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Professor Eve Bratman: SIS’ Resident International Environmentalist

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

Beekeeper. Houseboat resident. Doctor. AU Professor. AU Alum. Well traveled. Environmentally conscious. Studied abroad. Add all these words together and you have barely scratched the surface of describing Professor Eve Bratman and all of her accomplishments.  

Professor Bratman’s courses, in SIS, range from Third World Cities to International Development to Environment and Development. Her passion for travel and international studies was sparked, like many AU collegiettes™, through her courses and friends in high school.

Professor Bratman attended an International Baccalaureate public high school in Chicago. Many of her friends’ parents worked for international companies or organizations.  Because of the IB program, her class work was also globally focused.  

When she got to Oberlin College in Ohio, Professor Bratman knew she wanted to study the environment and politics with an international focus, but an International Environmental Politics major did not exist.  In order to add the international component to her academics, Professor Bratman went on a unique comparative study abroad program in which she traveled to five different countries.  

In her senior year at Oberlin, Professor Bratman took her first trip to Brazil and spent time researching urban design and later applied it to Oberlin, Ohio.  It was this initial trip, however, that a love affair was sparked between Professor Bratman and Brazil.  

After a few years in the work force, Professor Bratman decided to head back down to Brazil.  She really wanted to learn Portuguese and to reconnect with some rock n’ roll band friends from her initial trip. Before she left for Brazil, Professor Bratman applied to AU for her PhD.  She received news of her acceptance while in Brazil. However, she was extremely torn between staying there and going back to school.  In the end, she got the best of both worlds because she was able to go back to school and return to Brazil to research.  

After a few years of research and completion of her dissertation (focus on Brazil), Professor Bratman is now an assistant professor with numerous publications, a passion for beekeeping and a houseboat.  

Alright, now for the first question on all of your minds: beekeeping? Really? Professor Bratman explained to me that she has had a fascination with bees for years.  One day she was joking around with Dean Joe Clapper when the subject of beekeeping came up. Professor Bratman walked away with Dean Clapper’s permission to keep bees on campus and tend to the hives.  There are now two secret locations on campus where the bees are being kept.  Professor Bratman and her team of undergraduate beekeepers even collect honey to pool into a honey co-op.  Keeping bees on campus has many environmental benefits and helps create a more thriving ecosystem. Professor Bratman hopes to soon have a life bee-cam streaming video of the bees into the Dav.  

Now for the second question on all your minds: a houseboat? In DC? Really? Again, the answer is yes, really. Professor Bratman lives on a houseboat at the S.W. Waterfront.  She impulsively bought her boat on Craigslist after a friend in San Francisco inspired her. Professor Bratman tries to live life with a very small environmental impact and her engineless boat is the perfect way for her to do so.

Professor Bratman said, “There are many perks to living on a boat. First off, I love nature and being around it everyday is extremely soothing. I have also learned a lot of handy woman skills by living in a small space that needed repairs.” With those newly gained handy woman skills, Professor Bratman even rigged out a compost garden for her boat to further reduce her carbon footprint. 

Professor Bratman is a great role model for all of us collegiettes on how to practically reduce our environmental impact, how to follow our passions (however crazy they may seem) and how to take risks. So the next time a rock n’ roll band asks you to visit in Brazil, use the Bratman method of answering: “Sure. Why not?”

Lesley Siu graduated from American University in May 2013 with a BA in Film and Media Arts and minors in Marketing and International Business. Originally from Hawaii, she loves photography, fashion, travel, social media and everything Parisian. She has interned at GLAMOUR magazine in New York and Washington Life Magazine in DC, but her proudest accomplishment is founding Her Campus American in 2011 while interning in Melbourne, Australia. You can usually find her reading a magazine, enjoying a hazelnut latte or posting a photo on Instagram... and sometimes, all at the same time. Follow her on Twitter: @lesleysiu and visit her blog.