I Am Knox
Jason Deschamps '16
Hometown: Plélo, France
Majors: Environmental Management/International Relations
Campus Involvements: The Knox Student photo editor, Student Senate, Model United Nations Delegate, Resident Advisor
Three Facts about Jason
- Jason has lived in six countries, including India, Colombia, France, Gabon, Central African Republic, and the United States, thanks to his father's position as a French diplomat.
- He received support from the Schwartzman Environmental Internship Fund and a Richter Scholarship to pursue a summer internship with the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation in West Africa.
- John Haslem, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, is Jason's favorite professor. "He's the kind of guy you want by your side as you go through college: he'll push you to accomplish your best and won't accept any less."
Why did you choose to attend Knox?
I chose Knox for the opportunities it grants: as a first-year student, I was involved with The Knox Student as a photo editor, Student Senate, and the audiovisual department. And I'll be an RA this year. Knox allows you to get engaged and challenge yourself in different ways very early in your time here.
What has been your favorite Knox experience so far?
I went on a field trip to the Shawnee National Forest with my Environmental Conflict and Resolution class -- six of us on the road, learning about environmental conflicts that affect the region, hiking the forest's hills, sharing stories around camp food, and falling asleep by a stream while watching stars. I feel like I couldn't have done that at a big state school or any university in France.
What inspired you to pursue an internship in West Africa?
My early and extensive exposure to different environments, cultures, and people, especially in the forests of Central/West Africa and the Western Ghats (a UNESCO World Heritage site), began my fascination of natural environments and man's interactions with them. This is also one of the reasons why I like Knox's location. People often ask me what I am doing in the middle of a cornfield in the U.S., and I tell them that the location might not sound exotic, but the lessons I learn and the people I meet remain fascinating.
What are your hopes for life after Knox?
As clichéd as it sounds, I want to make a difference. Having been exposed to the world of diplomacy by my father, I want to have an impact on the environment by influencing policy through the political process.