From the Peace Corps in Ghana to the Thoracic Medical Unit at the Mayo Clinic, Ecology Center alumni are doing important and fascinating work around the world! This is the second in an occasional series.  We’ll be catching up with some of these alumni to learn more about the next generation of environmental leaders and to reflect on our place in the larger ecosystem of connections and influence that extends far beyond our region and our current work.

We'd love to tell your story too, so let us know if you are an Ecology Center alum, whether you were an intern, volunteer, or staff member.  

 Gwen Evans, former Environmental Education Program Assistant. 

"I'm currently serving in the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa for the next two years as an agriculture extension volunteer working with a local women's group on agroforestry and beekeeping! The attached photo is of me and my little host sister, Kwensa, at my swearing-in ceremony when I officially became a Peace Corps Volunteer after 3 months of language and cross-cultural training." 

Hea Jun Oh, former Health Leaders Fellowship Student Coordinator

"I'm working as an RN on a thoracic medical unit at Mayo Clinic and I really like it! It feels colder in MN though so that is a bummer. I hope everyone is doing well!" 

Michelle DiMuzio, former Environmental Education Program Assistant

“I am currently back in Chicago working at the Natural Resources Defense Council with the Energy Team and once in a while cross paths with some people from the Ecology Center."


Kaitlyn Leffert, former HealthyStuff Research Assistant Intern

"I've been working in the air quality division at the MDEQ in the state planning unit. The main project I have been involved in is the development of a state plan in response to the EPA's Clean Power Plan. I am also part of an ozone work group, which is working to address the formation and transport of ozone in Michigan."

Zainab Alaradi, former Graphic Design Intern

"I'm doing great in architecture school, focusing on my thesis work and currently job hunting in the Philadelphia area. My husband will be training there starting July this year. I'm getting my Green Associate accreditation from LEED next month and really hope to use my green planning and architecture knowledge in my career." 

Bernadette Grafton, former Member Associate

"I'm living in D.C. and trying to secure a more permanent federal job within the next year while I finish my first year as an ORISE Fellow at the EPA." 

ORISE researches health risks from occupational hazards, assesses environmental cleanup, responds to radiation emergencies, supports national security and emergency preparedness and educates the next generation of scientists.