Welcome to the Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy (ESE)! I am thrilled to join ESE as its director and look forward to many years serving its students, faculty, staff and stakeholders. ESE is the heart of transdisciplinarity at NIU, with five joint appointment faculty and another 35 faculty associates spanning 15 departments and centers across four colleges. They are productive, innovative scholars committed to community engagement and they mentor and advise our nearly 100 students pursuing our undergraduate major, minor or certificate. We boast alumni/ae who are making a difference in both the public sector and private sector—state and local governments, nonprofits and NGOs and corporations. It's invigorating knowing I get to work with so many passionate people.
The 2022-2023 academic year will once again be an exciting and impactful time at ESE for our faculty, staff and students. Our newsletter, which we'll be publishing twice per semester, will help you keep up to date with everything ESE is doing. Some of the bigger highlights include:
Our faculty are also spearheading a writing group and multiple working groups accessible to graduate students. These will ensure we can grow our impact as an institute in cutting-edge research, while continuing to be a home for student success.
Before signing off, a little bit about me. My own work matches the transdisciplinary, student-centered ethos that motivates ESE. I have been recognized both at NIU and at my prior institutions for my commitment to diversity and inclusion, to transformative undergraduate research experiences, and to hands-on, lifelong learning. Getting to help undergraduate and graduate students (regardless of where they come from or where they hope to go) to realize their dreams is why I work in academia.
At NIU, my faculty position is in the Department of Public Administration, where I focus on local government management in a program that ranks third globally. I teach courses in urban planning, law, governance and performance management to help educate the next generation of public servants about how to better pursue the three E's of sustainability—equity, economy and environment. Public service organizations—governments, nonprofits and NGOs—are essential to sustainability, and I hope to significantly expand ESE's ability to support the planning and implementation of sustainability in these organizations. My education and background are in both planning and law from University of Michigan and Michigan State University. You can learn more about my research on my website, or review my CV. I live in DeKalb with my husband, and love piano, gardening, hiking and camping.
If you are interested in learning more about ESE or joining us as an associate or affiliate, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit me at our offices in Montgomery Hall, suite 325.