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Featured Alumni/ae

Featured Alumni/ae
Bard Environmental and Urban Studies students have followed intellectual and career paths that lead them across street, the country, and the globe. Leaving Bard with an interdispiclinary liberal arts education, advanced, focused disciplinary concentrations, and a completed year-long senior project, Bard EUS alumni enter the job market with unique advantages. 

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Tom O'Dowd
Program Administrator

todowd@bard.edu

Environmental and Urban Studies Program
Bard College
PO Box 5000
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504

Grace Diliberto

2015, Focus Area: Community Development

Grace Diliberto
Grace is attracted to the interdisciplinary nature of the EUS program and therefore takes a wide variety of classes related to the major “to see how they all connect back to each other, even if on the surface they seem to be in such entirely different realms.” Her focus, however, is in urban studies because of an interest fostered by her upbringing in Philadelphia’s diverse and continually transforming urban landscape. After taking EUS classes at Bard, Grace has become interested primarily in sustainable community development and urban agriculture. She says she was attracted to the program because she, “wanted to learn how and why things in America's cities came to be the way they are (and contrast this with the development of cities around the world), how cities are transforming in the modern landscape, and how urbanism and environmentalism are not opposing forces, but are complementary.” Grace’s favorite classes at Bard so far have been American Urban History with Professor of History, Myra Armstead and Architecture since 1945 with Art History Professor Noah Chasin. Both these classes gave her a sense of the formation of American and international cities and architecture within the context of societal, cultural, and environmental changes. Outside of class, Grace has worked with the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, which is a non profit organization that revitalizes the social and economic situations of Philadelphia neighborhoods. This non profit work further informed Grace’s sense of the interdisciplinary nature of the knowledge required for sustainable urban development. Grace is also co-head of Bard’s Environmental Collective: “It's kind of a more free form club where people interested in environmental issues can meet, talk, and plan activities, workshops, and speakers. My goal for the club is basically for it to serve as a really collaborative platform for people who are passionate on various levels and issues concerning the future of our environment and sustainability. We also do fun stuff like lead apple sauce and pumpkin butter making workshops!” Grace also works for an EUS partner, Bard’s Office of Sustainability. 

Jackson Rollings

2015, Focus Area: Urban Studies

Jackson Rollings
Coming into Bard, senior Jackson Rollings knew he wanted to take classes in anthropology, history and ecology. His adviser Susan Rogers recommended EUS as an alternative to double-majoring in urban studies and written arts. Having wrapped up his senior project that incorporates both disciplines, he intends to move to Louisiana to seek out a "job related to coastal restoration or water infrastructure in New Orleans."

Maia Gokhale

2015, Focus Area: Anthropology

Maia Gokhale
While at Bard, Maia Gokhale sought to understand the preventative measures with which devloping countries are sustaining their resources in the face of overpopulation and climate change. " I love to study EUS," says Maia, "because it provides a field where I can explore all of my curiosities surrounding the environment, from the functions of environmental processes to how these functions affect the people who experience them." Additionally, Maia is dedicated to environmental education, especially of younger generations. She hopes to foster and encourage in her students a healthy curiosity and thoughtfulness about the world around them. During the summer Maia worked as Environmental Education Instructor at the Maria Mitchell Association, an aquarium and natural history museum in Nantucket, MA. There, she enjoyed designing curriculum and lesson plans about marine biology and the biodiversity of ocean ecosystems. 

Marina Soucy

2015, Focus Area: Urban Studies

Marina Soucy
Marina Soucy arrived at Bard convinced that she wanted to be an anthropology major, but quickly changed her mind freshman year when she took a class called, "China's Environment From A Historical Perspective", which further incited her passion in EUS classes. Given the fact that she is interested in a wide range of passions, EUS particularly interests her due to its interdisciplinary nature. She says, "more so, [EUS] is incredibly important. EUS on a global scale, looking past the Bard Bubble, needs people from all walks of life and skill sets to solve and trouble shoot the main environmental concerns facing our world. Upon graduating in May, Soucy intends to start her masters program through Bard in teaching, the MAT, in the history department. "I hope to continue on and work in Environmental Education, focusing on native american studies and primitive skills, especially if I stay in the Hudson Valley".

Elizabeth Winig

2015, Focus Area: Environment & Health

Elizabeth Winig
Senior Elizabeth Winig, who cultivated a passion for the Environment at a very young age by spending time outdoors, learning about new plants and bugs in order to understand what life- is now in her final year as an Environmental and Urban Studies major. Having taken an environmental history and science class which solidifed her interest in EUS, she wants to support the environment that sustians her. She says, "The natural world is wonderful to study alone, but the total human population keeps rising to 8 billion and the Earth isn’t growing in size. It seems very appropriate that the study of humans and their effect on the physical world should be it’s own major." Further, her senior project is on the water quality of tide pools, puddles, and the Hudson River and the bacterial life within them. Given her upcoming graduation, she looks forward to working as a park ranger in a national park, or perhaps as a DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) officer. Further, she is also considering grad school in New York for science, and maybe work as a research lab assistant.

Natalie Cuomo

2015, Focus Area: Economics

Natalie Cuomo
Natalie Cuomo, originally from Queens, NY,  is completing her senior year at Bard. Though she is focusing on environmental economics, she says she is also interested in environmental ethics and technology. Natalie first became interested in Environmental and Urban Studies when she took an introductory class with economics professor and department chair Kris Feder, who exposed her to tied social, political, and ecological issues she had previously been unaware of. Since then, Natalie’s favorite EUS class at Bard has been Environmental Ethics with philosophy professor, Daniel Berthold. “I learned about various inspirational and corrupt environmental movements. I now feel more historically grounded when discussing environmental issues.” Outside of class, Natalie has spent a summer working on a farm that inspired her to explore a variety of agricultural practices and assess their effects on the environment. During the school year, Natalie works on the Bard Farm to produce fresh, local food for campus dining services, ensuring the students’ access to food produced by sustainable practices. Additionally, Natalie worked for Hudsonia, a non profit organization located on campus that is dedicated to the conservation of the Hudson valley and neighboring regions. There, she helped out by cataloguing specimens and conducting research. She plans on moderating into the EUS program this year.

Tom Danz

2015, Focus Area: Social Sciences

Tom Danz
Tom is currently completing his senior year at Bard College.  He is primarily interested in the social sciences, and says that his work at Bard thus far has been focused on the various ways humanity can sustain itself through what he calls "responsible stewardship practices" in farming, fishing, and hunting.  He is currently enrolled in classes that explore environmental science, history, ethics, and architecture. Though he was originally interested in practicing law, Tom came to Bard in order to continue exploring the ways in which humans structure their developments in relation to the environment. "What I like most about Bard's EUS program," he says. "Is its flexibility. EUS, as an interdisciplinary major, fits perfectly with Bard's moderation system and my hope, when I moderate, is that this system will help me to identify and define my particular areas of interest as well direct me towards the classes that will help me reach my goals. I love that the EUS program accommodates such a wide range of interests and this diversity, reflected in class discussions, has broadened my overall perspective."Tom has been both a student and teacher of wilderness education, studying Native American traditions and practices. This education involved fire making, shelter building, and food hunting or gathering. More recently, Tom has taken initiative to get involved with local food production. He spent last summer working at Taft Farms, a 200 acre IPM farm in Great Barrington, MA, where he learned about farming techniques, agricultural marketing, and was exposed to the intricacies of the American industrial food system. This has led him to his interest in faming practices and philosophies. Tom is also the proud founder and owner of a small portabello and button mushroom growing operation that he started in order to learn about mushroom cultivation and to "experience first-hand the way small growers fit into our food system." 

Ginny Hanusik

2014, Focus Area: Architecture & Urban Studies

Ginny Hanusik
Ginny Hanusik is a native of the Hudson Valley Region. After transferring to Bard at the beginning of her sophomore year, Ginny decided to pursue the interests she had developed while working with Clearwater (starting in 2009) by taking classes in EUS. Her interest in enivronmental and urban issues lead her to become a volunteer with the New Orleans Project, a TLS project at Bard. As part of her involvement in the project, she traveled to New Orleans and worked for the Broadmoor Development Corporation as an intern responsible for surveying properties in a neighborhood that suffered damage under Katrina. According to Ginny, her experience in New Orleans "resulted in a life-changing experience that confirmed my course of study at school and ultimately my desired career path ... This was my first exposure to the world of urban planning, community development, and architecture." Since then, Ginny has become the program director for the New Orleans Exchange Program, worked at various non-profits such as Hudson River Housing, and participated in environmental conservation projects like the Fallkill Creek Planning Project. Ginny's senior project combined her interests in photography, the natural environment, and urban studies: "Through classes at Bard I developed an interest in photography and am interested in exploring the relationships between land, the built environment, and identity. This work has awarded me the opportunity to explore my senior project in an artistic way as I traveled throughout the South this past January with the help of the Andrew Mellon Foundation." She most recently won the Geoffrey H. Bruce Fellowship at Arcosanti to continue working on her photographic projects. You can check out some of her work here:  http://www.virginiahanusik.com/. Most recently, Ginny became the Programs and Outreach Coordinator at Propeller, a non-profit that assists environmental and social projects get off the ground in New Orleans. Here is a link to their website: http://gopropeller.org/.

 

Inés Chapela

2014, Focus Area: Anthropology

Inés Chapela
Inés comes to Bard from Berkely, CA. She first became interested in EUS after taking an introductory course in geography her freshman year. The class exposed her to the methods used to study the way in which human populations move through and interact with manmade and natural spaces. She began to think more seriously about humanity's relationship to the environment. Another favorite courses of Inés's was called "Raised By Wolves" which explored animal symbolism. As a result she is currently writing her senior project on cultural representations of animals and human-animal interactions. Extracurricularly, Inés has had a four year internship at The Greenhorns, a grassroots non-profit based out of the Hudson Valley which promotes and supports young farmers. "It's really exciting work," she says, "to be coordinating events and working with very sparkly, curious people!" Continuing to talk about her senior project work she says, "I'm super excited about animals. What they eat, where they sleep, what they look like, etc. I think animals are fascinating and the question of human animal interactions and relationships is vital particularly today when we are really pushing the Earth and its resources to such a brutal extent."

Logan Hollarsmith

2014, Focus Area: Anthropology

Logan Hollarsmith
Logan is completing his senior year at Bard College. His major interests lie in the social sciences, history, anthropology, and urban theory. This year, he has elected to take courses that explore the ecological history of the earth, the cultural politics of animals and the history of capitalism. Though the courses vary greatly in subject matter and method of study, Logan says, they are all related under "the broad umbrella" of Environmental and Urban Studies. And that's what he loves about the major: Because the EUS program is interdisciplinary, majors have the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects that all gear towards understanding human and environmental ecology. "What systems brought us to this place and what does it mean to be an environmentalist today? An environmentalist ought to understand the complexity of the earth's systems and how they interact: communications, histories, anthropological cultures. I look at every course I take through the lens of EUS. In a way, everyone is an environmentalist. [Environmentalism,] it's a practice of love."

Logan runs the Bard Bike Co-Op, a service that uses parts from discarded or used bikes to build and fashion new bikes. Logan believes it provides students with a place to build some practical skills and do some hands on work outside of their more academic, writing and reading intensive classes. The co-op also encourages students to use their bikes as their main form of transport on and off campus. Recently, Logan delivered relief items to victims of hurricane Sandy on his bike. Last summer, he rode his bike across the country from Bard's campus to his native town of San Francisco, California, taking interviews along the way on American governance, citizens' roles in their community and the natural environment, and the economic situation. He says he discovered that "everyone I talked to pretty much said that people just need to help each other forward."

Lia Soorenian

2014, Focus Area: Urban Planning

Lia Soorenian
Lia Soornian is currently a senior at Bard College concentrating in Urban Planning. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Lia was attracted the the interdisciplinary nature of EUS when she first signed up for a class within the department. Since then she's taken classes on GIS software, Urban & Ecological Economics and the design/construction of 'green' student media space. Extracurricularly she has been a member of Bard's Environmental Collective, which allowed her to participate in an environmental conference called PowerShift in Washington DC. Her sophomore year work on Professor Gidon Eshel's greenhouse was published in the Bard Science Journal and as a result, she presented on green building practices at a sustainability conference in the University at Albany SUNY. Last Winter, Lia won a Bard Mellon Grant Student Travel Award and Bard Center for Civic Engagement Community Action Grant to research projects in sustainability in Armenia. During her final year at Bard she has started a Trustee Leader Scholar Project called BardBuilds which connects Bard students from a variety of disciplines who are interested in Urban Planning and Architecture to local organizations and professionals in the field including the City of Kingston's Planning Office and Bard's own administration. Lia also recently won aDavis Projects For Peace Prize which will allow her to continue her work on sustainability in Armenia. "I believe urban planning is about the space inbetween buildings," says Lia. "And it’s what we do with alleyways, sidewalks, streets and plazas, that makes our city thrive. We, the people, have the tools to make the human experience sustainable, safe, significant, and most importantly, beautiful. Most recently Lia was admitted to Columbia's urban planning graduate program with a fellowship.

Jennifer Gillen

2014, Focus Area: Ecology/Conservation

Jennifer Gillen
Two summers ago, I interned at the Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station as an Odum intern. I did research with fern biologist and Colgate professor Eddie Watkins and three other interns. After learning about fern reproduction and physiology, we designed a research project to compare the physiology of ferns to understory angiosperms. We collected data on photosynthetic rates (using a machine called a LI-COR), root and leaf mass, the number of stomata, and mineral composition. We compared these data of three ferns with three analogous understory angiosperm plants.

I also worked with the director of conservation and research Dawn O’Neal on the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program. Every two weeks, we would go out by the lake around 5am to set up mist nets and wait for the birds. After birds flew into the nets, we would untangle them and document the species of bird, sex, length, and wing length, and then set the birds free. These data were compiled with those across the nation to help better analyze the effectiveness of bird conservation efforts and to monitor bird populations.

At Bard, I have volunteered and worked at Hudsonia, a non-profit ecological research organization. I first did research on the potential fracking effects on biodiversity, and I published a paper on this research with Dr. Erik Kiviat in the journal Environmental Practice. This past summer, I worked with Erik Kiviat and an intern studying the state-threatened Blanding’s turtle. I have also volunteered with many Bard-affiliated ecological programs, like glass eel monitoring and helping salamanders migrate across roads. As an EUS major, I want to integrate knowledge about conservation, wildlife biology, economics, and urban development to become a naturalist and ecologist who understands that the urban and “natural” world are not inherently separate. The preservation of biodiversity is dependent not only on biological knowledge, but also on economic policies, urban sprawl, land development, state and federal laws, and so much more.

Rachel Hyman 

2012, Focus Area: Environmental Education

Rachel Hyman 
Rachel Hyman, an EUS student of the class of 2012 was inspired to pursue a career in the environmentally related field after taking Bill Maple's Field Study of Natural History course. She said, "romping through the Tivoli Bays, I experienced firsthand the joys of place-based learning in Bill's field study ecology course. I wanted to share that experience with children." As a result, during her junior year at Bard, she started the Young Naturalists Initiative, which is an environmental education outreach program designed to get kids from Kingston out to the public lands around the Hudson Valley region. Upon graduating, she moved to Utah to work as a Park Ranger with Arches National Park's Canyon Country Outdoor Education Program- where she currently works to teach curriculum-based science education to elementary students in San Juan County, UT. In addition to her work as a park ranger at Canyonlands, she has worked with the US Geological Survey on their ongoing biological soil crust study, as a sea kayaking guide in Washington, and as an environmental educator in the Bay Area. In terms of her future plans, she will begin a Masters program in Developmental Clinical Psycology at Columbia University. She says, "my interest and work in the field of environmental education has evolved. As a clinical psychologist, I want to be an ally for children as they play and learn in physically and emotionally stimulating and challenging environments."