Skidmore College Joins RCC Campus Network

Skidmore College has become the 66th school to join the Rachel Carson Campus Network. The liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs, New York boasts a strong Environmental Studies & Sciences (ESS) program, integrating natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. “Creative Thought Matters” is the school’s motto which is taken to heart in the ESS program where students have the opportunity to do experiential, place-based learning at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

Maya Cohn, RCC’s Director of Policy and Programs and a graduate of Skidmore College, was invited to join a panel of expert alumni for the ESS department’s fall keynote lecture on September 26. Cohn joined Josh Inaba, Special Assistant at the U.S. Department of Energy, Sondra Lipshutz Shah, Water Resources Engineer at Inter-Fluve, and Melvin Alvarez, Grant Program Manager at 11th Hour Racing to speak with students about career paths after graduating with an Environmental Studies degree. Over 80 students joined in Gannett Auditorium to hear from the alumni panel, asking questions about burgeoning issues in the environmental field (nature-based solutions, artificial intelligence, equity, and justice), graduate school (useful for specific career goals, but not necessary for everyone), and getting your first job (network, network, network!).

In addition to the alumni panel, Cohn was able to meet and spend time with both faculty and students, catching up about life after college and her work with the Rachel Carson Council and on Capitol Hill. There was also an opportunity for one on one mentoring, where Skidmore students sat down to discuss their individual paths to becoming environmental leaders, including the RCC Fellowship Program. One thing was clear: today’s Skidmore students are alright, pursuing capstone projects ranging from using yeast from local breweries to remediate PCBs to doing feasibility studies for deploying green roofs across communities in New York City. These passionate, motivated, intelligent young leaders are gaining experience with both laboratory and community work and will soon enter the environmental field prepared to make real change.