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Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program Explores Careers

By Gabriela Antenore

The University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and SciencesEnvironmental and Sustainability Studies program will host a speaker series to give students a realistic look at what they can do with their degrees. The three-part “What can I do with an ENS degree” Spring 2020 Speaker Series is set to begin Feb. 13.

“As corporations are starting to put the planet before profits, our speaker series demonstrates the diversity and growing job market in the field of sustainability,” said Betsy Beymer-Farris, director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies at UK. “It gets students excited and well-prepared to enter the workforce and contribute to a more sustainable future.”

Beginning the series is senior environmental specialist for EcoGro, Russ Turpin. He is a native plant specialist and oversees their restoration, weed control and maintenance programs. Turpin is primarily responsible for running heavy equipment on stream mitigation projects in Central Kentucky. His presentation “Working in the Field of Environmental Restoration” will begin 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in 234 White Hall Classroom Building.

The second speaker in the series is Winifred Bird, an environmental journalist and translator from northwestern Illinois. Bird has reported about all areas of nature, including wildlife, agriculture, rising sea levels and nuclear disaster for many national publications. Bird’s presentation will start 5:30 p.m., March 5, in Room 121 of the Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building (JSB).

Closing out the Spring 2020 Speaker Series will be Lenard Sauers, former vice president of global sustainability and global product stewardship at Proctor and Gamble. He currently teaches environmental and social sustainability as an adjunct professor at Xavier University. Sauers’ discussion will begin 5:30 p.m., April 9, in Room 221 of JSB.

The speaker series will aide students in better preparing themselves for life after college, including building a successful career in sustainability and environmental work.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.