Environmental Studies

Student Spotlight

Here's a snapshot of some of our ES students!

Also, check out what some of our ES alumni are up to after graduation!

Emma Ottinger '23

  • Major(s): English and Environmental StudiesOttinger
  • Minor(s): Philosophy
  • On-campus involvement: tutor at the Ames Writing Center, Assistant Editor for Tributaries, and Secretary for the Sierra Student Coalition

“Something I’ve always loved about the ES program is that it attracts all kinds of people. “Environmental Studies” is such an expansive term—it hosts a broad range of aspirations, so that the friends I’ve made therein all seem to use their knowledge for different purposes. I find that near-universal applicability of ES to be really exciting, and it's given me a greater sense of connection to my education.”

Amanda Bonavida '22

  • Major(s): Environmental Studies (Ecology)Amanda Bonavida sitting on a bench smiling
  • Minor(s): Biology
  • On-campus involvement: Sierra Student Coalition member, Circle K International member, Alpha Gamma Delta.
  • Off-Campus involvement: Santa Monica Mountains (California) Restoration volunteer.

“Being an out-of-state student, having a community who would welcome my alternate perspectives and allow me to broaden my knowledge was key. The supportive faculty and the encouraging students in the Environmental Studies Program have pushed me to strive towards achieving my goals, personal and academic.”

Refugio Moreno '21

"The ES program has been very involved in my success here at IWU, and without the wonderful professors and advising that I've had, the opportunities that I've had within the ES program would not have been attainable." Contact Refugio


Emily Schirmacher '21Emily Schirmacher, smiling to camera while posing for a photo during a hike

"The experiences and endless amounts of support from the IWU Environmental Studies community have helped me flourish into the passionate person that I am today. With these tools, I have taken a love for nature and shaped this into a realization that my dreams of having a career where I can work towards a more sustainable future can and will become a reality."  Contact Emily.

Leah Bieniak '21Leah Bieniak posing for a photo in a white lab coat.

"From my very first visit to Illinois Wesleyan, the Environmental Studies Program has been an amazingly supportive and encouraging community. Within the program I have found friends, mentors, and fellow environmentalists with whom I can share my passions for ecology and my hopes for a better future. The ES Program is helping me fulfill my goals of combating some of the world’s greatest problems, and I am grateful to be able to share the experience with so many other compassionate, intelligent, and motivated people."   Contact Leah.

Hannah Horn '20Hannah Horn, with microphone in hand, singing during an a capella perfromance

"The ES program showed me that I did not need to settle for only pursuing one thing, and instead I could incorporate my education and life experiences to achieving my goal of helping others and making the world a better place."  Contact Hannah

Tera Wilson '20 Tera Wilson smiling while interning at EarthRights International in Thailand

“I entered IWU as an undecided student, unsure of what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. Thanks to the professors and courses here, I've been able to find my passions, explore new places in Asia, and pursue opportunities I never knew existed.” Contact Tera


NOTE: If you are an IWU Environmental Studies alumnus, let us know what you're up to! Feel free to contact our ES Student Assistant Emily Schirmacher at eschirma@iwu.edu.See what some other ES alumni are up to here.