Gabby Levet

Jessica Wen

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After graduating from high school, many students choose to attend a four-year university. Gabby Levet, who graduated in 2014, is now in her fourth and final year at the University of Virginia.
Levet is currently studying an interdisciplinary major, Global Environments/Sustainability, as well as a politics major, Foreign Affairs, and a minor in Urban Environmental Planning. She is extremely passionate about local food systems and how to make local, healthy food accessible to lower income populations, as well as the intersection of environmental sustainability, politics, and planning. She is planning on working on a sustainable farm in St. Croix after graduating. She is also considering a Master’s Degree in Urban Environmental Planning or Sustainable
Agriculture/Local Food Systems.
Upon entering college, Levet noticed many differences between it and high school. The main thing is freedom.
“I have grown exponentially in college due to this freedom. I am allowed to study anything I want, think in radical ways, challenge the status quo, and actively take a stance against or for things I believe in. I am encouraged, even rewarded, for being opinionated and passionate. I am not required to be phenomenal [in] every academic subject. I am able to highlight and unlock my strengths rather than loathe my weaknesses,” Levet said.
Levet’s favorite aspects of college involve the diversity of thought. She loves being challenged by different ways of thinking and approaching challenges.
“There are never-ending opportunities to engage in stimulating, meaningful conversations alongside peers, graduate students, professors, deans, Charlottesville community members, and visitors,” Levet said.
Levet also appreciates the freedom of lifestyle choices she receives from college. She has lived in many new places, traveled to various countries, interned in different cities, participated in many organizations, and taken many interesting classes. She has been able to redesign her lifestyle.
College also offers many interconnected networks and social circles.
“The incredible support system that I’ve developed at the University [of Virginia] and within the Charlottesville community is invaluable. I make new friends every single day and am lucky to be surrounded by positive, uplifting people who push me to be a better person,” Levet said.
At the University of Virginia, Levet also participates in various extracurricular activities. Currently, she is leading a research team at the Charlottesville Farmers Market. They are studying the customer experience. Levet hopes that by doing this research, she will gain more knowledge about how farmer’s markets can be improved.
The college senior is also involved in a student organization called Green Grounds, in which they consult with local restaurants to implement sustainable business practices, such as composting and recycling systems. As a member of the executive board, Levet gets to plan activities, such as farmers market trips, farm tours, and vegan potlucks.
In spite of her busy schedule, Levet still finds time to be a program coordinator for a sustainability education program at UVA’s Morven Farm, where she is working on a long-term project to redesign a building at Morven Farm to be used by their kitchen garden staff for local education and sustainability.
Lastly, she leads environmental service trips and is the Service Learning Chair for Alternative Spring Break. So far, she has created two trips, one to Puerto Rico on a nature reserve and one to St. Croix on an organic farm. As the Service Learning Chair, she is responsible for promoting service learning across all 32 student-led trips and facilitating the service learning grant programs.
In fall of 2016, Levet studied abroad in Australia through a program focused on Sustainability and Environmental Action. She was the only UVA student to attend this program, and worked in a group of 13 Americans from different schools. They learned about environmental activism and about different ways that people are implementing sustainable practices and fighting for the environment in their communities. Also, Levet did an internship with an environmentally oriented political party. She traveled over the east coast and to Tasmania and New Zealand after
the program ended. Her favorite moment was when she worked on a political campaign which required her to go to
bunch of festivals and markets to get signatures. She explored Sydney while also challenging herself academically.
“I gained a lifelong commitment to protecting the environment,” Levet said. To enhance her experience at college, Levet is also a Lawn Resident, which means she lives in the ‘Academical Village’ at UVA.
“This area represents Thomas Jefferson’s ‘vision of a holistic learning environment carried beyond the classroom,’ with students and professors living in this space together. We are responsible for fostering a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere for members of the Charlottesville and UVA community, as well as visitors,” Levet said.
To sum up “where she is now,” Gabby Levet is exploring all her career options, as well as experiencing all the different aspects of college, such as clubs, internships, independence, diversity, and networking.

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Gabby Levet