Ivy Leaf - Fall 2009

Environmental Studies grads hold reunion


Graduates of Penn State Altoona's Environmental Studies program returned to campus this past February to reunite with their fellow alumni and former faculty at the program's first-ever reunion. They had an opportunity to share their current education and career experiences, as well as reconnect with friends they hadn't seen since graduation.

"The reunion provided an opportunity for our current students to meet and network with our graduates and was a great recruiting opportunity," notes Carolyn Mahan, associate professor of biology and co-coordinator of the degree program. "Many of our alumni have continued their education at a variety of colleges and universities including Columbia, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins, Penn State Harrisburg, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, among others. Graduate degrees that our alumni have completed (or are pursuing) include those in public policy, education, environmental law, environmental planning, conservation biology, and environmental engineering."

Graduates of the Environmental Studies program shared information about their current careers during a student/alumni networking event on campus, that included positions with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, San Diego Zoo, World Wildlife Fund, Dominion Exploration and Production, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Engineering Architectural and Design Services (as a threatened and endangered species specialist), and as environmental technicians with Mountain Research and ATC Environmental Engineering. One Penn State Altoona alumnus has even started her own environmental consulting firm called "Your green life" and is working on sustainability projects for Penn State Altoona.

Graduates Eliot Levine and Jasmine Almonte provided faculty, staff, and students with an update of their work experiences at World Wildlife Fund and the San Diego Zoo, respectively, at an open forum in the Eve Chapel. The reunion also including an opening reception held at Penn State Altoona's Kazmaier Building in downtown Altoona, a group hike at Wopsy Mountain and a dinner in the Misciagna Center for alumni and their guests.

The Environmental Studies degree has approximately fifty students enrolled in the program. The group plans to have its next reunion in five years.