Meet Mallory Rakowski – Environmental Engineer & Animal Enthusiast
Words to live by? Favorite quote? Why?
A quote that stuck with me since I first heard it in 2017 is, “When the last tree is cut down, when the last river is poisoned, when the last fish dies, humans will realize you can’t eat money.” The person who said it is doing amazing work in Costa Rica working with farmers to go from conventional to ecological coffee farming. It’s a good reminder of the importance of keeping the environment at the forefront of decisions.
What drew you to Hoyle Tanner?
When looking into the company, I loved the volunteer time off and enjoyed the sense of community that showed through the website. I also liked the size and location. Lastly, the strong presence of amazing women on the wastewater team was something I hadn’t seen elsewhere and I couldn’t wait to learn from them and be a part of it.
What’s something invaluable you’ve learned here?
The importance of the ability to adapt, learn and move forward; it’s what keeps us and the projects going.
What’s your favorite time of year to work at Hoyle Tanner & why?
Fall because it’s a beautiful time for field work.
What’s the coolest thing you are working on & why?
Decentralized wastewater projects because I enjoy working with the smaller/rural Vermont communities and being a part of what brings needed infrastructure to their communities.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you recently (this week, this month, this year)?
My little brother came to visit and I went to visit friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time.
How many different states have you lived in?
Five – Vermont, Maine, Maryland, California, and Arizona. It’s hard to pick a favorite since they’re all so different but I think I’d have to say Vermont for being close by to a lot of my family and the Fall weather and California for the big variety of things to do (specifically outdoor options).
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
What kind of pet do you have & how did you choose to name it?
I have a dog (rottweiler mix) named JJ, he is named after my biological dad who passed away when I was young, he loved rottweilers!
What is a fun or interesting fact about your hometown?
It has the world’s tallest filing cabinet!
What are three things still left on your bucket list?
- See a wolf
- See the Northern Lights
- Hug a highland cow
Name three items you’d take with you to a desert island:
- Dried foods
What characteristic do you admire most in others?
I admire people who are passionate about what they love; their energy rubs off on those around them and just brings a smile to everyone.
How old is the oldest item in your closet?
My dad’s sweater that’s probably 30-years-old.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An animal rescuer.
Growing up I always loved animals and the environment, although being an environmental engineer does not directly involve saving animals it does have an impact on people and the environment, which is part of what drew me to wastewater engineering. In my free time I fill my “animal rescuer” side; I volunteer at a sanctuary farm with about 80 rescued farm animals, spend a lot of time in dog training groups and/or volunteering with dogs/cats, and I am involved in a cheetah project out of Kenya to aid in wildlife conservation. I enjoy the balance this has created between my career in engineering and my love for animals.
What’s one of your most ridiculous/nonsensical fears?