Students and Sustainability Profile Series

Undergraduate and graduate students are involved in sustainability scholarship and a variety of volunteer activities. This series was written by Rebecca Lerner, an undergraduate student, and the individual profiles serve as examples for others interested in volunteer opportunities, as well as sustainability courses and academic programs.

 

Bobby Brewer

Bobby Brewer
An undergraduate student in the Program in the Environment (PitE)

“Bobby Brewer knows some people see capitalism and sustainability as incompatible. But as the education programs assistant at Graham Sustainability Institute majoring in Program in the Environment (PitE) with a minor in business, Brewer sees the potential for the incorporation of sustainable practices in the corporate world."

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Benjamin Jeong

Benjamin Jeong
A Dow Fellow and Master's Student in Energy Systems Engineering

“As an undergrad, you’re just trying to get your degree and you don’t really know what you’re doing. And then, you go out and you realize what you want,” says Benjamin Jeong. “I feel like that’s what grad school has been."

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Kevin Fries

Kevin Fries
A Dow Fellow and PhD Candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering

“Water is very much a sustainability issue,” says Kevin Fries, a Ph.D. Candidate in Infrastructure Systems in Civil and Environmental Engineering. “When we have enough of it, we use too much of it. When we don't have it, we still use too much of it. Sustainably managing our water will have massive ripple effects throughout our society.”

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Grace Rodriguez

Grace Rodriguez
A Dow Fellow and Dual Degree Graduate Student in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Systems

Grace Rodriguez has gone down a few different paths, but she’s always been focused on environmental science and sustainability. She graduated from Michigan State University (MSU) with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Animal Biology, focusing on ecology and environmental science.

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Katie Proudman

Katie Proudman
A Dow Fellow and Graduate Student at the School of Social Work

Katie Proudman has always felt a strong connection to nature — it was embedded in her childhood.

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Ivan Jayawan

Ivan Jayawan
PhD Candidate for Environmental Engineering

“Water has been my focus since I was an undergrad,” said Ivan Jayawan. “The way water is being managed right now, not only in Michigan but all over the world, it’s not sustainable.”

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Gregory Cogut

Gregory Cogut
A junior in the Program in the Environment (PitE)

“I’ve come to the realization that we can’t just snap our fingers and make everything sustainable. It’s a slow process,” says Gregory Cogut, a junior in the Program in the Environment (PitE) with a focus on sustainable development and minors in business and environmental geology.

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Sarah Swanz

Sarah Swanz
Graduate student at the School of Information and a Dow Fellow

Swanz is interested in cultural heritage protection. She plans to use digital tools to impact the preservation of history.  “Coming back to school is a second career for me,” said Sarah Swanz, a student in the School of Information and a Dow Sustainability Fellow. “I was a lawyer in D.C. first, and have not done anything in the environment space before this.”

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Stephanie Dooper

Stephanie Dooper
Graduate student pursuing an M.A. in Higher Education and a Dow Fellow

“For me, sustainability is a lifestyle,” said Stephanie Dooper, a graduate student pursuing an M.A. in Higher Education and a Dow Fellow. “Especially as I pursue my degree in education, I am very aware of the way our campus structures are designed to reflect our priorities.”

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Arman Golrokhian

Arman Golrokhian
Third-year dual degree graduate student, School for Environment and Sustainability and the Ford School of Public Policy.

“The abstract of my experience is to find the optimal level that you can have an impact,” said Arman Golrokhian, a third-year dual degree graduate student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ford School of Public Policy. “At the city level, that’s what I found to be the scale for me. When I work for a city, I can see my contributions."

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Lello Guluma

Lello Guluma
LS&A Senior double majoring in Program in the Environment (PitE) and International Studies.

“I really don’t like doing easy things. I like challenging myself,” Guluma, who plans to go to graduate school to study global health, has an eclectic and wide range of interests. Besides her scholastic endeavors as a double major, she is a Diversity Peer Educator for the University of Michigan Housing and a Graham Sustainability Scholar.

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Lauren Beriont

Lauren Beriont
Graduate Student, School of Social Work

“Right now, I’m really thinking about social justice theories and how they apply to environmental problems. So I’m working on strengthening that social justice lens, and keeping in mind my environmental experience.”

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Neil Lewis

Neil Lewis
LS&A Senior double majoring in Program in the Environment (PitE) and International Studies.

“My passion for the environment/sustainability is really a basic passion for survival,” said Neil Lewis Jr., a Ph.D. candidate in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan, “ [I want] to see the planet, and organisms on it, continue to exist and thrive.

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Clare Kucera
Undergraduate, Program in the Environment (PitE)

“PitE lays the foundation for being able to not only understand the multi-faceted dimensions of the environment, but the major can also be shaped uniquely to my interests through its specialization.”

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Erin Barton

Erin Barton
Graduate Student, School for the Environment and Sustainability

“Fieldwork has always been something I am fond of. I have also always wanted to take a soils class because soil is such an essential part of ecosystems. Not understanding something about the soil makes it a lot harder to understand what’s going on in the system.”

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Jayson Toweh

Jayson Toweh
Undergraduate senior, majoring in the Program in the Environment (PitE) with minors in Energy Science and Policy and Science, Technology and Society.

“I’ve always been interested in science. As I became older, I became interested and invested in humanitarian and service work.” Toweh came to college knowing he wanted to work to improve the lives of others. And over the last four years, he’s devoted himself wholeheartedly to environmentalism and service.

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