Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

Environmental studies major balances lacrosse, Greek life

University of Redlands student Sadie Pickering poses in a garden.

After growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Sadie Pickering ’20 came to the University of Redlands in search of an environmental studies program but ended up finding much more.

“I knew I’d be able to be a part of multiple organizations on campus while playing lacrosse, and that’s what drew me to Redlands,” she says. Pickering, who is a student-athlete, a member of Maroon and Grey (a student organization that works with the University’s fundraising and community relations team), and the recruiting chair for the Kappa Pi Zeta sorority, says that the connections she has made with other students on campus have been the best part of her college experience. 

Pickering’s involvement in Greek life has provided her with valuable life skills for after graduation. “I wanted to hold a leadership position in Kappa Pi Zeta because members practice standing up and talking in front of people and working with people inside and outside of the organization,” she says.

Being a student-athlete requires discipline, and Pickering’s efforts are displayed both on and off the field. A double major in environmental studies and management, Pickering has been a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the week and an Order of Omega outstanding Greek-athlete, selected by the University’s Panhellenic Council. 

She says she couldn’t do it alone, though. “I really value the fact that I’m able to talk to my professors on both personal and academic levels,” says Pickering. “I feel encouraged by my classmates, teammates, and advisors all the time. Being a student-athlete has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.”

In the classroom, being an environmental studies major has had some unexpected revelations for Pickering. Because she spent much of her childhood playing outdoors and developing sustainable habits, she says her coursework doesn’t even feel like work.

“I never expected to fall in love with what I’m studying,” she says. “One of my favorite courses was Food and Nature taught by Professor Dan Klooster. It was a mix of learning about the food industry and the outdoors, and it touched on all my passions. I have learned that I love to learn and I enjoy being taught.”

The combination of environmental studies and management has allowed Pickering to envision her future as a sustainable businessperson. “I ended up really enjoying the business side of environmental studies,” she says. “Eventually, I want to help businesses create sustainable supply chains and reduce their carbon footprints.”