The UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute has selected two environmental science students as TESI Fellows with its Environmental Leaders pilot program. Connor Milton and Coleen Sailsman are among the first 12 students to participate. Both are seniors from Florida. The fellowship aims to bring together students from diverse majors and backgrounds and provide them with the knowledge, skills, confidence, and network to advocate for the planet as they take on leadership roles in their respective careers.
Connor is participating to learn more about careers, research, environmental education, and environmental justice and racism. He also wants to explore graduate school opportunities, especially options for conducting research. He hopes to become a public-sector environmental lawyer and work in environmental education.
“I’m excited about being able to connect with like-minded individuals who have a passion for environmental change and justice and building a diverse and accepting community,” Connor said.
Coleen is interested in sustainable studies and solutions to climate and environmental justice issues. She hopes to work in an environmental justice profession helping to address and right social inequities. She also would like to be a sustainability advocate and help influence larger organizations to make sustainable decisions.
“I am excited to explore the facets that surround environmental education and the influence of sustainable solutions,” Coleen said. “Through this fellowship, I look forward to building my knowledge on how to positively influence my community.”
About the Program
The TESI Fellows is funded through a faculty grant from the Henry David Thoreau Foundation. It offers UF undergraduates the opportunity to gain experience in environmental research, education and outreach, and civic engagement. The 2021-22 cohort will attend seminars featuring environmental experts, receive mentoring from professionals in environmental fields, network with peers, and take part in a fellow-designed, multi-day field experience focused on environmental challenges across Florida. More information is here: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/earth-systems/uf-tesi-environmental-leaders-fellowship/