Environmental Studies

Alumni Highlights

 

Laurence
Laurence Henderson '17
After graduating, Laurence moved to Barcelona, where he is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Sustainability at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
anna
Anna Groves Funk '11
After finishing her Ph.D. research on prairie restoration ecology, Anna spent a summer writing for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on a AAAS Mass Media Fellowship, before starting full time as an editor at Discover Magazine.
Joe
Joe Daniels '13
Joe is currently an Environmental Protection Specialist with the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs. 
 

Check out a sampling of our ES Alumni!

Our ES program prepares students for jobs in government, business, or the not-for-profit sector and careers in environmental consulting, journalism, law, policy, and research, as well as for advanced degrees in an array of fields. Our ES undergraduate program offers 4 options for majoring. Check out what some of our alumni have done after completing a degree within each concentration!  

General Environmental Studies Major

Rebecca Fiedler

Year of Graduation: 2016
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (General)
IWU Minors: Sociology and Health

Becky Fiedler

While at IWU, Becky was the winner of the Outstanding Senior in Environmental Studies award for her contributions to the field of Environmental Studies and sustainability on campus. Becky was a student worker for the Environmental Studies Program at IWU and also spent a summer working as an intern for Gawad Kalinga in the Philippines.  After graduation, she participated in the Governor's Environmental Corps, where Becky spent the summer as an intern for the Waste Compliance and Reduction Section at the Illinois EPA. This past May, she graduated with a M.A. in Environmental Studies and a Graduate Certificate in GIS from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is now a Project Manager in the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Section at the Illinois EPA. (Last updated 04/2019)    Contact Becky

Stephanie HuberStephanie Alumni Page

Year of Graduation: 2015
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (General)
ES Senior Research: Exploring Vegetarian Menu Options and Strategies to Increase Student Consumption of Vegetarian Options at Illinois Wesleyan Universit

At IWU, Stephanie was involved in the Peace Garden RSO and Sierra Student Coalition. She also interned at Miller Park Zoo and the Ecology Action Center. Currently, Stephanie is the Manager of Environmental Programs at the American Lung Association in Springfield, where she is in charge of running online radon courses and poster contests for schools in and around Illinois.  Contact Stephanie

Megan George 

Year of Graduation: 2013Megan George
IWU Major:  Environmental Studies (General)
ES Senior Research:  Exploring Strategies for Converting Illinois Wesleyan University from Dual-Stream to Single-Stream Recycling

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. Highlights of Megan’s time as a student at IWU include studying abroad in Copenhagen where she was assigned to encourage sustainability within the Danish Institute of Study Abroad and her internship at Bloomington’s Public Works Department. Since graduating, Megan worked at Anixter Center in Chicago as a VOCAL AmeriCorps member with the Literacy Volunteers of Illinois, where she was responsible for coordinating an adult literacy program for adults with disabilities. Megan also worked in the Outreach and Community Engagement Department at the Danville Public Library. She earned a Master in Public Administration with a focus on local government from Portland State University where she also worked part-time in the Center for Urban and Public Affairs Student Career Services Office. She also served as operations director for the League of Oregon Cities, the Assistant to the City Manager for Carlton, Oregon, and is currently the Assistant to the City Manger for Tualatin, Oregon. (last updated 10/5/20)  Contact Megan

Kari GraceKari-Grace

Year of Graduation: 2011
IWU Major 1:  Sociology
IWU Major 2:  Hispanic Studies
IWU Minor: Environmental Studies 

While at IWU, Kari was involved with environmental efforts through the Sierra Student Coalition and acting as co-chair for GREENetwork. She also worked as a sustainability educator for ORL and with the Action Research Center as a Resource Conservation intern. For her sociology senior seminar, Kari studied the relationship between environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of students on campus. After graduating, Kari interned with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities in Chicago. She is currently in her final year at the University of North Carolina working towards a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning, specializing in land use and environmental planning. In the summer of 2014, Kari interned with the City of Evanston's Planning and Zoning Division and the Public Building Commission of Chicago.  Contact Kari

Tom Marlow 

Year of Graduation: 2011Tom Marlow  
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (General)
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.  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. In Fall 2013, Tom entered the Doctoral program for Sociology at Washington State University to study the human dimensions of environmental issues.  Contact Tom

Margaret Kane

Margaret Kane-Univ of Vermont Farmer TrainingYear of Graduation: 2009
IWU Major: Environmental Studies
ES Senior Research:  The Feasibility of Implementing Farm to School Programs in Bloomington-Normal Public Schools

During her first years at IWU, Margaret became interested in environmental issues after taking a May Term travel course in British Columbia entitled "Sustaining Self, Society, and the Environment". At IWU she was a Sustainability Educator and taught students living in residence halls how to reduce their environmental impact. After graduation, Margaret served in AmeriCorps Cape Cod, an environmental conservation program, then worked as a Naturalist at Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Ohio. Margaret discovered a passion for small-scale agriculture and gained a Certificate in Sustainable Farming from the University of Vermont. She worked on organic vegetable farms for 6 years, in various management roles. She currently works as a Produce Buyer at City Market/Onion River Co-op, a community-owned grocery store in Burlington, VT. Her job gives her the joy of working with local farmers in order to provide as much fresh, local produce as possible to the community.(Last updated 03/2019 )   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 compostand 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. Thomas has worked as a staff scientist for an environmental consulting company in Chicago where he had a wide range of responsibilities, including air, water, and soil monitoring and remediation. In 2012 he helped form a small sustainability team to identify and implement strategies to promote more sustainable practices within the company and its employees. Now an    Environmental Engineer, Thomas performs projects such as modeling a contaminate plume and assessing the trends from ten years of data to determine the extent to which specific contaminants naturally attenuate over time.   Contact Thomas.

Leslie Morrison

Year of Graduation: 2008
Leslie Morrison Major: Environmental Studies (General)
ES Honors Research:  Challenges to Implementing the Greenhouse Gas Inventory at Illinois Wesleyan University 

Leslie Morrison is the outreach facilitator at the Union of Concerned Scientists, where she works with staff across all issue areas   to increase the impact of UCS issue campaigns. She ensures teams are sharing effective strategies, collaborating to improve partnerships, and assessing the impact of our issue campaigns. Prior to this role, Leslie worked with the Food & Environment program at UCS engaging members and experts, as well as building partnerships and coalitions with crucial allies. Leslie also spent five years at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and a year with Green Corps.  In these roles she helped shut down a coal plant, campaigned against a natural gas export facility, and built support for anti-fracking legislation in Maryland. She has a BA in environmental studies from Illinois Wesleyan University (2008).(Last updated 04/2019 )   Contact Leslie 

Will Palmisano

Year of Graduation: 2008  WIll
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. After graduating from Wesleyan, Will served as the Science Writing Intern for the Illinois Legislative Studies Internship Program (ILSIP). He went on to become a Dunn Fellow with the Illinois Governor's Office, and then 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 moved to Arizona to join the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting, and is now the Business and Finance Administrator for the Arizona State Land Department.(Last updated 04/2019) Contact Will.

Leslie Coleman

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

Leslie Coleman

Leslie is a trial attorney in the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Denver, where she handles enforcement cases under a range of federal environmental statutes. While at IWU, Leslie co-founded the campus chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition and interned with the Illinois EPA, The Land Connection and the Merck Family Fund; she was also a recipient of the Udall Scholarship. After 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 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. (Last updated 04/2019)  Contact Leslie

International Environmental Sustainability Concentration

Lindsey Peters

Year of Graduation: 2019
IWU Major(s): Environmental Studies (International Sustainability) and Hispanic StudiesLindsey Peters with a cockatoo on her shoulder.
Senoir Research Project: Water Sustainability with Children in Bloomington-Normal

During her time at IWU, Lindsey studied abroad for a semester in Ecuador and got to see the Amazon Rainforest. She also interned abroad at the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan, through the Freeman Asia Internship program. After graduation, Lindsey took a job as a husbandry technician with the nonprofit exotic bird sanctuary The Gabriel Foundation in Colorado. Recently Lindsey and The Gabriel Foundation participated in two national rescue missions and added nearly 30 birds to the 650 birds already in their flock. Her IWU study abroad experiences have been immensely helpful to her as The Gabriel Foundation recently hosted guests from their sister shelter in Japan. (Last updated 10/19/19)  Contact Lindsey


Katherine Henebry 

Year of Graduation:  2019
IWU Major(s):  Environmental Studies (International Sustainability) and Business Administration (Marketing)
Senoir Research Project: Developing Sustainable Transportation in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

While at IWU, Katherine was President of the Peace Garden, Student Co-Chair of GREENetwork, Resident Assistant in Pfeiffer and Harriett Halls, and a Writing Center Tutor. She studied abroad on the London Program in the Autumn of 2016 and on the first Vietnam Today Signature Experience in May 2018. She also Katherine Henebry laughing at a formal dinnerinterned abroad at Human Nature in the Philippines via the Freeman Asia Program. Katherine spent the summer after graduation working as a Watershed Management Intern at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency through the Governor’s Environmental Corps. In September 2019, she moved to Scotland to begin her Master of Science in City Planning at the University of Glasgow. She is currently the class representative of her 2019-2020 City Planning, MSc class, and in October 2019 she spent a week in Lisbon, Portugal through a ERASMUS sponsored conference that focuses on the application of GIS in environmental sustainability in both rural and urban contexts. (Last updated 10/17/19) Contact Katherine at her IWU email or her University of Glasgow email.


Dominic Gambaiani

Year of Graduation: 2019
IWU Major(s): Environmental Studies (International Environmental Sustainability) and Theatre Headshot of Dominic GambainaniArts

While at IWU, Dominic was President of the Sierra Student Coalition for two years, He helped start the IWU Terracycle program and improved campus composting habits. Immediatly after graduating, Dominic worked part-time at the environmental landfill rescue nonprofit SCARCE, where he helped children worldwide recieve quality school supplies and books. He also worked part-time at Green Mountain Energy selling sourced wind energy credits to those in the Chicagoland area to offset the carbon footprint of fossil suel-based electricity. He now works full-time in Auburn, NY as a Tour Member of the Rev Theatre Company (formerly Merry-Go-Round) Youth Tour for 2019-2020. (Last updated 10/7/19) Contact Dominic

Laurence Henderson

Year of Graduation: 2018
IWU Major:  Environmental Studies (International Environmental Sustainability)  
ES Senior Research:   First-Ever IWU Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Becky Fiedler

While attending IWU, Laurence held executive board positions for both BSU and Student Senate and participated in track & field. He interned at Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm (GKEF) through the Freeman Asia Internship Program, which he highly recommends to everyone considering studying abroad. In his junior year, Laurence switched to the environmental studies program from business because he needed to find something he was passionate about. He also interned as the assistant manager of the Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market the summer after graduating. During his senior year, Laurence was selected to present at the annual Asia Network Convention in Philadelphia, where he got to share his work and discuss his experience at GKEF. He also was blessed with the opportunity to introduce Jeremy McCarter, co-author of  Hamilton   , at the event. After graduating, Laurence packed up and moved to Barcelona, where he is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Sustainability at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Within just four short months of living in his new home, he taught himself videography, and has already established a client base while creating his own YouTube channel. He is hoping to travel to developing nations upon the completion of his master to work either for NGO’s or as an environmental video journalist. (Last updated 03/2019)   Contact Laurence

An Nguyen

Year of Graduation: 2016An
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability) 
IWU Minors: Biology and English

At IWU, An was a member of the Sierra Student Coalition and also studied abroad at the Danish Institution for Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark where she focused on European Sustainability. An interned at the Illinois Green Business Association, worked as a project consultant for the Sustainable Seafood Campaign of the World Wildlife Fund Greater Mekong Delta in Vietnam, and also interned at the Green Institute at Heartland College. After graduating, An worked as a Clean Air Manager for the American Lung Association in Springfield. She then earned an MS degree in Environmental and Occupational Health from City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Policy, specializing in Occupational Health and Safety, and works as an Industrial Hygienist for TRC Companies in New York. Contact An

Amanda King

Year of Graduation: 2015Amanda King
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)
IWU Minor: Political Science
ES Senior Research:  Exploring Strategies to Gain Student Involvement at the Illinois Wesleyan University Peace Garden 

During her time at IWU, Amanda interned with Sugar Grove Nature Center and the IWU Peace Garden. She spent a semester abroad in Australia where she interned with Cultivating Community, helping with a city-wide composting initiative and community gardens for people residing in public housing. Following graduation, Amanda served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, a country in West Africa. While there, she worked with women’s groups on nutrition initiatives and sustainable agricultural practices. Amanda earned her M.S. in Environmental Policy from Bard College where she conducted thesis research on anticipating climate trends, food security, and nutrition in southeastern Kenya. Currently, Amanda works as a Program Assistant for the Global Risk and Resilience Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. To Amanda, the IWU Environmental Studies Program will always be special because "it fostered an interdisciplinary foundation for learning that I still use in my professional career today."( Last updated 04/2019 )   Contact Amanda

Mack Rivkin

Year of Graduation: 2014
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)Mack 2014  
IWU Major 2: English-Writing
ES Senior Research:  Determining the Feasibility of Implementing an Effective Fungiculture Program with the Peace Garden at Illinois Wesleyan University 

While at IWU, Mack was a Sustainability Educator through the Office of Residential Life, implementing programs to educate students about environmental sustainability. Mack studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark with the DIS program, enrolling in the "Sustainability in Europe" core course. He had the opportunity to travel throughout various sites in Denmark, Sweden, and Germany to study sustainability-related movements first-hand. He returned from his travels to work as a gardener for the IWU Peace Garden, and continued his work through his senior year by conducting research to determine the feasibility of implementing a mushroom cultivation program on campus. Mack was also awarded Research Honors in English for his collection of ecological poetry and prose. Mack continues his work in sustainability through the local farm-to-fork restaurant, Epiphany Farms and also holds a position on the Ecology Action Center Outreach Committee. After gaining real-world experience, Mack hopes to teach English in Asia and volunteer with the Peace Corps through a Masters International program.  Contact Mack 

Joe Daniels

Year of Graduation: 2013
IWU Major:  Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)
IWU Minor:  Anthropology
ES Senior Research: The Feasibility of Eliminating Disposable Plastic Water Bottles at Illinois Wesleyan University

Joe Daniels

During his time at IWU, Joe studied abroad in New Zealand and also traveled to Costa Rica with a Tropical Ecology May term course, which helped him gain a better worldview of sustainability in other countries. 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 an environmental educator,and also worked summers at a canoe outfitter in the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. After graduation, Joe volunteered with the Peace Corps. He spent 27 months as an environmental educator in Nicaragua where he worked with teachers and co-planned natural science lessons on organic gardening, composting, tree nurseries, and other topics. Additionally, Joe worked on improving local oven and stove construction. Joe is currently an Environmental Protection sPecialist with the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs. While working for EPa he earned an Executive Masters of Natural Resources from Virginia Tech's Center for Leadership in Global Sustainaiblity. ( Last updated 04/2019 Contact Joe

Jennifer Long

Year of Graduation: 2013Jenny Long
IWU Major 1:  Environmental Studies (International Sustainability) 
IWU Major 2:  Sociology
ES Senior Research:  Obtaining Consumer Perceptions of External Costs of "Cheap" Food Products and Analyzing Quality Food Markets that Minimize External Costs in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois

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 wildlife 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. Jennifer has been Development Officer and Assistant Director of Development at DePaul University in Chicago; Development Director for the USO of Illinois and she is currently Associate Executive Director of Surge for Water, a nonprofit that invests in communities with safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) solutions and spreads awareness about the global water crisis. Furthermore, she has completed her MBA in Sustainable Management, Leadership & Change Management, Entrepreneurship and Finance. (Last updated 04/2019)   Contact Jenn. 

Danny Kenny

Year of Graduation: 2013Danny Kenny
IWU Major 1:  Environmental Studies (International Sustainability and Environmental Policy)
IWU Major 2: Hispanic Studies
ES Senior Research: Gardens to Save the Day: An Analysis of Community Food Gardening in Food Deserts

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.  He is also taking graduate classes at the University of Illinois-Springfield for the Master's of Environmental Studies, where he also serves as the Men's Assistant Soccer Coach.  Contact Danny  

Courtney Luensman Konop

Year of Graduation:  2012Courtney  
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)
IWU Minor: Biology
Senior Research:  Determining the Feasibility of Implementing a Beekeeping Cooperative in the Bloomington-Normal, Illinois Area

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. She was also a member of the Sierra Student Coalition and served as co-president. Since graduating, she has worked in environmental education in a variety of nature centers, camps, and environmental centers throughout the midwest, as well as environmental consulting in Minnesota. Currently, she is enjoying life in Colorado while she finishes her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus.(Last updated 04/2019 )    Contact Courtney

Hannah Williams

Year of Graduation: 2012
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)
IWU Minor: Anthropology
ES Senior Research:  Examining the Effects of Recycling Education on the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Elementary School Students Hannah Williams

Hannah 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, and the Ecology Action Center. Hannah interned as environmental interpreter for the National Park Service in a remote native village in Alaska and teaching environmental classes to the village's youth. Currently, Hannah is serving as a 2012 Teach For America corps (TFA) member, where she teaches fourth grade math and science to at-risk schools in South Carolina. She joined an organization called Keep Florence Beautiful, where she is assists in creating an environmental education curriculum for K-6 schools as well as working with watershed protection. 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

Emmy Grace

Emmy Grace Year of Graduation: 2011
IWU Major 1: Environmental Studies (International Sustainability)
IWU Major 2: Hispanic Studies
ES Senior Research:  Environmental Justice: Improving Inclusion of Minorities in Environmental Work in Bloomington-Normal, IL

While at IWU, Emmy worked as a Sustainability Educator and was a Resource Conservation intern with the Action Research Center. She was Co-President of the Sierra Student Coalition and was involved with GREENetwork. Her study abroad travels include May Terms in the UK and Costa Rica, and a semester in Ecuador. Emmy worked with the Ecology Action Center finding ways to serve the minority community on environmental issues. After graduation she 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 with a small environmental consulting company and research affiliate, Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities. She also worked with Amazon Watch, working on issues related to indigenous rights and environmental conservation. In 2015, Emmy finished a dual degree M.A. program with American University and the UN-affiliated University for Peace in Costa Rica in International Affairs and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. Currently, Emmy is the Director for Community Engagement at De la Gente, an organization based in Guatemala that works with coffee cooperatives and local artisans to increase economic opportunities.  Contact Emmy

Environmental Policy Concentration  

Brianna Bacigalupo

Year of Graduation: 2018Brianna B
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Policy) and Political Science

While at IWU, Brianna was part of the ES Senior class which set guidelines for the first greenhouse gas emissions inventory on IWU's campus. In her time at IWU, she interned with the Illinois Environmental Council in Springfield, IL and served as Editor of Res Publica, an undergraduate journal for the Political Science department. Brianna also worked as a Political Science lab assistant and was a member of Kappa Delta sorority. She is currently interning with the Illinois House of Representatives in Springfield, IL as part of the Illinois Legislative Staff Internship Program through the University of Illinois at Springfield. Brianna has a wide range of responsibilities, including staffing the House Agriculture & Conservation committee and analyzing various environmental bills. In the fall of 2019, she will pursue a Master's Degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Local Government Management at Northern Illinois University. Brianna ultimately wants to pursue a career in local government involving urban sustainability concepts and the built environment. (Last updated 04/2019)    Contact Brianna

Cameron McKee

Year of Graduation: 2017
IWU Majors:    Psychology and Environmental Studies (Policy)  
IWU Minor:  Human Services Management  
ES Senior Research:   Are You Close to Caring? An Analysis of PrBecky Fiedlero-Environmental Behavior and Concern on Proximity to Environmental Degradation

During her time at IWU, Cameron was well-involved as member of the Sierra Student Coalition, captain of the IWU Dance Team, choreographer and member of IWU’s Cohesion Dance Company, co-founder and vice president of the IWU chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), secretary for the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, fundraising chair for the APO service fraternity, a Sustainability Educator, and a student research assistant for the IWU Dog Scientists. She was also a student research assistant under Dr. Linda Kunce studying the effects of Environmental Awe. Off campus, Cameron was a Policy Intern  at the Illinois Environmental Council, and she participated in both the Tropical Ecology (Costa Rica) May Term and the Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece (Greece) May Term. She also conducted independent research on the dichotomy in emotion and behavioral responses between shopping and wildlife environments, based on the Nature vs. Consumer Theory. Since graduating, Cameron had conducted research on employee reactions to electromagnetic glass windows in an office setting as well as on comfort, behavioral, and performance differences in active vs. static seating. She has traveled to China as part of a class to work with student at Zhejiang University in developing a design strategy for their campus. She earned her Master of Science at Cornell University in Human Environmental Relations with a concentration in Environmental Psychology and a minor in Information Science. Currently she works as a Strategy and Change Analysis focusing on living-centered design processes with Blue Cottage of Cannon Design in Chicago IL. ( Last updated 10/2020)   Contact Cameron.

Kirsten Slaughter

Year of Graduation: 2016Kirsten Slaughter
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Policy)
IWU Minor: Political Science

While at IWU, Kirsten was President of the Illinois Wesleyan College Democrats, Co-President of the Sierra Student Coalition, a student worker for IWU’s Environmental Studies Program, and a member of IWU’s Swim Team. Kirsten studied abroad in the Philippines where she interned at Gawad Kalinga through the IWU Freeman Asia Internship Program Grant. She also interned with the Wisconsin Farmers Union in the summer of 2014.  Kirsten is now currently working for the Wisconsin Farmers Union as a Membership and Education Organizer where she does youth cooperative education, produce food safety education and works with WFU chapters.( Last updated 03/2019 )  Contact Kirsten

Kira Miller

Year of Graduation: 2016kira  
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Policy)
IWU Minor: Anthropology

While at IWU, Kira was active with Alpha Phi Omega and participated in a diversity of groups on campus. She was the president of the Anthropology club, and was the 2016 IWU Peace Fellow. After graduating she lead trails projects and other conservation efforts in Vermont and Utah for their Youth Conservation Corps programs. Currently, Kira is a wildland firefighter for the US Forest service in their apprenticeship program. She works on a type 3 engine on the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara California, and has worked on the Inyo NF in the past. (Last updated 04/2019)  Contact Kira

Tatum DeMay Tatum Demay

Year of Graduation: 2015 
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Environmental Policy)
IWU Minor: Chemistry 
ES Senior Research: Investigating Water Usage and Drought Management at Illinois Wesleyan University 

Tatum is currently working towards an M.A. in Environmental Planning and Management at the University of Illinois in Springfield. She is also a Graduate Public Service Intern at the IEPA, working in the Drinking Water Compliance Assurance Section of the Bureau of Water. During her time at IWU, Tatum was a co-president of SSC. In the summer of 2013, Tatum worked on water chemistry research at Central Michigan University's Biological Station. She spent her summer of 2014 at the University of Nevada, Reno, working in an environmental engineering lab.  Contact Tatum

Kylie Wagner

Year of Graduation: 2014Kylie Wagner  
IWU Majors: Environmental Studies (Policy) and Music 

Kyli Wagner is a non-profit digital strategist who works with to help people all over the country take action to protect their communities and environment. She currently works as Advocacy & Fundraising Coordinator at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) specializing on work with Moms Clean Air Force, giving parents the tools they need to advocate for their children, and Defend Our Future, activating millennials and college students to join the fight for climate solutions. Before joining EDF, Kyli started her career as an organizer on Wendy Davis's 2014 campaign for governor of Texas. From there, she moved into the digital advocacy sphere at Greenpeace USA managing Greenpeace's distributed organizing platform. She believes that all people have something to contribute to social movements and when we all work together, we can truly change the world.     Kyli holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Music from Illinois Wesleyan University. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her  fiancé , Lucas, and their two cats, Salem and Vinsky. (Last updated 04/2019)

Danny Kenny

Year of Graduation: 2013Danny Kenny
IWU Major 1:  Environmental Studies (International Sustainability and Environmental Policy)
IWU Major 2: Hispanic Studies
ES Senior Research: Gardens to Save the Day: An Analysis of Community Food Gardening in Food Deserts

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.  He is also taking graduate classes at the University of Illinois-Springfield for the Master's of Environmental Studies, where he also serves as the Men's Assistant Soccer Coach.  Contact Danny  

Liz Kuehn Wimmer

Year of Graduation: 2013
IWU Major:  Environmental Studies (Environmental Policy)Liz Kuehn
ES Senior Research: Determining the Feasibility of Universal Access to Bus Transportation for Illinois Wesleyan University Students 

While at IWU, Liz was a Sustainability Educator and Co-President of the Sierra Student Coalition. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Australia with SIT in a program called “Sustainability and Environmental Action,” where she researched co-housing and its potential as a sustainable way of living and developing. Liz has interned at the Sugar Grove Nature Center,the Ecology Action Center, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Currently, Liz is a program manager for the Ilinois Green Alliance, formerly the US Green Building Council, where she is  managing volunteer and grant programs. In this position, she has been working on engaging all of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods in implementing carbon drawdown strategies. Contact Liz

Anna Groves Funkanna_groves_alumni

Year of Graduation: 2011
IWU Major:  Environmental Studies (Ecology and Policy Concentrations)
ES Senior Research:    Bringing the Endangered Barn Owl Back to McLean County, Illinois: Implementing a Local Nest Box Program 

At IWU, Anna worked as a sustainability educator, sang in the university choir, published a research paper with Dr. Harper, and founded a pep club/student section called Titan Thunder that sadly didn't live on after the founding members graduated. She was awarded Outstanding Senior in Environmental Studies in 2011. She worked summers as an ecological field assistant in Illinois and Nevada, and then went to graduate school for plant biology at Michigan State. After finishing her Ph.D. research on prairie restoration ecology, Anna spent a summer writing for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on a AAAS Mass Media Fellowship, which sends scientists to write for various media outlets, before starting full time as an editor at Discover Magazine.(Last updated 10/2020 )    Contact Anna .  Visit Anna's Website

Ryan Smith

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

While at IWU, Ryan co-founded IWU's Sierra Student Coalition and interned with the Illinois EPA in Springfield and Greenpeace USA in Washington, DC. He received the IWU Student Ryan Smith running on a trailLeadership 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. Ryan spent nearly 10 years as an administrator for Explore Schools of Brooklyn, a charter school network in under-served neighborhoods in central Brooklyn. Now living in Denver, Ryan leads Talent and Operations for Community Resource Center, a capacity-building nonprofit serving community organizations across Colorado. He also serves on the board of Doodles Academy, an arts education non-profit. Although Ryan is not directly working in the environment field, he is grateful for his time in IWU's ES program: "As an ES student, I learned to think critically about how our actions, both personal and political, shape the world around us, for better and worse. My professors and fellow students opened my eyes to the systems and power dynamics that perpetuate injustice, and they inspired me to work on behalf of disenfranchised communities." (Updated 11/26/2019) Contact Ryan

Danny Burke

Year of Graduation: 2009
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Policy)
IWU Major 2: Hispanic Studies
ES Senior Research:  Growing Food Justice In West Bloomington, Illinois

Danny-Burke-2014-imageDanny was a recipient of 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 his 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 to Chicago, he worked as SNAP policy coordinator for the Illinois Hunger Coalition. Continuing to focus on food justice, Danny served 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. For a short time, he worked 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. Afterworking at the Experimental Station, he worked for The Humane Society of the United States Pets for Life program as Senior Program Manager. Pets for Life promotes the understanding that a lack of financial means does not equate to a lack of love felt for and provided to a pet and works to spread a greater awareness of how systemic and institutional bias impacts millions of people and their pets. Currently, he lives in Philadelphia and works for Students Run Philly Style as their Director of Development.  He has many passions on this planet, the most important among them being: raspberries, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Cubs, running, and his sweetheart pitbull Medgar.( Last updated 03/2019 ) Contact Danny.

Ecology Concentration  

Nicole Chlebek

Year of Graduation: 2016Nicki Chlebek  
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Ecology) and Sociology

At IWU, Nicki was Co-President of the Sierra Student Coalition, the Sustainability Head and Financial Advisory Board member on Student Senate, Co-Chair of GREENetwork committee, and a Multifaith Ambassador. Nicki also interned at Sugar Grove Nature Center and studied abroad through SIT Tanzania where she researched human-wildlife conflict and mapped an elephant corridor. She also studied abroad in Costa Rica for the Tropical Ecology May Term Research Class and interned in the Philippines during the summer at the International Rice Research Institute working in a molecular biology lab. Nicki is currently working on campus as an IWU Admissions Counselor. When asked about her experience at IWU, Nicki says, “Overall, I have taken the most I can out of IWU, and this institution has given me everything in return.”  Contact Nicki  

Carolyn Ashley

Year of Graduation: 2014Carolyn Ashley  
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Ecology) 
IWU Minor: Biology
ES Senior Research: Assessing Local Food Resources and Strengthening the Regional Food System in McLean County, Illinois

While at IWU, Carolyn was the Peace Garden Manager, where she helped to develop an educational program for a nearby preschool and participated weekly in the Uptown Normal Trailside Market with Peace Garden produce. With her interests in locally grown foods, Carolyn created a Senior Seminar project based on this topic. Carolyn was active with other groups on campus as well, including the Peace Garden RSO, the Sierra Student Coalition, and the VVV (Vegetarians & Vegans, Victorious). Currently, Carolyn is working in the Chicago area as a Field Ecologist with V3 Companies. Her position focuses on ecological restoration in wetlands and prairies as well as tree and plant installation for county parks and forest preserves. Contact Carolyn  

Jeff GolladayJeff

Year of Graduation: 2014
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Ecology)
ES Senior Research:      Examining Bird and Mammal Use of Constructed Wetlands in Central Illinois

On campus, Jeff was a manager at the Coffee Shoppe in the dugout. During the fall semester of his senior year he worked as a Renewable Energy Intern at Heartland Community College’s Green Initiative, which focused on informing the public about the feasibility of residential solar energy. After graduating from IWU, he worked as a Field Ecologist for 2.5 years in the Chicago area for Tallgrass Restoration, focusing on wetland and prairie restoration. In 2015, Jeff volunteered with AmeriCorps for 3 months to do trail maintenance on the Pacific Crest Trail in California. Afterwards, he went to Northern Illinois University to pursue his M.S. in Biology. There, his research focused on how climate change, namely ocean acidification, affects the physiology of corals. He graduated from NIU in 2018 and published his thesis: Bicarbonate enrichment may mitigate oxidative stress in two octocorals and their photosynthetic symbionts. He also co-authored a paper with his advisor that was published in the journal BioEssays: Why do corals bleach? Conflict mediation in a host/symbiont community. He currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina where he works as an environmental scientist for Alpha Environmental. (Last updated 04/2019)  Contact Jeff

Jinny Alexander

Year of Graduation: 2014
IWU Major: Environmental Studies (Ecology)
Jinny-Alexander IWU Minor 1: Biology
IWU Minor 2: German
ES Senior Research:  Assessing the Biodiversity and Susceptibility of Trees in Maxwell Park to Future Invasive Tree Pest Outbreaks

On campus, Jinny served as Treasurer for the Sierra Student Coalition. She studied abroad in Freiburg, Germany with the IES Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program, and also partnered with the Normal Parks and Recreation Department to research the susceptibility of trees in Maxwell Park to future invasive tree pest outbreaks. Since graduation, Jinny has worked as a botany technician in the Ozarks, a forest ecology intern in Minnesota, an environmental technician in Utah, a conservation and land management intern for the Chicago Botanic Gardens, a seed collector for the University of Minnesota- Duluth, a natural resources biological science technician for the US Forest Service, and a research assistant for the Nature Conservancy. In 2018, Jinny received a MS in Ecology from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Her research project investigated the long-term effects of invasive earthworms on understory plant community composition in sugar maple basswood forests. Currently, Jinny is working as a Monitoring Botanist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.(Last updated 04/2019 )   Contact Jinny  

Ellen Cornelius

Ellen-cornelius

Year of Graduation: 2014
Major: Environmental Studies (Ecology)

ES Senior Research:  Assessing the Indoor Tanning Behaviors and Risk of Skin Cancer Among Illinois Wesleyan University

At IWU, Ellen was an active member of the Student Sierra Coalition. During her senior year, she presented her senior seminar project on indoor tanning and the risk of skin cancer of IWU students at the John Wesley Powell research conference. Ellen has interned for the Ecology Action Center, the Illinois Environmental Council, and the Illinois EPA. She also studied abroad at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. After graduation, Ellen was the Environmental Program Coordinator at the American Lung Association in Springfield, IL. Currently, she works for the National Environmental Health Association in Denver, CO as the  Project Coordinator  in the Research & Development department. In addition to writing grants and managing projects, Ellen organizes foodborne outbreak response workshops and manages a summer internship program.  Contact Ellen 

 

Anna Groves Funkanna_groves_alumni

Year of Graduation: 2011
IWU Major:  Environmental Studies (Ecology and Policy Concentrations)
ES Senior Research:    Bringing the Endangered Barn Owl Back to McLean County, Illinois: Implementing a Local Nest Box Program 

At IWU, Anna worked as a sustainability educator, sang in the university choir, published a research paper with Dr. Harper, and founded a pep club/student section called Titan Thunder that sadly didn't live on after the founding members graduated. She was awarded Outstanding Senior in Environmental Studies in 2011. She worked summers as an ecological field assistant in Illinois and Nevada, and then went to graduate school for plant biology at Michigan State. After finishing her Ph.D. research on prairie restoration ecology, Anna spent a summer writing for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on a AAAS Mass Media Fellowship, which sends scientists to write for various media outlets, before starting full time as an editor at Discover Magazine.(Last updated 04/2019 )    Contact Anna .  Visit Anna's Website

Anthony Gunnell

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

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 Costa Rica, Idaho, Tanzania, Illinois, Kansas, Alaska, and Oregon. Anthony has 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. Anthony currently works as the Land Manager for the Teton Regional Land Trust in Driggs, Idaho a company that has protected over 33,000 acres of land since 1990. His dream job is to become an executive director of a conservation non-profit where he can work at a landscape level protecting some of the richest ecological sites remaining ht the county. In order to get to this position, he plans on enrolling in a dual degree Master's Program in of non-profit management and environmental science.  Contact Anthony 

Amanda SollidayAmanda Solliday

Year of Graduation: 2006
IWU Major 1: Environmental Studies (Ecology) 
IWU Major 2: Biology

Amanda Solliday graduated in 2006 with a double major in Environmental Studies and Biology. She received a Master's degree at Cornell University in the Crop and Soil Sciences program, with a focus on International Agriculture and Rural Development. Amanda studied international agriculture in Mexico as part of the program. In the fall of 2008, she started a job at EPA Headquarters (Office of Pesticide Programs) in Washington, DC. Amanda now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is the director of communications for the Office of Global Affairs at Duke University. While at the EPA, she became interested in science communication and outreach, and went back to school to earned a master’s of journalism from Indiana University. She has worked as a communicator at two national labs and as a public radio journalist. Amanda was one of the founding reporters for the Arizona Science Desk, a collaboration among the National Public Radio affiliates in Arizona. (Last updated 04/2019)      Contact Amanda