Meet Our Rachel Carson Campus Fellows

Rachel Carson Campus Fellows are competitively selected nationwide. RCC Fellows carry out organizing and educational projects that support RCC’s mission from their campus, into the community and beyond.
This year’s class of RCC Fellows (2021-2022) was chosen from our largest, most talented and diverse group of applicants ever from over 30 states.

RCC Fellow — Jennifer Coronel — Northwestern University

Jennifer is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Human Dimensions, along with two minors in Sustainability and Business. She is pursuing her Master of Science in Energy and Sustainability at Northwestern University. Jennifer has long been a passionate environmentalist since growing up in the lower-income areas of Chicago exposed her to environmental injustices at a young age. She continues to advocate for environmental equity in her community as she works to bring nature to barren neighborhoods.

RCC Fellowship Project:

Through her connections in Chicago, Jennifer is researching the effects of Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) in primarily low-income African American communities. She will conduct extensive interviews and surveys to research the causes and impacts of NDD. She will write about her findings and experiences to promote better understanding of NDD and to support communities like hers across the country.

RCC Fellow — Sahil Inaganti — Tulane University

Sahil is a junior at Tulane University pursuing majors in Environmental Studies, Public Health, and Political Economy with minors in Urban Studies and Management. Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Sahil is passionate about addressing issues of environmental injustice that involve public health. He has interned at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic where he analyzed emissions in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley and has conducted research on the effect of COVID-19 in exacerbating health disparities. At Tulane, Sahil is president of the School of Public Health’s Student Government and co-founder of the Health Equity Fellowship, a leadership development program for first-year students interested in advancing health equity. He is also a trip leader for Tulane Outdoor Adventures where he leads students on outdoor trips across the Gulf South.

RCC Fellowship Project:

For his fellowship project, Sahil plans to lead a divestment campaign at Tulane University. Tulane has a $1.45 billion endowment, of which a sizable portion is invested in fossil fuel companies. Given the disproportionate impact of fossil fuel and petrochemical production in Louisiana and the state’s unique vulnerability to climate change, Sahil intends to educate and mobilize Tulane to conclude that it is unacceptable for a school so indebted to the state and its people to continue fossil fuel investments.

RCC Fellow — Yasmeen Mir — University of Missouri

Yasmeen Mir is a senior at the University of Missouri Columbia. With previous experience in journalism and a current major in Anthropology, she seeks to take an interdisciplinary approach to environmental justice. She grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, volunteering with Community Gardens and various community organizations. In the past, she has worked on New Orleans area campaigns against petrochemical factories along the Mississippi River corridor. In her college career, she has focused on topics like political ecology and green economies that help inform the way she thinks about future solutions. She has spent time doing policy research with the City of Kansas City and the ACLU of Missouri about the inequities of her home state. Yasmeen brings her skills as a journalist and creative writer to environmental justice.

RCC Fellowship Project:

Kansas City is well known as one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Less discussed is the intersection of segregation, urban blight, and environmental degradation. In places like New Orleans or Detroit, industrial pollution and poor infrastructure disproportionately affect communities of color and lower socioeconomic standing. In Kansas City, Troost Avenue is the best known racial dividing line. However, with the completion of Highway 71, a new divide was created. The resulting environmental and public health impact has not been well documented, nor the voices of those who live there well heard. Yasmeen will document these impacts and give voice to the poor and people of color through oral histories of affected families, community groups, and long-time residents, bringing a more powerful, nuanced and previously undocumented history of environmental racism in Kansas City to the public’s attention.

RCC Fellow — Edgar Villeda — Appalachian State University

Edgar is a senior majoring in Biological Anthropology and minoring in Biology at Appalachian State University. Edgar has long held a passion for conservation and primates. From Jeff Corwin to Jane Goodall and Rachel Carson, environmental leaders have inspired Edgar that there is still hope for us and the wildlife that shares the earth with us. Edgar is working to support his community in efforts to address environmental justice issues, while hoping to build a career helping other communities do the same.

RCC Fellowship Project:

Edgar’s work in coordination with the Appalachian State EJ Co-Lab plans to shed light on the challenges faced by community-based initiatives in eastern North Carolina, specifically Robeson and Sampson County. The goal is to bring Johnston County into an ongoing, multi-county research project (led by the EJ Co-lab) and investigate how Latinx communities are experiencing environmental vulnerabilities and fears. Understanding how migrants navigate the landscape and labor in places like farms, meat packing factories, and nonprofit organizations that advocate for farmworkers will provide narratives and strategies to improve their living and working conditions.

RCC Fellow — Sara Heimlich — Tulane University

Sara Heimlich is a senior at Tulane University majoring in Environmental Studies and Political Science, with minors in History and Psychology. On campus, Sara is a DJ for WTUL New Orleans 91.5FM, a member of the student government’s sustainability committee, and an intern with the Tulane Admissions Department. She is interning for the Alliance for Affordable Energy, a local nonprofit that advocates for fair, affordable and environmentally responsible energy policy in New Orleans. She is also a Clean Energy Advocacy Intern with the Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment, doing research on state-by-state solar regulations. Sara loves to explore New Orleans, backpack, and camp whenever she gets the chance.

RCC Fellowship Project:

Sara will extend her work to bring the first solar initiative to Tulane’s campus through community solar. Community solar is a set of regulations that provides low-income families with discounted energy bills without having to install solar panels on their home. Instead, Tulane’s campus would be the host site for the solar array that will benefit New Orleans residents in low-income communities.

RCC Fellow — Gabriela Duncan — University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Gabriela Duncan is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies: Environmental Justice with a minor in Geography. After graduation, she hopes to go to law school to focus on environmental law and specialize in environmental justice cases, a love sparked by her divestment work. Gabriela is also engaged in research with Dr. Gabriela Valdivia about mutual aid organizing in Ecuador during the stay-at-home orders of COVID-19. Outside of EJ work, Gabriela enjoys meeting prospective students as an Admissions Ambassador, playing the saxophone as a Pep Band/Marching Band member, dancing to reggaeton, cooking, and traveling.

RCC Fellowship Project:

Gabriela’s introduction to fossil fuel divestment started her first year at UNC-Wilmington as a member of student government. She was called upon to write a resolution to challenge UNCW to divest from fossil fuels. Ever since, divestment activism has been the focus of her efforts to make change on campus. After transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill, she co-founded UNC Reinvest, an organization focused on fighting the entire UNC System’s contributions to environmental injustice. Gabriella is excited to get more involved in community empowerment and mutual aid to help establish the foundation for a successful movement that will get the UNC System to divest from fossil fuels.

RCC Presidential Fellow — Audrey Magnuson – Duke University

Audrey Magnuson is a senior at Duke University majoring in Public Policy with minors in Environmental Science and Art History. She is passionate about leveraging quality environmental policy to better her community in North Carolina and beyond, particularly in environmental justice. She hopes to earn a law degree after completing her Duke education. In her free time, Audrey is a yoga and Pilates instructor and loves to spend time looking for new hiking trails or creating new recipes in the kitchen. On campus, she also leads an all-women’s dance company and directs communications for a student-led sexual violence prevention initiative.

RCC Presidential Fellowship:

Audrey works with RCC President & CEO Bob Musil as the leader of the RCC Coasts and Ocean Program and producer and editor of the RCC Coasts and Ocean Observer. She also researches and advocates for RCC environmental justice and climate policy at the Federal level and in North Carolina. Audrey also represents the RCC in coalitions focused on ending the production of wood pellets and clear-cutting forests and assists Dr. Musil with research for his scholarly, annotated, and illustrated edition with a new Introduction of Rachel Carson’s first book, Under the Sea-Wind (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming).

RCC Presidential Fellow — Isabel Wood – Duke University

Isabel Wood is a junior at Duke University majoring in Environmental Science and Policy with a certificate in Documentary Studies. She feels passionate about science communication, the preservation of biodiversity, and environmental justice. Outside of the classroom, Isabel is a Vice President of the Duke Undergraduate Environmental Union (UEU) where she works on environmental literacy topics and The Enviro-Art Gallery. She is also in Duke Mock Trial and works for the Wright Lab, a research lab focused on climate change and ecology. Isabel is excited to be one of this year’s Presidential Fellows with the RCC. She believes that learning to communicate about the environment in the way that Rachel Carson did and the way that the RCC continues her legacy is key to solving many environmental issues.

RCC Presidential Fellowship:

Isabel works with RCC President & CEO Bob Musil as the co-lead with Ross Feldner of the RCC Bird Watch and Wonder Program and as producer and editor of RCC Bird Watch and Wonder. She researches and advocates for RCC’s work on birds and ecology and related wilderness and endangered species issues. Isabel also works with Dr. Musil and Associate Director Mackay Pierce on social media and communications.

RCC Fellow — Ethan Vitaz — Pitzer College

Ethan Vitaz is a senior at Pitzer College studying Environmental Analysis with a focus on Sustainability in the Built Environment. He is primarily interested in using regional food systems as a tool to mitigate catastrophic climate change, increase resiliency, and restore ecological health. He is also interested in the importance of building regional power to demand suitable solutions to the issues we face today. He believes that addressing our ecological crises requires returning stolen land to the Indigenous people that have cared for the land for centuries.

RCC Fellowship Project:

Ethan has experience working as an educator and student organizer at the Claremont Colleges. He believes that the largest investors and corporations are most responsible for the current state of our climate and have the largest responsibility to rectify our global situation. This year, he will follow in the footsteps of Wet’suwet’en leaders in demanding institutional divestment from the Coastal GasLink Pipeline at the Claremont Colleges.

RCC Fellow — Willow Gatewood — Catawba College

Willow Gatewood is a junior at Catawba College studying Environment and Sustainability, with minors in Creative Writing and GIS. She is currently an intern and work-study for the Catawba College Center for the Environment and involved in environmental and climate advocacy groups such as Citizen’s Climate Lobby,, and Fridays for Future. Her passions lie in regenerative, sustainable living, environmental justice, and helping others see the connections between human-made systems and ecosystems through writing and art. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a Master’s towards a career in ecosystems conservation, with a focus on educating others. She also aspires to pursue Indigenous studies to bring more Indigenous science and knowledge to the fields of conservation and ecology. In her free time, she can be found exploring the woods around her home in Cascade, Virginia, reading, gardening, or tucked away in a quiet place writing, painting, and playing guitar.

RCC Fellowship Project:

Willow will create a Sustainability Task Force, comprised of students, staff, faculty, and other community members, that will address the campus’s most pressing sustainability needs. She plans to prepare the campus for a transition into a more formalized Office of Sustainability and build a stronger, more resilient, sustainable community. Task force projects will include community building that will engage students and the larger community in working together.

RCC Fellow — Kisara Dang — University of Texas at Austin

Kisara Dang is a junior geography, sustainability, business, and humanities major at the University of Texas at Austin from Kerrville, Texas. Her humanities degree focuses on the spatial and social implications of environmental policy. Her passions lie in research and teaching others about interdisciplinary and intersectional environmentalism. Ultimately, Kisara hopes to become a professor of environmental policy. Kisara has also worked as an intern at the City of Austin Urban Forestry Department as well as a Mickey Leland Environmental Intern at the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality. On campus, she is a team member of projects related to campus sustainability including awards for the President’s Award for Global Learning and the University of Texas Green Fund Award.

RCC Fellowship Project:

Kisara is creating a series of podcasts and multimedia content to communicate the value and relevance on campus of sustainability topics, especially environmental justice, through funding from the Green Fund award. Kisara hopes to broaden support for sustainability, environmental justice, and student engagement to student sectors and constituencies not typically interested or involved in environmental issues or activism.

RCC Fellow — Jelina Liu — George Washington University

Jelina is studying Political Communication at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has a diverse media background, but her current focus is documentary filmmaking while looking for ways to combine advocacy with media production. Jelina is originally from Northern California and is the Western U.S. coordinator for the College Climate Coalition, a global coalition of college fossil fuel divestment campaigns. She spent summer 2021 in Minnesota on the frontlines of the Line 3 pipeline battle and hopes to continue participating in similar direct action campaigns. Her favorite nature spot is the beach.

RCC Fellowship Project

Frustrated by limited mainstream media coverage on the climate crisis, especially local environmental justice issues, Jelina is working to create an online environmental journalism network across the U.S. for contributions from student journalists, writers, and filmmakers. It will be a website/interactive map which Jelina hopes will help spread awareness and combat the common feeling that the climate crisis is a distant problem. Jelina hopes the stories included will be told in collaboration with local community members who are directly affected by the climate crisis.