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Steph takes a selfie near a body of water

Steph during her exploration of Cranberry Lake

Mighty Oak Monday: Stephnique Rainey

Major: Environmental Science 

Hometown: Elmira, NY 

Class of ‘25 


“The environment is job security,” says Stephnique Rainey, a 26-year-old Environmental Science student. The program’s broad topic coverage got her attention, and she’s been digging into the opportunities available ever since.  

When she arrived at ESF, she was not content to just go to class. She works with the Black Student Union, the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access, and is an active Louis Stokes Alliance of Minority Participation Program (LSAMP) scholar. Her advice for new students is straightforward, “Find your people, develop good relationships, and use the resources on campus.”  

One of these resources is the Career Fair. She met with a representative from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service at the September event and learned about their internships. Once the spring semester wraps up, she is heading to Portland, Oregon for her summer internship. It also promises a pathways program with a potential job offer.  

Another resource she fell in love with is Cranberry Lake Biological Station. A student job position brought her to the facility, and she couldn't get enough. When she wasn't preparing labs for classroom activity, she was enjoying the beautiful sunsets and even collecting water samples with Dr. Emily Arsenault. "It's a really special place and I got to do so much." 

She feels confident that ESF has prepared her for the future. The exploratory opportunities at Cranberry Lake Biological Station, engaging conversations with faculty, and volunteering in local elementary schools helped her realize she was passionate about people-based environmental work. “I had so many different experiences. It taught me that I want to work with people and how they engage with their environment.”