Department of Environmental Studies | 2015-16 Student Awards and Scholarships

Toni Murdock Student Innovation Award – Apollinaire William, PhD candidate

William’s path to AUNE and his doctoral dissertation research exemplifies the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. William was an integral member of a team that designed BSc and MS programs and brought, for the first time, conservation biology to the University of Rwanda with MacArthur Foundation funding. He received a scholarship to study GIS and Remote Sensing MS at University of Redlands. His thesis documented access to fresh water in rural Ethiopia using GIS applications. As a PhD student, William stayed connected to the Regional Network of Conservation Educators in the Albertine Rift (RNCEAR), a network he helped create while working at University of Rwanda. William voluntarily developed and taught GIS workshops to network members at universities in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and DR Congo. In Burundi he organized a workshop for Francophone women because he saw they were left behind due to gender and language issues. William’s vision and passion for education and the possibilities of GIS were not lost on a Board member at Antioch who ultimately donated funds to initiate a GIS and spatial analysis lab on the AUNE campus. In his role with the GIS lab William visited every department on campus to discuss GIS. William recently designed a certificate option in GIS for AUNE and taught himself innovative audio-visual methods to scale up for availability across all AU campuses. William’s dissertation research implements innovative solutions to complex social, economic, or environmental challenges: he worked with rural farmers, combining participatory mapping with interviews and GIS modelling to gauge farmer perceptions about climate change and adaptation. These are examples of how he identifies and designs new ways to bring about positive change.

William R. Ginsberg and Thomas K. Wessels Environmental Studies Scholarship 2016 –
Cynthia Espinosa Marrero, MS candidate, and Edward Sinnes, MS candidate

Cynthia is an excellent fit with the intent of this award, deeply committed to educational efforts in the Holyoke, MA area, especially among Latina/o community members. She’s been an active community member at Antioch and within her Holyoke community throughout graduate school, particularly around issues of food justice/access, permaculture (she’s a certified permaculturalist), and empowerment. Her master’s project is an evaluation of Latino Outdoors, with a particular focus on participant motivations to inform future programming. While at Antioch, she’s been an excellent student; student government leader; and Community Garden Connections Co-Coordinator for the past 5 semesters. Her leadership roles have gone beyond AUNE. For example she is the East Coast Ambassador for Latino Outdoors, a national network of Latino Environmental Professionals. Cynthia currently serves as Community Education Manager for Growing Places,Fitchburg MA.

Edward Sinnes earned his MS in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ecological Anthropology, through the Self-Designed Studies concentration. His M.S. thesis research focused on exploring the links between local knowledge and environmental values through an ethnographic study of hunters, foresters and foragers in upstate New York. As an ES MS student, Edward was actively engaged in both the campus and Keene communities, serving as Student Alliance Co-Chair, Community Bicycle Advocate, and Research Assistant for Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability. He was active with Westmoreland community garden, the Keene Community Kitchen, Keene Clean-Up Day; and promoted and advocated for a range of social and institutional changes to improve student life, access to services, and communications. Edward currently serves as the Assistant Coordinator for Family and Adult programming at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station.

The Philip H. Faulkner Jr. Research Grant 2016 Recipient – Janine Marr, PhD student
Dissertation Research: The Impact of White Pine Blister Rust on Forest Health

Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC) Scholarship – Nicole Wengerd, PhD student
Dissertation research in Tanzania: Research on a new approach to support local stakeholder participation in protected area planning and management using participatory methods from asset-based community development and biocultural diversity, including asset and biocultural mapping.

Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC) Scholarship – Katie Kibler, PhD student
Dissertation research in Rwanda: A study exploring agroecologically intensified Rwandan shade coffee for agroecosystem-level biodiversity and food security using an indigenous co-research framework.

Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC) Scholarship – Phoebe Gooding, MS candidate
MS Project in Mexico: Community Water Quality Monitoring in the Amanalco Basin of Valle de Bravo, Mexico using citizen science.

Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC) Scholarship – Dianne Dubois, MS student
MS Thesis research in Costa Rica: The effect of slope and edaphic qualities on seedling survivorship in abandoned pastureland on the Pacific slope of Costa Rica


2015-2016 Travel Grant Recipients:

Kayla Cranston, PhD candidate – to attend the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC). The title of Kayla’s presentation is The psychology of human wellbeing as a predictor of long-term capacity for conservation.

Ayshah Kassamali-Fox, MS candidate – to attend the 2015 Society for Marine Mammalogy 21st Biennial Conference in San Francisco. She is presenting an oral presentation on her thesis research: Evaluating the effects of dolphin watching boats on bottlenose dolphins in Bocas del Toro, Panama: using Markov chains to model the impacts of tourism on a genetically distinct community.

Lynn Kimmel, MS candidate – to attend the Pathways Kenya 2016: Integrating Human Dimensions into Fisheries and Wildlife Management, sponsored by Colorado State University. Her oral presentation is entitled Conservation Conflict Transformation in Action: Addressing Human-Wildlife Conflict Affecting the Endangered Grevy’s Zebra in Kenya.

Erasme Uyizeye, PhD student – to participate in the African Freshwater Entomology Workshop (AFRESH) in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa from 1 to 7 February 2016. The training involves identifying and applying dragonflies and other freshwater insects in environmental monitoring, and his dissertation research will explore using dragonflies as indicators of environmental change in Rwanda.

Phillip Dugger, PhD candidate – to train in the lab of Dr. Matthias Schleuning of the Biodiversity and Climate Research Center in Frankfurt (Main), Germany on network analysis techniques.

Luke Dolby, PhD student – to attend the NASFAM GIS Workshop in Lilongwe, Malawi. Luke’s research is focused on how new, affordable smart phone services can connect smallholder farmers and increase conservation agriculture.


Benjamin Currotto, MS student
Assistantship: CGC Westmoreland Garden Project Manager & Education Coordinator

Michelle Stewart, MS candidate
Internship Support: CGC Horticulture Therapy Education Coordinator


Arianna Ferrario, MS candidate
MS Research: Inventory of Migratory and Breeding Avian Abundance at Glover’s Ledge Langdon, NH

Janine Marr, PhD student
PhD Project: Forest Health Assessment Glover’s Ledge, Langdon, NH

Kyle Rodd, MS candidate
MS Research: Winter Tracking of Medium and Large-sized Mammals Glover’s Ledge, Langdon, NH


C&S Workplace Organic Gardens Doctoral Fellowship – Jessica Gerrior, PhD student
Jessica Gerrior 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, PhD student
Christa Daniels 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 – Erasme Uyizeye, PhD student
Erasme Uyizeye 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 Erasme has efficiently and effectively supported and managed the daily functioning of CTEC.

Conservation Psychology Fellowship – Ruth Kermish-Allen, PhD candidate
Ruth Kermish-Allen 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, PhD candidate
Apollinaire William 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, PhD candidate
Jason Rhoades 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 Masters International Program.


Alumni 2016 Award Recipient – Steve Chase
Steve Chase lives his values with passion, compassion, and kindness. Steve is a dual ES alum, having graduated from Antioch in 1996 with a master’s degree in Environmental Studies and — again — in 2006, with a PhD in Environmental Studies. Steve’s doctoral dissertation, Activist Training in the Academy: Developing a Master’s Program in Environmental Advocacy and Organizing, created the foundation for the Department’s Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability master’s concentration.

The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation recognized Steve’s environmental advocacy leadership, awarding him with a Switzer Environmental Leadership Grant. Steve subsequently received an Ella Baker Fellowship to support and promote dialog between leaders in the business, academic, and non-profit arenas in the interest of positive social change.

As a student, faculty member, and concentration director, Steve was an indefatigable champion of Antioch’s social justice mission. He inspired many Antioch students to pursue their path of purpose and to be effective change makers for justice and sustainability. He conceptualized and taught widely popular courses in Organizing Social Movements and Campaigns; Corporate Power, Globalization, and Democracy; Organizational Leadership in the Nonprofit World; and Environmental Justice in the Mississippi Delta. Prior to joining the Antioch faculty, Steve served on the editorial boards of Orion magazine, Terra Nova, South End Press, and More Than Money Journal.

Community Member 2016 Award Recipient – W.S. Badger Co., Inc.
Company mission: “We believe that a healthy business is like a well-tended garden. Our business, which began as a seed, has been nourished over the years with good intentions. To us, money is a fuel not a goal, just as sunlight is the fuel that allows a garden to grow and flourish but is not the purpose of the garden. As we grow, we seek to build our good intentions into the DNA of our business so that each person we touch, from our suppliers to our extended Badger community, experiences something good and beautiful. And just as a garden is rooted to the earth, our business is connected to the natural world around us. This connection informs our product development and inspires us to create powerfully pure organic body care made from fresh, whole botanicals.”

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