Current Students

Meet our scholar-professionals who are gaining deep intellectual foundations and applied training in sustainability. Their diverse foci span ecology, business, communications, environmental science, urban design, and more. They combine passion and skills to be tomorrow’s changemakers.


Angelica Carey
M.S. Candidate
Urban Sustainability

A native from Lynn, Massachusetts, I attended UMass Amherst for my undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Civic Environmentalism, a self-designed major from the BDIC program. After graduating in 2012, I was accepted to teach K-5 General Music and 6-8 Choir with Teach for America, in the small town of Palestine, Arkansas....Learn more about Angelica >
 

Barbara Chamberlain
M.S. Candidate
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

For the past ten years, I have worked at UMass Amherst, in the IT department, managing the imaging software that helps departments on campus that want to go paperless, and also saves some trees in the process. I enjoy what I do and love being part of this community....Learn more about Barbara >
 
 
Emily Chiara
M.S. Candidate
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

I am a Western MA native and excited to return to the area after living, studying, and farming in Arkansas, North Carolina, India and Guatemala over the past 9 years. I received my bachelor's degree in Global Studies from Warren Wilson College in 2012 and have worked as an elementary school garden educator...Learn more about Emily >

 

Lauren de la Parra
M.S. Candidate
Urban Sustainability

I am a Canadian hailing from Montreal, Quebec. A chance encounter with the magical world of permaculture sparked a chain reaction resulting in my recent transplantation to Western Massachusetts, where winters are mild (relatively) and everything is green (literally and figuratively)...Learn more about Lauren >

 


Daniel Dillon
M.S. Candidate
Environmental Quality

I come from a background in engineering and have worked in the aerospace industry for nearly 5 years. My deep passion for the outdoors is a result of many hours spent skiing, hiking and surfing about the northeast....Learn more about Daniel >

 

Brittany Florio
M.S. Candidate
Sustainable Agriculture

Britt is a New England native who loves nature, teaching, and building community.  She currently works for UMass Dining as the Senior Sustainability Coordinator overseeing the Sustainability Department’s “green” initiatives.  Britt’s roots are in regenerative agriculture, educational programming, and permaculture...Learn more about Brittany >

 


Marcie Gallo O'Connell
M.S. Candidate
Urban Sustainability

Marcie comes to the MS3 program with a background in Anthropology. Building on her undergraduate level certificate, Marcie is now also pursuing a Graduate level Certificate in Native American Indian Studies.  She brings over 20 years of food industry experience with her, including nearly 14 years of small business ownership. Marcie is also a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She is interested in the cross-disciplinary foundations of the MS3 program and the ability of those foundations to address global sustainability challenges, while also preserving cultural heritage. Her passion is focused on the crossroad space between sustainability science, urban sustainability studies, and traditional ecological knowledge. Active in her community, Marcie has coached several youth sports teams, and played an integral part in establishing a Certified Wildlife Habitat at a local elementary school. She has been a member of a local CSA for 8 years, and actively supports local businesses.  A New England native, Marcie loves the White Mountains, alpine flowers, hiking, snowboarding, laughing, craft beer, music, and her family.

 


Anna Grimes

M.S. Candidate
Environmental Quality

Anna Grimes is a MS3 student concentrating in Urban Sustainability. After completing her Associate's degree at Lake Land Community College in Mattoon, Illinois, Anna moved to Massachusetts to attend Endicott College. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies, and was the recipient of the Social Sciences award.  While attending Endicott, Anna worked as an administrative assistant for the National Center for Student Parent Programs. Internships at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund led Anna to continue her education in environmental policy and justice at UMASS Amherst. New to the Pioneer Valley, Anna enjoys exploring the area with her daughter, Audrey.

 

 

Patrick Kelley
M.S. Candidate
Environmental Quality
 
I recently completed my undergraduate degree at Hampshire College with a concentration in environmental and wildlife science. My thesis explored the usage of bird feathers as bioindicators of environmental contamination using mass spectrometry in the Cape Cod area...Learn more about Patrick >
 
 


Shannon Largey
M.S. Candidate
Sustainable Agriculture

I am a Massachusetts native with a long-time passion for food, health, and the environment. I obtained a BBA in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass and a Certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming from Stockbridge in May of 2017. Coming from a childhood on a farm and a background in business, I have always been fascinated by the role business plays in agriculture.  This fascination is especially true as business acts as a catalyst for change especially in regards to organic, regenerative agriculture and Fair Trade. I am truly inspired to take care of the soils and the souls which produce our food.
 

 

Sylvain Lorng
M.S. Candidate

 

 


Savannah McCarthy
M.S. Candidate
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

My name is Savannah and I am entering the Sustainability Science Masters Program here at UMass with a focus on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. I am from California and recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Society and Environment from the College of Natural Resources and a minor in Political Economy. During my time at UC Berkeley I became interested in a wide range of issues from rangeland conservation to water rights to global environmental governance. However, my true passions lie in agrarian reform and sustainable agriculture - looking at both agro-ecological practices at the micro level as well as policy decisions at the macro level as potential solutions to the myriad of problems facing our world’s people and resources today. At UMass I would like to continue to learn more about all of these issues while moving towards a solution to agrarian problems around the world. Aside from school, I really enjoy cooking, exploring local bookstores and cafes, as well as being outdoors. I look forward to everything this program has to offer!
 

 


Shannon Mulkern
M.S. Candidate
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

I graduated from UMass in 2015 with my Bachelor’s in Psychology, and am unbelievably excited to be returning for my Master’s in Sustainability Science. I’ve spent the past two years out of school dabbling in a little bit of everything – working in special education, traveling, volunteering at a nonprofit farm, and waitressing. UMass is where my interest in sustainability began, from the dining halls to the green buildings, and it feels perfect to me to be returning to my roots. I plan to focus on agriculture practices, nutrition, landscape maintenance, and waste management, and how sustainable methods can be implemented in various sectors for healthier future generations. I hope to also pick up a few tips and tricks for sustainable marketing so that I can go on to share what I’ve learned with others. In my free time, you can usually find me in the kitchen, out in my garden, at a brewery, or traveling somewhere new!

 


Santoshi Nadimpalli
M.S. Candidate
Urban Sustainability

Smiley Santoshi graduated from UMass Amherst in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Her time at UMass lead her to want to focus on a career that works specifically with and for disadvantaged communities. Ultimately, working towards a safer future where are all identities are valued and can thrive. Hence, she plans on focusing on Urban Sustainability within MS3. Within the concentration she is interested in the intersection of environmental justice, sustainable community development, and public policy.
 


Thomas O'Neill
M.S. Candidate
Urban Sustainability

Hi, my name is Tom O’Neill. I grew up in a small town in southeastern Massachusetts where I spent my youth exploring the woods behind my home and developing a love for the natural world. It was through a passionate high school environmental science teacher that I discovered the concepts of sustainability, which sparked a drive in me to pursue it further. I did my undergrad at Philadelphia University, now recently merged with Thomas Jefferson University, in Environmental Sustainability. I am most interested in how to create climate resilient cities that generate sustainable and equitable economic growth. Other general interests of mine include craft beer, outdoorsy activities and photography.


Michael Powers
M.S. Candidate
Urban Sustainability

A native of Hanson, Massachusetts, Michael received his BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, specializing in large format photography of landscapes and domestic life. After a long-term volunteer project through Europe, which involved the revitalization of farms, he developed a passion for learning urban and rural sustainable practices. This hands on approach to design and problem-solving led Michael to become the Studio Manager at Tommy Mitchell Company, where hand-crafted metal products are constructed to resemble organic materials. By combining design and sustainability elements, he is interested in developing solutions to critical climate change obstacles. His interests in urban development, green economies, and sustainable design has led him to the MS3 Sustainability Science program at UMass to prepare for a future that reduces our carbon footprint.
 


Jeremy Price
M.S. Candidate
Renewable Energy and Efficient Design

Jeremy, a New England-native, is no stranger to the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. After completing his undergraduate studies at UMass, (B.S. Sustainable Community Development) he sought to strengthen his ability to effectively facilitate change, and enrolled in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning’s (LARP) Master of Regional Planning Program. Jeremy is the Peer Undergraduate Advisor/Mentor within LARP and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Climate Change and Green infrastructure Planning.

Looking to further explore the intersection between the environment, planning, and energy, he was admitted to the MS3 program where he will concentrate in Renewable Energy and Efficient Design; currently Jeremy works with the UMass Clean Energy Extension. In his free time, he greatly enjoys exploring the abundant natural amenities within the region and elsewhere.

 

 

Samantha Rock

M.S. Candidate
Water Sustainability
I am a graduate of Juniata College, where I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Biology. I studied abroad in Southern India working on erosion management and marine system management. Recently I finished my ecological restoration internship at...Learn more about Samantha >


Michael Rossi
M.S. Candidate
Environmental Quality
Hello, my name is Michael Rossi and I am from Methuen, Massachusetts. I got my undergraduate degree at Unity College, an institution in Maine with the educational framework of sustainability science, in Environmental Policy, Law, and Society with a minor in Psychology. I am very interested in grassroots environmental advocacy, and have worked with the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund on political campaigns throughout the state helping to elect and defend environmental champions. I am an Eagle Scout which serves as my motivation for my work in the environmental field.
 


Christos Saledas
M.S. Candidate
Environmental Quality
I just completed my undergraduate degree at UMass Amherst in Environmental Science in 2017. During my final year at UMass I had the opportunity to go abroad at the School for Field Studies in Costa Rica, studying and researching sustainable development. In my free time I love to do anything that gets me outdoors especially running, hiking, and playing soccer. I am very excited to return to UMass as a part of the MS3 program with a concentration in environmental quality!
 

Laurie Simmons

M.S. Candidate
Urban Sustainability
I am a sustainability educator and currently serve as the Sustainability Coordinator for Residential Life here at UMass.  I arrived in the MS3 program with a background in animal science, six years of real world experience, and a few years working back here on campus within academic affairs.  I had a general interest in sustainability and a deep concern around our society’s industrial food system and degenerative agricultural practices.  I was eager to learn more and to help others to see that a more sustainable future is not only what is required of us, but that by walking this path we can also lead more enriching, purposeful (even happier) lives.  My academic interests have evolved over time and I am now most interested in understanding and promoting sustainable decision-making and behavior at the individual and organizational levels, particularly within the context of higher education.   I aim to help students define what sustainable living means in their own lives, encourage them to recognize and engage with sustainability issues on campus, and inspire them to take the knowledge and skills they develop here on to their future lives & careers.  It is our responsibility as an institution to prepare our students for the sustainability challenges they will face upon graduation (no matter what field they enter).  I believe more can be done within University administration to enhance sustainability campus-wide from operations to curriculum to student affairs.   In so doing, we will differentiate our institution and its students as leaders in this growing field.
 

Varsha Suresh
M.S. Candidate
Urban Sustainability/Renewable energy
Hailing from India I developed an interest in green and clean energy while completing my undergraduate education in engineering. Having interned in a social enterprise as well as a public policy forum in India, I realized that I wanted to study further to understand the underlying economic, ecological and social principles that govern sustainability. My academic interests include urban sustainability, social entrepreneurship, public policy and renewable energy. I am also trying to inculcate a green and minimalistic lifestyle personally. I enjoy reading, traveling and conversations over warm cups of coffee.
 
 
 

Leah Wang
M.S. Candidate
Sustainable Agriculture

I graduated from Bowdoin College in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Studies and Economics. Since then, I have worked on small, sustainable farms in Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts, and I hope to continue my agricultural education here...Learn more about Leah >

 

Erin Witham
M.S. Candidate
My name is Erin Witham and I come to the MS3 program by way of Portland, Maine. I am a graduate of Earlham College in Indiana where I studied Sociology/Anthropology. Over the past 7 years, I have worked for and with community non-profits doing everything from bookkeeping to cartography and even worked on a project in my hometown to build a wildlife-friendly road crossing. Most recently, I worked  as a contractor providing GIS technical assistance to conservation organizations and agencies as part of a habitat protection program throughout the state of Maine. I am excited to have the opportunity through this program to develop tools and strategies to help communities proactively prepare for and adapt to climate change. I am interested to learn more about sustainable communities at UMass and expand my own definition of sustainability. In my free time, I enjoy birding, hiking, cooking, snorkeling, and photography.
 

 

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