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Heather Phillips


Bold Points






I have a couple of quotes that I think of on a daily basis. Quotes that keep me going when I have a seemingly inordinate amount of work to be done. One of them is “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” This is a quote most often attributed to Aristotle. I think of it often: when I spend time studying material until I believe that I have it mastered, when I begin an exam that I worked hard for and find that I am fully prepared, and when I organize meetings on a regular basis for the organizations in which I am a member of leadership. I think of it when I spend my Sunday evening preparing food for the week ahead so that I will be ready for a morning where my dog needs extra attention, for an afternoon when I get stopped by a train, or those times when I have unexpected, and sometimes extended, conversations with my peers or professors. Excellence may feel like it is in the moment but truly it is something that must be prepared for every day. This quote, along with another, “Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”, a quote attributed to so many that its origins are uncertain, sum up the way I feel about college, about learning, and about an eventual career in research. My goal in everything that I do is to achieve the best possible result and to be certain that the margin for error has been smoothed out ahead of time and all but eliminated. I am an undergraduate student completing my sophomore year. I have spent a semester working on a research project concerning Sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata), a year and a half as a Biology tutor, and a semester as a math tutor. I have spent a summer working for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality on the Beneficial Use Reconnaissance Program and have been offered an internship working with the Center of Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) alongside the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for the upcoming summer. I am particularly interested in plant science and in our environment. Last year, I helped to reestablish the Idaho Falls chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society and have spent a year as vice president for the organization. I am also the vice president of the Ecology and Conservation Biology club at Idaho State University (ISU) and have been since last spring. With much assistance and support, I founded the Sustainability Club at ISU this year and am the current president. I believe that it is important to lead by example, while simultaneously understanding that everyone is unique. One of the greatest things that I have learned as a leader is that my job is not to impart my vision on everyone else but rather to enable the visions and collaboration of others. I plan to continue to strive for excellence in everything that I do. I plan to obtain a bachelor's and then a master's degree before hopefully having the opportunity to contribute to our understanding of the natural world in the procurement of a doctorate. Finally, I would like to work as an Environmental Engineer to help design a more sustainable future.


Idaho State University

Bachelor's degree program
2018 - Present
  • Majors:
    • Biological Sciences
  • Minors:
    • GIS and Sustainability Science


  • Desired degree level:

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Environmental Engineer

    • Courier

      FedEx Express
      2016 – 20182 years
    • Tutor

      Idaho State University Tutor
      2019 – Present5 years
    • Technician

      Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
      2019 – 2019



    2002 – 20042 years


    2006 – 20093 years


    • Biological Sciences

      Idaho State University, Keith Reinhardt lab — Undergraduate Researcher
      2019 – 2019


    • Idyllwild Arts Academy

      King Lear, Our Country's Good, Wit, The Roar of the Greesepaint, The Smell of the Crowd
      2007 – 2010

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Citizens Climate Lobby — Volunteer
      2017 – Present

    Future Interests