What was your internship in MIW?

Clean Water Advocate at Environment America

What attracted you to MIW?

The first thing that attracted me to MIW was the experience of having an internship in our nation's capital. As a political science student, there is no better place to immerse oneself in policy creation and implementation. The second (and probably most important) thing was the alumni I got to meet and be mentored by. The vast contingency of Michigan alumni in D.C. allowed me to connect with fellow Wolverines to facilitate lasting relationships at the start of my career.

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after graduation? Where do you live? 

After graduating, I earned a Master's of Science in Environmental Policy and Water Resource Management from the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS). In 2022, I started my first job as a Water Quality and Infrastructure Program Specialist with the Great Lakes Commission in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I currently live in Ypsilanti with my partner and our two cats.

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since MIW?

My greatest accomplishment since MIW is having two of my research studies published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. The first manuscript was a synthesis of my SEAS Master's project that created implementation plans for public advisory councils to the Great Lakes Areas of Concern program. The second detailed a study that I led to find potential drivers behind municipal water use trends in Great Lakes cities. The MIW's research seminar certainly prepared me to write both of these manuscripts!

Was there a class and/or experience in MIW that led you to pursue your current career?

One experience from MIW that led me to pursue my current career was meeting with congressional staff during office visits with Environment America. My internship provided me the opportunity to take a closer look into the policy making process; now, a central part of my work with the Great Lakes Commission is to recommend policies and practices to protect and conserve the water resources of the Great Lakes.

What three words would you use to describe your experience in MIW?

Insightful, challenging, and fulfilling

How has MIW benefitted you in your post-Michigan life?

One of the most important skills needed to work in a binational public agency representing eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces is developing and maintaining partnerships. MIW has led me to pursue meaningful connections in my professional life. This program taught me the importance of not only networking, but nurturing the relationships developed to ensure fruitful working partnerships that benefit all parties involved. 

What advice do you have for our current and future MIW students?

Take every opportunity that comes your way to meet someone new or attend interesting events. Growing your network and learning from various speakers will make you a more thoughtful and well-rounded individual. There is a treasure trove of resources at your disposal as a University of Michigan and MIW student; take advantage of them!

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