Evan Montpellier is pursuing Appalachian State University’s Community and Regional Planning (BS) program, in which he is learning to research, design and develop programs that help a community or region reach its goals.
Why are you studying community and regional planning?
The preservation and proper development of our cities is vital in ensuring that we can deal with an ever-changing human landscape. Looking at resources consumption such as water and energy is another thing that needs to be considered when looking at growing populations in urban areas. There are so many different avenues that this field offers, which is a huge appeal to the major.
Why did you choose to study planning at Appalachian?
I absolutely am enjoying my time in the Department of Geography and Planning. The faculty and people are so nice and very approachable, and I feel like they really care about my time and education at Appalachian. I feel the department is preparing me for the next step in education and for a career in the field.
What are you planning to do after graduation?
I would like to pursue a doctorate in geography in hopes of teaching. The idea of teaching is appealing and being able to conduct research and field work is also another draw to the profession.
How has your time at Appalachian helped you work toward your post-graduation goals?
I feel Appalachian State University has given me more opportunities than I could have ever asked for. With faculty being so willing to talk and devote their time to a project, it makes wanting to learn easy. I feel that taking that passion for a subject to the next step of education or into the field won’t be a problem. Research is taking place all the time on campus and by just showing interest I was able to develop a research opportunity. These opportunities are what will prepare me for the next step in my goals after graduation.
Where did you do a study abroad and what did you take away from the experience?
I did a faculty-led study abroad to Peru in summer 2015. We were looking at Andean Mountain geography as well as global climate change. We were able to spend time at 18,000 feet on glaciers looking at how a changing climate is affecting the Andean landscape. This program provided a lot of insight to the current state of the tourism industry in Peru and how much our actions in the United States and in Western culture are affecting the Andean highlands.