Following completion of their JHU Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy degrees, three alumni created nonprofit organizations aimed at promoting sustainability and climate change awareness in their respective communities. Join us for a panel discussion on how the program helped to encourage the action to develop these meaningful organizations!

Meet the Alumni Panel

Niharika Bandaru (’21) – President and Executive Director for Windsor of Change

Bandaru serves as the President and Executive Director of Windsor of Change, a non-profit in Canada, focused on educating and engaging the Windsor-Essex community about the local impacts of climate change and what they can do to mitigate and adapt to them. Additionally Bandaru is a Sustainability Catalyst for the Town of Innisfil, Ontario, Canada, where she is actively developing climate change and sustainability action plans focusing on emissions reductions and adaptation building. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Windsor and an Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University. She’s also Co-Chair of the Climate Change Adaptation Working Group of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board at the International Joint Commission.

Amber Lively (’21) – Founder/Executive Director for Building Sustainable Connections

In 2020 Lively founded Building Sustainable Connections, a nonprofit focused on encouraging Innovative competition in the local market. Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota the organization has grown to include a Green Business Directory, a local sustainability and conservation networking group (Green Drinks Sioux Falls), a public recognition program, sustainability consulting services, and a small organization grant program. In addition to her work as the Founder/Executive Director for Building Sustainable Connections, Lively currently works for the Big Sioux River Project as the Watershed Project Manager.

Melissa Willhouse (’23) – Co-founder of the Mind & Environment Society along with alumni Kayla Saunders

In 2023 WIllhouse, in partnership with classmate Kayla Saunders, founded the Mind & Environment Society. Created from a leadership class project the Mind & Environment Society focuses on promoting advocacy and awareness around mental health and its intersectionality with the environment. Willhouse works as a communications and environmental education professional. She does freelance photography, volunteers with a local conservation group, is currently training to become a Master Naturalist, and serves on the Board of Directors for a local environmental non-profit in Maryland.

Sustainable Solutions Series Overview
The Sustainable Solutions Speaker Series is presented by the Environmental Sciences and Policy (ESP) and the Energy Policy and Climate (EPC) programs at Johns Hopkins University. Each talk features scholars and practitioners working to tackle ‘wicked’ environmental, energy, and climate problems. Speakers take us through how they leverage technology, policy, the private sector, markets, research, and field work to form innovative and lasting solutions. From water insecurity to climate adaptation, natural resource conflict to energy transitions, and food insecurity to sustainable agriculture, this series features the depth and breadth of Johns Hopkins University faculty and our greater community toward a sustainable future.

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