Meet our first student in the spotlight for 2016! Laura Breitenfeld comes to Hawai‘i from Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts to study astronomy. Laura has appreciation for family, nature, science and the vastness of the universe.
What are your personal superstitions?
Well, I have a scientific mind, so I’m not very superstitious.
Where in the world would you like to get lost?
Italy. I’m an Italian citizen with dual citizenship. I’ve already done some traveling there, and I always enjoy it!
Which pop music stars fascinate you?
I love Taylor Swift and am fascinated by her transition both musically and personally. I am interested in her growth in social issues such as feminism.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
I think about the music I’m listening to and singing along with. I love driving since it’s very de-stressing for me!
What do you wish you had invented?
Hmm. I’ll go for it. I wish I had invented the phone or the computer – something people use.
What is your screen saver?
I always have different pictures of the sky or planets. My screen savers are all astronomy based. Currently, it’s the moon.
What are you doing when you feel most alive?
I feel most alive when I’m out in nature, skiing or hiking in a very beautiful place, like Hawai‘i! I also feel most alive when I’m driving – listening to music, seeing the horizon, and sitting next to someone I like spending time with.
What is one thing that makes you different?
I’m a very determined person and work very hard. (I wouldn’t say this quality makes be different than every person though).
With what technology would you write a love letter?
I write a lot of postcards, so that would probably be the way.
Are you a morning person or a night person?
I’m more of a night person. Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m not a morning person!
Do you type with the correct fingers on the correct keys?
I use 5 fingers plus one finger, since one hand is always going for the mouse. I get 1/2 points for that.
What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of the ocean, which I’ve enjoyed since being here! The waves are very calming.
What sound or noise do you hate?
What is the first thing you think about when you wake-up?
Hmm. I don’t know. I think it changes each day.
Who are your heroes?
My grandparents, who were like my second set of parents. My grandmother was tenacious and caring. My grandfather inspired me with his amazing humor.
If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
A library of books!
What’s most important in your young life?
What’s special about the University of Hawai‘i at ?
I’ve only been here briefly, but from what I’ve experienced diversity is very important and has added to the classroom experience. And the location of the school is very practical to the type of science that I study.
What are you looking forward to doing while here in Hawai‘i?
Snorkeling, going to beaches, hiking, being in nature, and seeing the beautiful island.