Two Honors students recently had the honor of participating in a live, interactive Zoom webinar with Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, world-renowned conservationist and humanitarian. The webinar, entitled “Reasons for Hope: A Virtual Discussion with Dr. Jane Goodall,” took place on November 18, 2020. The webinar was part of a series of events in the Week With Dr. Jane Goodall, offered in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, the Appalachian Popular Programming Society, and the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Office of Arts and Cultural Programs.
Claire Funderburk, a junior Sustainable Development major, and Jessica Navarro-Luviano, a junior majoring in Sustainable Technology, were two of four students who participated in the webinar. They worked with their professors to develop a question to pose to Dr. Goodall, and appeared in the webinar to ask her their question.
Funderburk explained the process of being selected to pose a question to Dr. Goodall: “My boss, Rebecca Walton in the Office of Sustainability, sent me a message asking if I had ever heard of Jane Goodall and if I would be interested in watching her if she came to campus. She played it off as if she were simply asking to gauge student interest in the event. I said to her of course, I would be interested in attending her event because it's Jane Goodall! How can you not be excited about Jane Goodall? Little did I know that she was actually asking me this question to see if I would be a good candidate to interview [Dr. Goodall]. I was very surprised when I had a meeting with [Chief Sustainability Officer] Dr. Lee Ball and Rebecca Walton a few days later and received the news that I was chosen to speak with [Dr. Goodall] over zoom!”
Funderburk went on to add,
“The highlight of the talk for me was what she said about communicating about the climate crisis through storytelling. My professor Laura England, who is in charge of the ASU Climate Stories Instagram page [and who also serves as a collaborative co-facilitator for the ASU Climate Stories project], has stressed the importance of storytelling to mitigate climate change in our class a lot and it was amazing to see what I’ve learned in the classroom come full circle in a professional setting. I loved what [Dr. Goodall] said about getting to people's hearts with stories, instead of their brains with facts, when it comes to communicating with people about climate change.”
Navarro-Luviano explained the extensive process of developing a question to pose to Dr. Goodall: “Claire and I watched [the documentary] Jane, and on my own I watched some of her other interviews and clips of other documentaries. From these I got a bit of an understanding of who she was and what she had done. I being a Sustainable Technology major was very much more interested in how technology and nature can coexist, since it was clear from her career and talks that Dr. Goodall is a conservationist. That being said, I wanted to ask a broad question that way she could touch on a variety of issues and solutions from her perspective, but that had technology at the center.”
For both students, the experience of meeting Dr. Goodall over Zoom and appearing in the webinar with her was a life-changing event. Navarro-Luviano noted,
“Sharing the space with her, a powerful woman who continues to do work that betters communities around the world, even if just through a virtual setting, was something I could never forget!”
You can view the webcast in full here.
Photo submitted by Jessica Navarro-Luviano.