going to school here was the opportunity to have all the arts classes along with my heavy science classes. Within my major, I love Nutrition Across the Lifespan. That was eye-opening.

Back to top