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Fall 2021

Environmental Career Chats are informal networking opportunities for U-M students to connect with environmental professionals about their career journeys. During these hour-long sessions, PitE alumni share about their experiences working in various environmental fields and answer questions submitted by students. 

If you would like to receive the recordings from these past Environmental Career Chats, please contact Ari at



Environmental Career Chat with Carolyn Hwang (Sustainability in Business)

Monday, Sept. 27th, 3-4 pm

Carolyn is a Program in the Environment alum (’05) who wrote her thesis on local perceptions of a marine reserve in Belize. In the Peace Corps, she worked with community leaders in Peru on environmental and public health awareness programs. Later, she joined Root Capital, a social impact investor that finances small sustainable businesses in Latin America and Africa. There, she helped the organization grow strategically in her capacity as human resources manager. She returned to the University of Michigan to get her MBA and currently works in marketing with Medtronic, a medical device company, where she launches diabetes technologies around the world. Originally an East Coaster, she currently lives in Los Angeles with two spoiled rescue cats.



Environmental Career Chat with Kaitie Benedek (Conservation Science & Management)

Wednesday, Oct. 27th, 4-5 pm

Kaitie graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a degree in Program in the Environment, specialization in Restoration Ecology, and minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Post graduation, she spent a summer in Wyoming working for the Bureau of Land Management, and then a year in Texas with the Army Corps of Engineers before moving to Oregon for her current job as a Forestry Technician with the Bureau of Land Management. She is passionate about restoration, environmental justice, and advocacy and spends her free time hiking in the Cascades and talking to people about trees.



Environmental Career Chat with Shaquan Smith (Environmental and Urban Planning & Community Engagement)

Wednesday, Nov. 17th, 4-5 pm

Raised in Flint, Michigan, Shaquan is a PitE alum who specialized in Urban Planning and Sustainable City Design. After graduating, Shaquan joined the AmeriCorps and worked for the non-profit EcoWorks. Through his position, Shaquan helped to coordinate a program that engaged and created sustainable neighborhoods in BIPOC communities of Detroit, focused on climate protection, equity, and resilience. Shaquan now lives in Seattle and works for the City managing a participatory budgeting program that allows communities the opportunity to develop park and street improvements for their neighborhood. Shaquan continues to use his platform in his environmental work to address the lack of BIPOC representation and the connection between equity and sustainability.



Environmental Career Chat with Michelle DiMuzio (Food Systems & Sustainability Consulting)

Monday, Dec. 6th, 4-5 pm

Michelle DiMuzio is a 2015 alumna of PitE, with a minor in Urban Studies. She is currently finishing her Masters in Sustainability at Harvard University, with certificates in Sustainable Food Systems and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In addition to graduate studies, she is a Communications Coordinator for Slow Food USA and a Sustainability Consultant for Pilot Project Brewing, in Chicago, IL, where she is currently based. For the next year, she will be continuing these roles, before pursuing a Masters in Gastronomy at the University of Gastronomic com Sciences in Bra, Italy in 2023.