Spotlight on Students: Lucy Baranyuk '10
Global and environmentally minded Lyudmila (Lucy) Baranyuk hopes to use her degree to instill change in the world. A firm believer in one’s obligation to give back to society, Lucy has been actively involved in volunteering at Cornell. By working with AIChE and SWE, she participated in outreach projects to get young students interested in science and math. Her involvement with Cornell Tradition gave her the opportunity to combine her love for travel and volunteering by allowing her to participate in the World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers (WWOOF). A growing trend with college students and other travel junkies, WWOOF is an organization that allows people to travel all over the world to work on organic farms and stay there for free.
By WWOOFing her way to Hawaii, Costa Rica, New Zealand and Australia, Lucy was exposed to a plethora of diverse ideas, cultures and beliefs, but was also able to see sustainability at its finest. “When I was in New Zealand, I worked at three different farms. What I love about WWOOFing is that they have these simple ways of doing things that everyone needs to do anyway, such as getting food, water and electricity,” the Ukraine born engineer said. “But they do it in a very simple and low impact way. I guess that engineers think so technically that they overlook the simple ways to get things done.”
Lucy hopes that she can one day apply her experiences from both Cornell engineering and WWOOF to make the world a more efficient, simpler and comfortable place to live. Now that she has graduated, Lucy is most interested in working with companies to decrease their environmental impact. She will be spending the next year working at Tecnicas Reunidas, a general contractor that specializes in the engineering and construction of industrial and power plants in Madrid, Spain. Ultimately, chemical engineering has given Lucy a way to give back that will be very influential. “People blame engineers for pollution and problems, but engineers are actually the ones who create solutions.”