Kemet Azubuike


Foundation Partner: The 11th Hour Project

Host Organization: Vote Solar, Washington DC

Kemet Azubuike resides from Dayton, Ohio and is currently a graduate student at Howard University studying sociology with concentrations in environmental, urban, and economic sociology. Kemet enjoys reading, helping organize communities, watching documentaries, mentoring, meeting new people, and playing a good game of basketball. Kemet plans to use this fellowship experience to aid in his understanding of the socioeconomic effects of renewable energies on low-income communities.


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Ashley Bell

Foundation Partner: Island Foundation

Host Organization: New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, New Market, NH





My name is Ashley Bell and I am a PhD Student at Tulane University through the school of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. I am originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and completed both my Bachelor and Master degrees at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. The original life was to be a veterinarian, however after completing a study abroad program in South Africa, I realized that my degree could be better used working towards improving public health via environmental health. My passion within environmental health is environmental justice. The merging of social and environmental issues is right up my alley because I wholeheartedly believe that quality of health should not be geographically or status dependent. In my spare time I like to listen to music, read a book (that’s not school related), play with Mylo (my mini dachshund), or sleep.


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Cheryl Bennett

Foundation Partner: The New York Community Trust

Host Organization: The Nature Conservancy, New York, NY

Cheryl Bennett is enrolled in the Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at the Milano School where she is positing sustainable food systems as a driver of environmental conservation. Agriculture is the largest interface humans have with the environment yet the current industrial agriculture model is based on a linear economy which views waste management and social costs as externalities and not part of production costs. And that is a problem.



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Lauren Beriont

Foundation Partner/Host Organization: Pisces Foundation, San Francisco, CA




Originally from the shores of New Jersey, and with a background in environmental science, I am currently pursuing a Masters in Macro Social Work at the University of Michigan to better work at the intersection of equity and the environment. I am interested in helping fundamentally re-imagine the way people can work together in mutually beneficial ways for community well-being for all.





Sindhu Bharadwaj

Foundation Partner: Barr Foundation

Host Organization: Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, Boston, MA



Sindhu is an MS student in Environmental Justice and Policy at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment (SNRE).  She received a BA from New York University in Politics and Cultural Studies. At SNRE, Sindhu focuses on developing policy frameworks and recommendations to address issues at the intersection of environment and social inequality in urban contexts. Her professional background is in communications.





Tianna Bruno

Foundation Partner: The 11th Hour Project

Host Organization: Center on Race, Poverty, and Environment, Oakland, CA


I am a PhD student in Geography at the University of California - Davis from Houston, Texas.  My research interests include environmental justice and critical race studies.  Particularly, I hope to examine state-society relations and how the state engages in activities regarding the uneven distribution of environmental burdens and benefits in the urban setting with the use of mixed-methods.  Other than my research, I really like doing conservation work with youth.




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Mayra Cruz

Foundation Partner: Barr Foundation

Host Organization: Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Boston, MA




Mayra is graduating from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health with an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences and a Certificate in Climate and Health during orientation (May-16-17)!! She is originally from Houston, Texas, but has been living in the East Coast for the past ten years. She is an avid TV/Netflix watcher. Some favorite shows include Game of Thrones and Parks and Recreation. She is excited to be in Boston this summer for her fellowship.



Alexis Cureton

Foundation Partner: The 11th Hour Project

Host Organization: Northwest SEED, Seattle, Washington

My name is Alexis Omar Cureton. Currently, I am a Graduate student receiving my MPA from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs with a concentration in Energy and Policy Analysis. I received my undergraduate degree from Clark Atlanta University in Sociology. I seek to gain a better understanding of the intersectionality of energy access as it pertains to energy equity being uses as a tool to achieve sustainable economic development for minority communities. My favorite quote is “We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” -Malcolm X




Karina Herrera

Foundation Partner/Host Organizations: William Penn Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

My name is Karina Herrera. I graduated from Harvard University in 2013 with a degree in Environmental Science and Engineering. Following graduation, I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA in my hometown, Fresno, CA. There I worked at Fresno State on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities receiving STEM degrees and at the nonprofit HandsOn on addressing low early education literacy rates through increased classroom volunteers. I am currently a first-year graduate student at the Bren School for Environmental Science & Management, UC Santa Barbara, specializing in water resources management.



Kassandra Hishida

Foundation Partner: Barr Foundation

Host Organization: Toxics Action Center, Boston, MA



I grew up in Fresno, CA and earned my BS in Environmental Science at Fresno State. Despite being situated in a city greatly impacted by air pollution, pesticide drift, and food insecurity, few of my science classes discussed the issues facing our own community members. I applied to graduate programs in order to better understand the connections between these social and environmental issues. I am currently studying food justice, environmental justice, and environmental education in the Environmental Studies Master's Program at the University of Oregon. My ultimate goal is to return to Fresno and support environmental justice work in my hometown.

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Mary Jones

Foundation Partner/Host Organization: Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, Ann Arbor, MI





Mary will be wrapping up her degree in Environmental Justice from the University of Michigan in spring of 2017. She is passionate about the dynamic intersection between the environment and social justice and is committed to community building through authentic partnership and collaboration. In her spare time she devours books and knits up a storm with her cat, Jellyby.



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Ragini Kathail

Foundation Partner: The New York Community Trust

Host Organization: Natural Resources Defense Council





Ragini Kathail is an experienced environmental health professional with an MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a BA from Pomona College. She has spent a cumulative total of two and a half years working in India on issues around water, sanitation, and agriculture. She has additional experience in digital fundraising, email marketing, and supporter recruitment for non-profits. She currently lives in New York.


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Priscila Papias

Foundation Partner: Barr Foundation

Host Organization: Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, Boston, MA






My name is Priscila Papias, and I am originally from South East Los Angeles, California. I am completing my MS degree at the University of Michigan, where my focus is conservation ecology. I have a background in environmental history from the UC Berkeley, and am interested in community development, bilingual environmental education, and urban sustainability.

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ValaRae Partee

Foundation Partner: The New York Community Trust

Organization: EarthJustice





My name is ValaRae Partee and I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia. I'm pursuing my PhD in Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University where I study climate change impacts on domestic fresh water reserves, vulnerable water and transportation infrastructure, and farming agriculture. I am really excited to be working for Earthjustice this summer and to meet the new cohort of environmental fellows! Some of my other interests include painting, working out, traveling, cooking, and various crafts. 




Carolina Prado

Foundation Partner: The 11th Hour Project

Host Organization: Solutions Project, Oakland, CA




Carolina Prado is a PhD candidate in environmental and women's studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research examines hazardous waste sites, air pollution and environmental stewardship of rivers in the Tijuana-San Diego region.  She has been an active environmental justice advocate in the border region and participates in a food justice collective in Oakland.  As a future action-oriented professor, Carolina envisions transforming the cross-border environment to be more healthy   and just for communities on both sides of the border.


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Frances Roberts-Gregory

Foundation Partner/Host Organization: Environmental Grantmakers Association, New York, NY

Frances Roberts-Gregory is a PhD Candidate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation research will explore climate justice and barriers and opportunities for women of color to participate in US climate adaptation policy-making. Frances is also a Ford Fellow, NSF GRFP Fellow, Gates Millennium Scholar, SOARS and MS PHD alum and Spelman graduate. Her other interests include feminist political ecology, environmental justice, dance and vegetarianism.



Victoria Ruddle

Foundation Partner: The 11th Hour Project

Host Organization: Ocean Research Conservation Association, Fort Pierce, FL



Victoria Ruddle is currently an MS student in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. Originally from upstate New York, she has a BS in Biology from St. Lawrence University. Though her graduate research has focused on the population status of endangered sturgeon in South Carolina, she has developed an interest in marine policy and the intersection of research and conservation. She looks forward to combining her research skills with outreach and science communication at the Ocean Research Conservation Association.


Malavika Sahai

Foundation Partner: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Host Organization: National Wildlife Federation , Ann Arbor, MI




Malavika Sahai is an Environmental Justice and Environmental Policy & Planning student at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Her research interests are at the intersection of race, gender, and environmental hazards and she has experience in work on environmental communications, labor rights organizing, and food pantry organizing. She is excited to be a fellow at the National Wildlife Federation working on urban regional initiative projects this summer.


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Marie Schaefer

Foundation Partner: Wege Foundation

Host Organization: Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department, Grand Rapids, MI





Marie Schaefer is a PhD student in Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. She received her MA in Applied Anthropology from Northern Arizona University and is an Anishinaabekwe (Odawa) from Michigan. Marie has had the honor of working with Tribes across the United States. Her work focuses on indigenous knowledges revitalization especially manoomin (wild rice) revitalization as well as creating collaborations that braid indigenous knowledges and scientific knowledge using community-based participatory approaches in order to create sustainable futures for indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

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Soli Shin

Foundation Partner: The New York Community Trust

Host Organization: Environmental Defense Fund, New York, NY



Soli Shin is a first year, Masters in Environmental Management student at Duke’s Nicholas School. She is interested in a career tackling energy problems. She believes that the answer to climate change lies within an interdisciplinary model that incorporates quantitative methods and analysis through language, visuals, and data.




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Rachel Smith

Foundation Partner/Host Organization: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation






Rachel recently completed her M.S. in Forestry from The University of Montana, where her research focused on developing geospatial tools to assist tribal land managers in meeting their conservation goals.  Rachel is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.  She is interested in learning how non-profits can support tribal communities to build capacity, and develop movements, focused on the protection and conservation of land, water, air, community health and cultural identity.  She enjoys exploring hot springs, hiking with her family, and traveling.