Tanya Zolotoff
Student, Class of 2025
Redding, California

Extracurricular Activities

I love the outdoors and enjoy camping, hunting, and fishing, as well as kayaking and hiking. I also love photography, art, writing, swimming, and learning about ancient cultures (particularly ancient Egypt), among others. In my spare time, I give swim lessons and sometimes volunteer for the Western Service Workers Association (WSWA). I’m a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, which I’ve been involved with for several years now. I have plans to start volunteering at the local fish hatchery near Klamath Falls this upcoming school year which I very much look forward to. I’m also hoping to travel to Africa this next summer with engineering students to help install solar panels.

A Little Bit About Me

I was born in Santa Rosa, California, but grew up mostly in Redding, California. I spent some time living abroad in Galway, Ireland. I’m an older student, returning to school after a long absence. I was really ill for a number of years after suffering a traumatic brain injury when I was a competitive swimmer at Colorado, CSU, back in 2001. I’ve had a lot of health difficulties over the years, but I have improved a lot and am excited to be back in school to finish my education that I originally began over 20 years ago. I’m hard working and don’t easily give up. I’m extremely close to my family, as they mean the world to me. I enjoy traveling and outdoor activities and was a competitive swimmer for a big chunk of my life, even swimming in college.

Why I Chose Oregon Tech and My Major

I like Oregon Tech because it isn’t too far from my family in Redding, California. At Oregon Tech, I have met some great people and have learned so much. It’s a much smaller university than previous ones I’ve attended. With this being a smaller major, there is also a smaller classroom size, and you really get to know your instructors. They are much more accessible and open to talking with you.

My Influential Professors

So far at Oregon Tech, I’ve had some exceptional professors. One teacher I had in the spring of 2022 who helped set me on my current path was Danta Smith, my Archaeology teacher. She really helped encouraged me to pursue a major that would suit me better. Her passion for Archaeology made me realize I was in the wrong major. In environmental sciences, I’ve had some exceptional teachers this past year: Jherime Kellermann, Lloyd Parratt, Kerry Ferris, Nate Bickford, and Ethan Howard in particular. I really look forward to having Christy VanRooyen this next year, who I’ve heard is another great instructor.

My Greatest Learning Experience At Oregon Tech

I originally transferred to Oregon Tech to go into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, but I found out it was not the best fit for me. I found myself dreading having to scan every day. I ended up researching other majors and talked to Lloyd Parratt in the spring of 2022 and really fell in love with Environmental Sciences. Since I’ve been involved in the program, I could not be happier with the major I chose. I found it really suits me so much better than Sonography ever did.

My Plans After Graduation

After graduation, I hope to move somewhere on the coast and maybe work for the government or park service. I like the idea of being a park ranger too, so that’s something I’ll investigate. I’d really like to help with the ocean and climate change effects. I want to buy a house and travel as much as I can on my breaks so I can see the world. I’m excited to have a career where I can be outside and work to improve the environment.