Meet Some of Our Multicultural Scholars, Fellows and Students of Color
A USDA Multiculural Fellow, Nathaly Agosto Filión earned her M.S. in the Ecological Planning curriculum. Nathaly also holds a B.S. in Natural Resources and a B.M. in Vocal Music Performance from UVM. As an undergraduate, she led diversity initiatives on campus. Nathaly's graduate project, "Preparing and Adapting to Climate Change in Rural Dominican Republic: An Assessment of Community Preparedness for Lake Enriquillo Flooding," enabled her to return to her birth country to work at the community-level on climate change and disaster preparedness. Following graduate school, Nathaly served as a program officer on the U.S. Climate and Environment program team at the Institute for Sustainable Communities in Montpelier, Vermont. She is currently resiliency manager for Sustainable Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey.
Joshua Carrera spent the first years of his life in Ecuador and returned to New York City, where he was born, to attend school. Through the High School for Environmental Studies in New York City, he discovered the Rubenstein School. He was awarded the Gilman Scholarship for study abroad, and through service-learning courses and programs in conservation and sustainability in Costa Rica, Brazil, and Ecuador, Joshua was able to reconnect with his roots and bring environmental knowledge to Ecuador. He attended graduate school at Colorado State University and earned a Master of Science degree in Conservation Leadership.
Pooja Kanwar was a recent doctoral student and USDA Multicultural Fellow in the Rubenstein School. She grew up in Iowa but has maintained the roots of her Indian background. For her undergraduate thesis work at the University of Iowa, she focused on water supply and sanitation issues in India and for her Master's research with Antioch University, she continued her work on rainwater harvesting and community participation in India. Her doctoral work with advisor Professor Breck Bowden involved international water resources management. Poojah is currently a natural resources planner with the USDA Forest Service at the Superior National Forest in Duluth, Minnesota.
Kesha Ram was piecing together her career well before she graduated from UVM. While juggling a dual degree in Natural Resources and Political Science, her senior thesis research to help mold an environmental justice bill in Vermont, and the presidency of UVM's Student Government Association (SGA), she was running for the office of representative to the Vermont state legislature. She won her seat in the November 2008 elections as the youngest state legislator in the country. In addition, Kesha is the public engagement specialist at Burlington CEDO (Community and Economic Development Office). During her undergraduate years, Kesha was selected as a Morris K. Udall Scholar and a Harry S. Truman Scholar and was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.
Satish Serchan grew up in urban Nepal where he experienced impacts of pollution on the environment. He came to UVM and, as a USDA Multicultural Scholar in Environmental Sciences, gained research experience analyzing stream dynamics and nutrient transport in Vermont and studying effects of global warming on an estuarine ecosystem in the Chesapeake Bay. After graduation, Satish worked with urban youth and greenspace in Baltimore. An internship with the Student Conservation Association took him to the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Juneau Forestry Sciences Lab, in Alaska. He is currently a doctoral student at Oregon State University with funding from the USDA Forest Service.
Maya Thomas grew up in Brooklyn, NY with an interest in science and technology. When she moved to New Jersey in high school, she took classes in natural resources that confirmed her passion. As a USDA Multicultural Scholar studying Environmental Sciences in the Rubenstein School, Maya discovered GIS in her sophomore year. She was excited to jump into a new technology that combined geography, natural resources, and information technology. Maya participated in several internships during her education at UVM, including the McNair Scholars program, the Harvard Forest NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), and the UVM EPSCoR Streams project. Maya is currently a GIS specialist at Civil Solutions in southern New Jersey, where she provides maps and spatial solutions to municipalities across the state. She plans to earn her GISP and CAPM certifications, move into project management, and obtain her Master’s degree.
Min Zheng took advantage of the partnership between the High School for Environmental Studies in New York City and the Rubenstein School. As an undergraduate in Environmental Studies, she designed her own major at UVM and became involved in many on- and off-campus learning opportunities. She was president of the Asian-American Student Union and member of the Rubenstein School Board of Advisors. Volunteer and study abroad programs took her to Mexico, Costa Rica, Asia, and South Africa. An undergraduate research award funded Min's travel and studies in China. After working with many NGOs in the U.S. and abroad and earning an MBA from Bard College in New York, Min is now the Asia regional coordinator for Waterkeeper Alliance in New York City.
Last modified September 16 2014 08:42 AM