Department of Environmental Studies | 2014-15 Student Awards and Scholarships

Toni Murdock Student Innovation Award – Brett McLeod
Brett McLeod is the Director of the Natural Resources Management and Policy Program at Paul Smith’s College.  For his dissertation, Brett asked: What makes a community durable? This dissertation took several approaches to answer this question:  a survey of hundreds of homesteaders; participant observation with a dozen homesteaders; a book about agro-forestry; and the creation of The Center for the Working Landscape, for which he now is the founding director. The book, The Woodland Homestead:  How to Make your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods, will be coming out this summer with Storey Press.

William R. Ginsberg and Thomas K. Wessels Environmental Studies Scholarship 2015 – Sara Powell
Sara Powell served as Community Garden Connections (CGC) Co-Coordinator for the past four semesters, contributing to this program’s ongoing success, enhancing community resilience and food security in the face of climate change. As the 2014 Garden Manager for CGC’s 1-acre Westmoreland Garden Project, Sara coordinated all aspects of growing, including: collaborating with CGC staff, volunteers, and community partners; planning and facilitating weekly garden volunteer events; implementing on-site educational workshops with partner agencies; tracking budgets, produce donations and project reporting. Under Sara’s leadership, over 3000 lbs. of fresh food was donated to The Community Kitchen in Keene. Sara also designed, implemented and evaluated a “Fair Share” Cooking Education Program for community members in need, partnering with Keene State College’s Dietetic Intern Program and serving as a mentor to undergraduate students. Additionally, she initiated the first-ever external grant secured wholly by a student as part of CGC.  With her focus on community efforts, she represents CGC on the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition’s Education Working Group. Sara has an exemplary academic record, balancing a rigorous course load alongside her practice-based CGC efforts. She’s also a cycling fiend and plays a mean trumpet!

US Congressional Progressive Caucus 2015 Fellow – Jessica Leonard
Jessica Leonard is a student in our Environmental Studies master’s program, with a Sustainable Development and Climate Change concentration focus.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavior, with a minor in African and African American Studies, from the University of California, Davis.  Her experience includes working on legislative matters at the state and local level, in Dallas, Texas, where she served as a community organizer with the Texas Campaign for the Environment.  Her scope of work included community outreach, education, and mobilization, involving participation at corporate shareholder meetings, community meetings and forums on environmental and health issues.  She also partnered with a range of other local social interest groups to support their change initiatives.

The Philip H. Faulkner Jr. Research Grant 2015 Recipient – Amanda Melinchuk
Funding for efforts to establish maternal bat colonies in constructed bat boxes; monitoring and education in the Monadnock region.

Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC) Scholarship – Alysa Hansen​
Funding for MSc thesis research: Human-wildlife Interactions and Effectiveness of Deterrent Systems on Limiting Livestock Predation by Large Carnivores in Eastern Africa

Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC) Scholarship – Kaushik Narasimhan
Funding for MSc thesis research: The Effect of Disturbance on Bat Species Diversity and Abundance in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC) Scholarship – Jahdiel Torres-Caba
Participation at the 6th International Symposium-Workshop on Frugivory & Seed Dispersal in Drakensberg, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

Doctoral Student Fellowships

C&S Workplace Organic Gardens Doctoral Fellowship – Jessica Gerrior
Jess Gerrior PhD student, has been awarded this year’s fellowship to serve as Project Director. Her leadership roles as Sustainability Coordinator at Franklin Pierce University, Project Manager at the Monadnock Food Co-op, and President of the Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition Board speak to her deep commitment to this work.

Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience Fellowship – Christa Daniels
Christa Daniels, PhD student , AICP is the first fellow for the Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience. She specializes in climate mitigation and resilience as well as citizen engagement strategies. She is also working with Climate Access on an innovative visualization engagement project in Marin County, CA.

Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation International Student Scholarship – Joseph McArd Mlotha
Joseph McArd Mlotha, PhD student, has the position of Program Manager for CTEC, which is funded by this scholarship created to support an international student for a non-work study position through a generous donation.  In this role Joseph has efficiently and effectively supported and managed the daily functioning of CTEC.

Conservation Psychology Fellowship – Ruth Kermish-Allen
Ruth Kermish-Allen, PhD student, serves as the Executive Director of the Maine Mathematics & Science Alliance, as well as developing environmental STEM education programs. Her current research focuses on defining design elements for non-hierarchical online learning communities for use in citizen science projects fostering environmental action.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Fellowship – Apollinaire William
Apollinaire William, PhD student, has been using online teaching tools to teach GIS and advanced spatial analysis training workshops to students and faculty in New England and East Africa, as well as equipping the many GIS labs for Antioch campuses, including New England, Los Angeles and Seattle. He has also developed a Certificate in Applied Spatial Analysis, which provides a theoretical foundation along with the technical skills required for a career in GIS.

Master’s International Program Fellowship – Jason Rhoades
Jason Rhoades, PhD student, has been working with Dr. James Gruber as coordinator to promote and develop the Masters International Program at AUNE, and to enhance its ongoing partnership with the Peace Corps. This partnership offers students the opportunity to combine Peace Corps service with their degree studies, as part of the Master’s International Program.

Environmental Excellence Awards

Alumni 2015 Award Recipient – Sherry Godlewski
Sherry Godlewski graduated from Antioch in 1992 with a degree in Environmental Communications and Administration. Her Antioch internship with the NH Coastal Program led her to a job within that program. After her work in the Coastal Program she was able to work in the recycling, watershed management, drinking water and land protection fields. She has worked for NH Department of Environmental Services for 18 years, and has experience in waste management, water, air resources, and environmental health programs. Sherry is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Air Resources Division. She served on Governor Lynch’s Climate Change Policy Task Force facilitating the adaptation workgroup and co-authoring the adaptation chapter of the NH Climate Action Plan. She currently works on Climate Change Adaptation efforts. Sherry serves as co-chair of both the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup and the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup. The Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup focuses in the Upper Connecticut River Valley and is a bi-state initiative. She represents New Hampshire in regional and national adaptation workgroups.   In the field of climate adaptation and preparedness, Sherry is one of the most respected out there. Her critical thinking is always evident, and her awareness of policy approaches and options reflects a depth of knowledge and experience that is commendable.

Community Member 2015 Award Recipient – Dick Ober
Dick Ober has a long history making outstanding contributions to the sustainability of our environment through professional and personal actions.  Early in his career while communications director for the Society of NH Forests he set out to write the stories of people working in the forests of our region.  The book he co-authored with David Dobbs, ‘The Northern Forest’ captured those stories and artfully demonstrated the interconnectedness of the people and the forest.  Over his 30 years of experience Dick has been guided by lessons learned in those stories working to conserve land as Director of the Monadnock Conservancy and currently as the President the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the largest private provider of nonprofit grants and student aid in northern New England.  He has served on numerous nonprofit boards and public commissions, including several gubernatorial appointments. Dick has written and lectured widely on community philanthropy, civic life, and the connections between people and the places they live. His work has been published in books, book chapters, magazines, and journals. He has been recognized with awards from the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of New Hampshire, and Plymouth State University, and has repeatedly been named as one of the state’s most influential people by Business New Hampshire magazine.  Dick lives with his wife and daughter in Dublin, New Hampshire.

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