Zoya Goodwin grew up on the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. After graduating from high school, she moved to Texas to pursue a higher level of education. At Southwestern University, she studied Environmental Studies and Economics and had just graduated on May of 2018. Being the first Micronesian to attend Southwestern, Zoya embraces her identity and had always been eager to share the islands’ geographic location and cultural practices. On campus, she presented on climate change and environmental justice taking a different approach of discussing a group of people that many in the audience knew little about. This captured a professor’s interest and had spent a semester conducting independent research that takes a multidisciplinary approach on culture, education, and the Anthropocene for the Micronesian Islands. She developed a new found appreciation for her home island and its diversity which led to a recognition of the urgency of adopting climate change initiatives and the vitality of education. After graduation, Zoya interned with the OCA and Environmental Defense Fund where the combined experience allowed her to advocate on behalf of the underrepresented Pacific Islander community on the frontlines of climate change. Continuing on this path where she strives to learn more on how to be a better informed and an active steward for the environment and the marginalized prompted her to apply to the Ocean Conservancy Communications team. She is excited for this new opportunity that allows her to incorporate environmental advocacy with storytelling from her own experience as a part of a community that rely highly on the ocean as a way of life.
In her spare time, Zoya enjoys watching way too much crime shows, visiting historical sites (yay DC location) , and attempting various recipes from Pinterest.