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Community Engagement Spotlight: Pheej Lauj (Pheng Lor)

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Pheej Lauj is a rising second year student and a Mellon Community Engagement Fellow. He has partnered with OCA Asian Pacific Islander American Advocates Utah, the Utah chapter of a national Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander advocacy organization, for his fellowship. In this role, he aims to fill gaps and serve as a liaison between the Asian and Pacific Islander (API+) community and the local environmental movement. He has been busy planning the upcoming Utah Asian Festival happening June 3, and he recently received a SCIF grant to support the incorporation of recycling and waste reduction education into his work with the API community.

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Congrats, Class of 2023!

Class of 2023 throwing their caps

Ten of our students successfully defended their master's projects and theses, and we celebrated their accomplishments at graduation on May 5. The Class of 2023 was full of bright, creative students with diverse interests. Research ranged from queer ecology on Fire Island, New York to lithium mining at Thacker Pass in Nevada. Students collaborated with Tribes such as the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation and spent deep time in politically charged landscapes such as the U.S.-Mexico border. We were inspired and impressed by their research and look forward to seeing what they do next!

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Thank you, Darren Parry!

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Darren Parry was our Spring '23 Practitioner-in-Residence. Darren is the former chairman and a current councilman for the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. He is the author of The Bear River Massacre: A Shoshone History and teaches Native American History at Utah State University. He is on numerous boards, from PBS Utah to Utah Humanities. Throughout the Spring '23 semester, Darren presented on the Bear River Massacre, moving beyond the land acknowledgement, merging western science with Indigenous wisdom, and a Shoshone approach to climate change.

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Community Engagement Spotlight: Maggie Scholle

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Maggie Scholle is a rising second year student. She was a GCSC Fellow and also was part of the Spring '23 STEM Ambassador Program (STEMAP) at the U of U, learning tools for public engagement in the sciences. Even though Maggie's undergraduate background was in the natural sciences, she brought a unique perspective to the cohort as the only humanities graduate student. For her public engagement project, she created two activities with the Magna Library for children around place attachment. She also led two workshops with the STEM Community Alliance Program (STEMCAP) for youth-in-custody.

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Alumni Spotlight: Ross Chambless

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Ross Chambless graduated from the Environmental Humanities Program in 2011. He is a writer, creative producer, and communications strategist. He is currently Communications and Community Engagement Manager for the Wilkes Center for Climate Science & Policy at the University of Utah. Previously he was Communications Director for the Democrats in the Utah House of Representatives, and a radio and podcast producer. Before receiving his MA in Environmental Humanities, Ross received his Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001.

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Last Updated: 6/3/21