Environmental Studies Alumni

Check out highlights on some of our featured alumni

Joe DanielsJoe Daniels

Year of graduation: 2013
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)
IWU Minor: Anthropology


During his time at IWU, Joe studied abroad in New Zealand his sophomore year and also traveled to Costa Rica with a Tropical Ecology May term course helped him gain a better worldview of sustainability in other countries. Among his many activities, Joe was on the IWU cross-country team and served as student senate liaison for Sierra Student Coalition. He interned at Sugar Grove Nature Center as and environmental educator, and also worked summers at a canoe outfitter in  a federally protected wilderness area in the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. After graduation, Joe volunteered with the Peace Corps where he now works as an environmental educator in Nicaragua. Specifically, he has been working with teachers and co-planning natural science lessons on organic gardening, composting, tree nurseries, and other topics. Contact Joe


Megan George

Megan George

Year of graduation: 2013
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)

While at IWU, Megan worked on campus for several committees, including the IWU branch of the national Taking Back the Tap initiative and served as co-president of the Sierra Student Coalition her senior year. She also worked as a Sustainability Educator and as a member of the recycling education committee, within the GREENetwork. Megan studied abroad in Fall 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark and was part of the Sustainability Task Force, assigned to encourage sustainability within the Danish Institute of Study Abroad. Megan is particularly interested in environmental education and nature writing and has volunteered with the Multnomah County Outdoor School program in her hometown, Portland, Oregon. Currently, Megan is working under an AmeriCorps program with the Literacy volunteers of Illinois. Her work at the Anixter Center in Chicago has given her insight into the world of not-for-profit organizations, state funding, and grant run programs. Contact Megan


Danny Kenny

Danny Kenny

Year of graduation: 2013
IWU Major 1: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability and Environmental Policy)
IWU Major 2: Hispanic Studies

While at IWU, Danny served as the co-chair of GREENetwork, Student Senate Awareness Commissioner, President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and captain of the soccer team. His past experiences include working with the Action Research Center on print conservation on campus, studying abroad in Barcelona, creating a drought contingency plan for State Farm Insurance, promoting business recycling in the Bloomington-Normal community, and serving as the ES student assistant. As part of his Weir Fellowship during his Junior year, Danny was heavily involved in the creation of the IWU Peace Garden. Currently, Danny is working as a Dunn Fellow in the Governor's Office of Legislative Affairs in Springfield, Illinois, where he works closely with senior staff members and government agencies on various public policy initiatives. Contact Danny

Liz Kuehn

Liz Kuehn

Year of graduation: 2013
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Environmental Policy)

While at IWU, Liz studied abroad in Australia with SIT in a program called “Sustainability and Environmental Action,” and she conducted research to explore cohousing and its potential as a sustainable way of living and developing.  She also completed internships, including ones at Sugar Grove Nature Center and the Ecology Action Center.  On campus, Liz was a Sustainability Educator and served as co-president of the Sierra Student Coalition. After graduation, Liz interned with the Chicago Botanic Garden coordinating volunteers and interpretive programs, and she is currently working at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, IL as an Environmental Education Assistant. Contact Liz


Jenny Long Jenny Long

Year of graduation: 2013
IWU Major 1: Environmental Studies
IWU Major 2: Sociology

Jennifer graduated with an International Environmental Sustainability concentration in ES and a degree in Sociology. While she was enrolled at IWU, she spent a semester abroad in Tanzania, Africa studying wild life conservation and political ecology. Jennifer was an Immersion fellow in Chicago with Foresight Design Initiative, interned with the Ecology Action Center and the Sugar Grove Nature Center in Bloomington-Normal, and assumed a variety of roles with Student Sierra Coalition on campus. Currently, Jennifer is a Development Officer at DePaul University in Chicago, assisting in fundraising efforts for the university's capital campaign. Contact Jenny


Courtney Luensman

Year of Graduation: 2012 Courtney Luensman
IWU Major:
Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)
IWU Minor:

While at IWU, Courtney spent a semester with the School for International Training in Tanzania studying wildlife conservation and political ecology. She had an internship as an environmental educator at Sugar Grove Nature Center and during the summers worked as a camp counselor in Oregon, IL or as a Naturalist in Ferryville, WI. She was also a member of the Sierra Student Coalition and served as co-president. Currently, Courtney is working in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio as a Field Instructor for the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center. Contact Courtney

Hannah Williams

Year of Graduation: 2012
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)
IWU Minor: Anthropology

Hannah WilliamsHannah was very involved in sustainability on campus while studying at IWU, serving as co-president and secretary of the Sierra Student Coalition and working with the GREENetwork. She enjoyed several internships including Sugar Grove Nature Center, where she taught environmental education classes to children and adults, and the Ecology Action Center. In an exciting summer internship Hannah worked as environmental interpreter for the National Park Service while living in a remote native village in Alaska and teaching environmental classes to the village's youth. For her senior project, Hannah worked with recycling education in Unit 5 elementary schools. Currently, Hannah is serving as a 2012 Teach For America corps (TFA) member, where she teaches third grade math and science in South Carolina. After TFA, Hannah plans to continue her education in the environmental field. Ultimately, she knows that environmental education is her passion, and she hopes to work for an environmental NGO or become a professor. Contact Hannah


Tom Marlow Tom Marlow

Year of Graduation: 2011
IWU Major: Environmental Studies
IWU Minor: Chemistry

During his time at IWU, Tom interned with the National Parks Conservation Association in Chicago, and worked on a variety of volunteer and school projects that focused on promoting sustainable agriculture in the Bloomington-Normal area.  Upon graduation, Tom began working for the National Park Service (NPS) as a research assistant.  In this position he has researched and written several reports analyzing ways vegetation managers in the NPS can begin to move beyond traditional management goals to create a more flexible system in the face of mounting environmental problems.  One of these reports, titled "Managing Vegetation for Children," has been published as a Natural Resource Report.  In the meantime, Tom has continued volunteering on local farms. Tom will be entering the Doctoral program for Sociology at Washington State University in Fall 2013 to study the human dimensions of environmental issues. Contact Tom


Anthony Gunnell Anthony Gunnell

Year of Graduation: 2009
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Ecology)

Anthony has worked in many environmental arenas including: conservation, restoration, ecological research, social policy, and environmental law. His IWU education has lead him to positions in urban, rural, and wilderness settings in the following locations: Costa Rica, Idaho, Tanzania, Illinois, Kansas, Alaska, and Oregon. Anthony has most recently served as a Forest Ecology Field Assistant at Oregon State University as well as a Science and Policy Intern for the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago, Illinois. In an attempt to utilize his diverse background and experiences, his dream job is to work for a public policy firm where he will attempt to understand current environmental resource and justice issues holistically, and promote solutions to these problems via public policy. In order to get to this position he plans on enrolling in a Master’s Program in environmental social science and public policy with a focus on understanding common pool resource problems. Specifically, he hopes to focus on domestic water issues involving both water contamination and public use. Contact Anthony

Margaret Kane

Margaret Kane-Univ of Vermont Farmer TrainingYear of Graduation: 2009
IWU Major: Environmental Studies

Margaret is a 2009 Environmental Studies graduate. In 2007 She took a May Term travel course entitled "Sustaining Self, Society, and the Environment" in which she traveled to Vancouver Island, British Columbia for a month of hiking, yoga, and environmental psychology. At IWU she was a Sustainability Educator and helped students living in the residence halls learn about ways to reduce their environmental impact. She also interned at Sugar Grove Nature Center, teaching kids about the prairie. After graduation, Margaret served in Americorps Cape Cod, a program focusing on environmental conservation and education. Next she worked as a Naturalist at Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Ohio. Most recently, Margaret has discovered a passion for small scale agriculture, and interned at small organic farm in Colorado. She completed the Farmer Training Program at the University of Vermont, gaining new skills and knowledge, as well as a Certificate in Sustainable Farming. She's currently living in Vermont and excited to continue farming in the future! Contact Margaret

Thomas Schroeder 

Year of Graduation: 2009
IWU Major 1: Environmental StudiesThomas Schroeder
IWU Major 2: Physics

Thomas graduated cum laude with a double major in Environmental Studies and Physics.  During his time at IWU he developed a proposal for the University to compost and recover its organic waste that, with continued guidance and support from Dr. Given Harper, was adopted and implemented by the University in early 2011. During his senior year he also developed a set of sustainable and efficient building strategies for a planned transitional housing facility on campus and spent his May Term performing water quality testing in Central Illinois' streams and rivers for Dr. Jim Simeone and the Prairie Rivers Network.  From December 2010 to the present, Thomas has been working as a staff scientist for an environmental consulting company in Chicago.  He has a wide range of responsibilities,  including air, water, and soil monitoring and remediation, and in 2012 helped form a small sustainability team to identify and implement strategies to promote more sustainable practices within the company and its employees.Contact Thomas.

Leslie Morrison

Year of Graduation: 2008
Leslie Morrison Major: Environmental Studies

Leslie is a 2008 Environmental Studies graduate and a Morris K. Udall Scholarship honorable mention recipient. She studied in Costa Rica for Dr. Given Harper's Tropical Ecology class and in Australia with the School for International Training. In her time at Wesleyan, Leslie was highly involved with the Sierra Student Coalition, acting as president her junior and senior years. After graduating Leslie was accepted into the Green Corps class of 2009. Green Corps is the field school for environmental organizing. During her year with Green Corps she worked on clean energy campaigns in Missouri, Texas, and North Carolina. She then joined the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) as the Maryland Campus Organizer. Currently she is the Maryland Community Organizer at CCAN and is working on cleaning up coal plants and stopping natural gas fracking.  Contact Leslie


Leslie Coleman

Leslie Coleman Year of Graduation: 2007
IWU Major 1: Environmental Studies
IWU Major 2: International Studies (Development)

While at IWU, Leslie co-founded the campus chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition and participated in internships with the Illinois EPA, The Land Connection and the Merck Family Fund; she was also a recipient of the Morris K. Udall Scholarship. Following graduation, Leslie served as a Peace Corps volunteer in The Gambia, where she implemented an ecological monitoring program for the Department of Parks and Wildlife. She then attended New York University School of Law as a  Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar , interning with the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the EPA. Leslie is now a law clerk for a federal district court judge in Manhattan, after which she plans to pursue a career as a public interest environmental attorney.  Contact Leslie


Ryan SmithRyan Smith

Year of Graduation: 2007
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Policy)
IWU Minor: Political Science

Ryan co-founded IWU's Sierra Student Coalition and interned with the Illinois EPA in Springfield and Greenpeace USA in Washington, DC while studying at IWU. Ryan was also the recipient of the IWU Student Leadership and Distinguished Service Award for service to the community. After leaving IWU, Ryan served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in The Gambia (West Africa) and taught English as a Second Language in South Korea. He currently works as an administrator for a charter school in Brooklyn, NY. Contact Ryan


Emmy Grace


Year of Graduation:  2011
IWU Major 1:  Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)
IWU Major 2: Hispanic Studies Emmy Grace

While at IWU Emmy worked as a Sustainability Educator and was a Resource Conservation intern with the Action Research Center working on paper reduction. She was active in the Sierra S tu dent Coalition and se rved as co-president for several semesters and was also involved with GREENetwork. Her study abroad travels include May Terms in the UK and Costa Rica and a semester in Ecuador. For her senior seminar Emmy worked with the Ecology Action Center to better reach and serve the minority community on environmental issues. After graduation s he volunteered with LETS GO Chicago and traveled Europe including WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in Sweden. She also interned with the Sierra Club as an electric vehicle and green fleets intern as part of the Beyond Oil campaign, and with a small environmental consulting company and research affiliate, Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities.  In the Fall 2013, Emmy started a dual degree M.A. program with American University and the UN-affliiated University for Peace in Costa Rica in International Affairs and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. Contact Emmy


Will Palmisano

Will Palmisano

Year of Graduation: 2008
IWU Major: Environmental Studies - Chemistry

During his time at Wesleyan, Will conducted research with Dr. Steve Hoffmann on the quantitative analysis of estradiol in water systems and also served three years as a Residential Community Advisor, a position that entails the promotion of sustainable living and peer education on environmental issues. Will holds a master's degree in Environmental Studies (Sustainable Development and Policy) from the University of Illinois-Springfield, where he graduated with academic honors. After graduating from Wesleyan, Will was accepted into the Illinois Legislative Studies Internship Program and became the Science Writing Intern at the Legislative Research Unit, a non-partisan research agency for the Illinois State Legislature. He went on to become a Dunn Fellow with the Illinois Governor's Office. After his fellowship, Will joined the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, where he served as a Senior Budget Analyst working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Agriculture, among other state agencies. Will is currently a Budget Analyst with the Arizona Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting where he works with numerous natural resources agencies.  Contact Will.

And more....


Danny Burke graduated in 2009 with a double major in Environmental Studies (Policy) and Hispanic Studies. He received the John and Erma Stutzman Peace Fellowship to study environmental justice and during his senior year, he worked on the topic of food justice and helped the Bloomington Farmers Market to accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps).  He also obtained the Weir Fellowship for action research to support this same study of food justice in West Bloomington.  Upon graduation, he was selected as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center.  During his time as an Emerson Fellow he worked on improving healthy food access in Louisville, KY with the Community Farm Alliance, and on federal nutrition policy with the Food Research and Action Center in Washington, D.C.  After returning home to Chicago, he worked as SNAP policy coordinator for the Illinois Hunger Coalition.  Continuing to focus on food justice, Danny moved from the policy world to direct service as Coordinator for the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University, where he worked with students to rescue food from dining halls and turn it into nourishing meals for those in need.  Currently, he works to increase access to healthy, local food for the Woodlawn community in Chicago in his capacity as manager for the 61st Street Farmers Market, a project of the Experimental Station.  Hehas many passions on this planet, the most important among them being: raspberries, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Cubs, running, and his sweetheart pitbull Medgar. Contact Danny.

Olivia De Meo is a 2009 Environmental Studies graduate with a minor in Music, for which she received the Loran & Frances (Denman) Cornwell Music Scholarship in 2009 and was a two-time recipient of the Arline Wills Ward Scholarship – both awards for outstanding achievement in organ performance. During her time at IWU, she studied Green Politics in the United Kingdom/European Union for a semester while abroad in London. She also volunteered nearby at Sugar Grove Nature Center and with the Sierra Club in Las Vegas, NV. She spent summer 2008 doing research at the University of New Hampshire through their Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. In December 2008, she presented this research at the American Geophysical Union Fall Conference in San Francisco. In summer 2009, she will be doing another research internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Olivia has received a Research and Discover Fellowship at the University of New Hampshire, where she is pursuing a graduate degree in Oceanography. Contact Olivia.  

Jason Koval is a 2009 Environmental Studies (Chemistry) graduate. After graduation, he attended a graduate program at the University of Illinois in the field of microbial ecology with the objective to try and determine how nitrogen is cycled through microbes in an aquatic environment. He started his time at IWU as a chemistry major, but after a semester abroad in New Zealand he switched to Environmental Chemistry. He worked on a variety of projects through the chemistry, biology, and other Environmental Studies-related departments and enjoyed his time with each one.  For all four years of college, he worked in the Center for Natural Sciences stockroom learning how to setup and clean out labs.  The experience pushed him towards the environmental field because he is interested in finding safe ways of disposing of hazardous chemicals.  His time at IWU was a great experience and he is looking forward to graduate work in a field that he thoroughly enjoys. Contact Jason

Susan Abraham graduated in 2008 with a double major in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies. In May 2006 she traveled to Costa Rica for Dr. Harper's Tropical Ecology Class During her junior year Susan studied in Ecuador with the School of International Training's (SIT) Comparative Ecology and Conservation Program and in Granada, Spain with the International Education of Students (IES). Her academic and research interests include resource exploitation and environmental justice issues in Latin America, botany, quinoa, and the role of Orientalism in the Hispanic literary canon. Currently, Susan works for the Field Museum's Environmental Culture and Conservation Program (ECCo) as an urban conservation project assistant. She is applying to graduate school in Hispanic Literature for the fall of 2009. Contact Susan

Kathryn Rinder graduated in 2007 with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in History.  She studied abroad in Australia with SIT's Sustainability and the Environment program. She participated in an environmental education internship with the Student Conservation Association in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and also served as an intern with the Ecology Action Center and the Sierra Club.  Kathryn spent the summer after graduation working as a naturalist on a ranch in Colorado. She is currently working as the Outreach and Volunteer Program Coordinator for the Northwest Earth Institute, a sustainability education non-profit in Portland, Oregon. Contact Kathryn.

Jeff Scott graduated in 2007 with a major in Art and a minor in Environmental Studies. He spent the summer after his graduation working on a small organic farm in Northern California and currently works with AmeriCorps as an education intern at a farm in Northwest Wisconsin. In the fall of 2007, he will move to a farm in Vermont to work with at-risk high school students. Contact Jeff.

Megan Guse graduated in 2006 with a major in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Environmental Science from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Concurrent with her studies, Megan works for the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, where she utilizes GIS systems, writes grant proposals and promotes alternative transportation. She will be spending the summer conducting water quality assessments of rivers for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Contact Megan.

Amanda Solliday graduated in 2006 with a double major in Environmental Studies and Biology. She will soon finish a Master's degree at Cornell University in the Crop and Soil Sciences program, with a focus on International Agriculture and Rural Development. Amanda recently studied international agriculture in Mexico as part of the program. In the fall of 2008, she will be starting a job at EPA Headquarters (Office of Pesticide Programs) in Washington, DC. Contact Amanda.

Kylee (Billings) Eblin graduated in 2003 with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Environmental Studies, and is now enrolled in a PhD program in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on environmentally-relevant levels of arsenicals in drinking water in the US/Mexico area. Kylee studies how low levels of these arsenicals cause malignant transformation of bladder cells. She has published her work in the journals Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Toxicological Sciences, and Toxicology. She will graduate in May 2008 with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology, and will work for S.C. Johnson and Sons in Racine, WI as a research toxicologist. Contact Kylee.

Erinn Howard graduated in 2003 with a major in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies and is now pursuing a PhD in Microbiology at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on bacterial degradation of oceanic sulfur compounds and its implications for global climate change. Erinn has published articles in several prestigious journals, including Environmental Microbiology, Science, and Applied and Environmental Microbiology. She also acts as the assistant editor for the Association for Women in Science Magazine and serves as a judge for the environmental division at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair, a state science fair for high school students. Contact Erinn.

Stacy Kolegas graduated in 2003 with a double major in Art and Environmental Studies. Upon graduation, she worked as an environmental education instructor in New York and later as the Executive Director of a nonprofit environmental education organization, Yampatika, in Colorado. Stacy currently serves as an Environmental Programs Assistant for the City of Phoenix's Office of Environmental Programs, which provides technical and regulatory assistance to city departments and pursues initiatives in pollution prevention, air quality, brownfields, the Clean Water Act and sustainability. Contact Stacy.

Amy (Cline) Graham graduated in 2002 with a major in Economics and a minor in Environmental Studies. She attended law school at Florida State University, graduating with Certificates in both Environmental and Natural Resource Law and Land Use Law. While at FSU, she clerked at the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation and WildLaw, two environmental nonprofit law firms, and also interned at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. After graduation, Amy worked as a legislative assistant at the Florida Senate and is currently employed as a policy analyst in the School Choice Office at the Florida Department of Education. Contact Amy.

Amy N. Turner graduated in 2000 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Studies. Amy received her Master's of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. Following an internship with the Illinois EPA's Governor's Environmental Corps, she joined SRA International, Inc., an international consulting firm in Arlington, VA, as an Environmental Policy Analyst. There she has worked on projects related to the Superfund program, the EPA's Abandoned Mine Lands Program and the Department of Energy's response to catastrophic events.

Amy Farrell graduated in 1998 with a degree in Biology and was the first student to graduate with a contract minor in Environmental Studies at IWU. She earned her Master's degree in Policy Analysis from Indiana University. Upon receipt of her M.P.A., she served as Policy Analyst in the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs overseeing and evaluating EPA regulatory work. In 2003, Amy became a Policy Advisor to the Administrator of the EPA. She was later promoted to Deputy Assistant Administrator of the EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. In her various roles in the federal government, Amy has worked on the Clear Skies legislation, the Persistent Organic Pollutants Treaty and Hurricane Katrina and Rita responses.

If you are an alumnus we invite you to update us on your activities by contacting our  ES Student Assistant, Brittany Brady - bbrady@iwu.edu.