Samantha Araya: Innovator and Advocate

Nov. 3, 2023
Samantha Araya upside down on a zip line in the tree canopy

Samantha Araya is a junior in the University of Arizona Eller College of Management. Inspired by her upbringing in Costa Rica, Araya strives to integrate sustainability throughout her personal life while also advocating for environmentally conscious behavior among her peers.

In this Q&A, Araya explores her interests in technology and how she believes everyone has a role to play in protecting our environment and natural resources.

What is your year and major? Why did you choose this program of study, and what are you interested in doing with your future career?

I am a junior pursuing a double major in marketing and management information systems. As a technology enthusiast, I am interested in helping businesses achieve their goals and unlock their full potential with the help of innovative technologies. I am passionate about innovation and creativity, and I feel that marketing and management information systems are a great fit for my skills and interests. In the future, I want to be a sales representative for a technology company. I enjoy taking the time to understand people to influence consumer behavior, and I believe that together with understanding information systems processes I could thrive in a sales career in this industry.

How have you been involved in the environment both on and off campus?

Growing up in Costa Rica has instilled in me a deep appreciation for environmental sustainability. I wholeheartedly endorse and take pride in my country's pioneering efforts in renewable energy. It is truly commendable that Costa Rica derives a staggering 98% of its electrical power from renewable sources like hydropower and wind. These values have become an integral part of who I am, shaping my outlook on the importance of sustainable living and the preservation of our planet for future generations.

I have been actively involved in environmental initiatives both on and off campus. On a personal level, I have a deep appreciation for nature and often connect with the environment through activities like hiking. During the summer months, I serve as a tour guide, passionately sharing the breathtaking landscapes of Costa Rica with tourists. This allows me to not only appreciate nature but also to inspire others to cherish and protect it. Additionally, in my day-to-day life, I am conscious of my ecological footprint, carefully managing my waste, electricity, and water consumption to minimize environmental impact.

Moreover, I take on the role of an advocate within my social circles. I engage in conversations about environmental issues, raising awareness and encouraging others to adopt sustainable practices. By sharing information and promoting eco-conscious behaviors, I strive to inspire positive change in the people around me. This combination of personal practices and advocacy efforts allows me to play an active role in environmental conservation both within and beyond the campus community.

What other UArizona programs are you involved in?

I’m involved with a variety of programs at UArizona, including the Chi Omega Sorority, the Wildcats Events Board, the Advanced Zipperman Scholars, the University of Arizona Tennis Club, and the University of Arizona Campus Recreation Facility

Why do you think science is relevant in decision-making?

I believe that science is relevant in decision-making because it provides an evidence-based approach to understanding the world around us. This helps us ensure that decisions are made with accuracy, objectivity, and a clear understanding of all the factors involved. Additionally, science helps identify potential risks and benefits associated with different alternatives, allowing us to make informed and rational decision-making. 

Why do you think students should care about the environment, even if it isn't their major or area of study?

Caring for the environment is a universal responsibility that goes beyond academic boundaries. It is the very essence of our existence, providing us with vital resources like clean air, water, food and a stable climate. Additionally, there is extensive scientific evidence proving that these resources are at risk from the impacts of climate change and other human activity. Recognizing this truth is integral to being an informed and responsible global citizen. Addressing the complex and interconnected challenges facing our planet requires a collaborative effort. All individuals have a role to play in advocating for sustainable practices, influencing policy decisions, and fostering positive change in their communities. Though aligning all areas of study on environmental initiatives can be difficult, instilling environmental mindfulness in all disciplines allows us to collectively work toward a more sustainable future.