Adventures of a Scientist
While running through the neighbor's field and hiking up hills to avoid the pressures of the third grade and a shaky home life, Austin Cook-Lindsay had no idea he would be putting his explorer skills to use at Baylor.
Growing up in a family of educators in San Angelo, Texas, Austin was mortified by his stutter as a child. Little did he know, he would soon dominate the written word, and Baylor would give him the opportunity to experience many other languages all over the world.
The summer after his freshman year as an environmental science major, Austin embarked on his first study abroad trip to a tropical coast in the Dominican Republic. He joined fellow Baylor students in studying water management by seeing how the global climate change was affecting the Caribbean. This was his chance to get his hands dirty.
"For two weeks, the country's mountains became our classrooms; its streams, our labs," Austin recalled. "I saw my studies at Baylor in the sciences and humanities intersecting. If not for Baylor, I would not have a unique perspective on my role in the wider world," Austin said.
Austin may work hard, but he plays hard too. When he wasn't knee deep in an underwater world, he was white water rafting through rapids and playing basketball with local youth in Santo Domingo.
Bolstered by the experience from trips abroad, where he crisscrossed the eastern half of Hispaniola and studied the longest river in Germany, he was able to land the fellowship of a lifetime at the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
"Throughout the past four years, this science background has consistently complemented my commitment to serving others through education and the development of sustainable environmental policies," Austin said.
When Austin wasn't exploring the globe, he was reaching out to underprivileged children in the community by giving them tractor rides at the organic farm he worked at or by simply being a much-needed friend. During his final year at Baylor, Austin found himself preparing to realize his goals of being a scientist and working with youth. So, he applied for a position as an English Teaching Assistant in Kyrgyzstan through the Fulbright Program.
Once a boy with a stutter and an affinity for adventure, Austin is now a soon-to-be Baylor graduate, ready to put his international experiences to use and pursue a calling beyond American borders as an advocate for environmental sustainability and education."If not for Baylor, my passion for serving both people and the environment would have never crystallized."