Meet the 2021 Scholars

Get to know the hopes, dreams, and talents of this year's winners.

Mica M.

Undergraduate Recipient

"Living through a global pandemic with a chronic illness, what is one piece of inspirational advice that you would give to other students with CF who are in the same or similar position?"

The isolation and virtualization we’ve experienced during the pandemic has caused a parallel epidemic of loneliness, grief, and fear. I realized this year how incredibly important it is to balance one’s responsibilities to school or work with caring for one’s mental, social, and spiritual health. No longer can we take for granted how valuable and healing it is to gather with our families and friends in person! As a result of my illness, I have been extra careful in public spaces and I had to physically isolate from my friends for several months in the earlier part of the pandemic. To stay mentally well, I made regular commitments to keep in touch with friends and family by phone and video call. Making a schedule to connect with loved ones was very important for me during that time. As soon at it was safe to do so, I met with a small group of friends outdoors (masked and physically distanced) to play music or practice archery. One of the hidden blessings of this pandemic is that it has encouraged people to be outside together more often! Being stuck indoors and over-using screens negatively impacts our physical and mental health. Being outside daily in Nature has been crucial for my mental health this year. Thus my advice for other CF students is to make mental healthcare, safe socializing, and Nature immersion a top priority. Our studies and work are inevitably impacted when we feel disconnected from our friends, families, and Nature.

Mica M.'s Artwork

Mica M.'s Achievements

  • Co-founder and apothecary manager at Railyard Apothecary in Burlington, VT. 2016-2018. Provided health education, medicinal herbs, and a community hub for herbalists in Northern VT.
  • Clinical herbalist and nutritionist with CF Natural Health. 2015-present. I provide holistic and complementary healthcare education for those with cystic fibrosis and other chronic illnesses.
  • Clinical herbalist at Burlington Herb Clinic. 2017-2018. Provided health education and herbal consultations to clients in the cooperative clinic.
  • Member of the board of directors at Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. March 2021-present.
  • Publication: “Herbal and Dietary Support for Cystic Fibrosis” published in AromaCulture Magazine. July 2018.
  • Online webinar series with the Irish College for Traditional and Integrative Medicine in Cork, Ireland. "Herbal Medicine for Cystic Fibrosis Respiratory Disease". 2018.
  • Published two novels: "Miach & Airmed" in 2018 and "Poet, Prophet, Fox" in 2019. "Poet, Prophet, Fox" was a finalist for a 2020 Lambda Literary Award (international).
  • Short story "Cleome's Wedding" won the 2020 Sustainable Montpelier Writing Contest. June 2020.
  • Teaching regular community classes including: Holistic Care for Diabetes, Herbal Support for Immunity, Herbal Support for Respiratory Health and Chronic Infections, Herbal Wellness for Transgender Health.