2019 Alumni Updates

Grace Barcheck, AB 2010, finished her PhD in Earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, last December and started a new job as a research associate at Cornell University in January.

Seth Berkman, AB 2012, recently moved to New York City to take a position as Energy Policy Advisor for the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

Ecaterina (Oana) Coman, PhD 2017, is an image scientist at the Department of Defense.

Gabrielle Coutrot, AM 2013, retired from the French Air Force Reserves where she was a lieutenant at Space Command. This year she also got married, obtained permanent residency in the U.S., and welcomed her first child; she passed her PhD candidacy exam and will complete her PhD in aerospace engineering in 2020; and she was a visiting researcher at JPL.

Michael Craig, AB 2010, accepted a position at the University of Michigan as an assistant professor in energy systems in the School for Environment and Sustainability. 

Laura Crossey, AM 1979, was selected as the 2019 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Professor for the Geological Society of America Hydrogeology Division.

Laurence Davis, AB 1969, AM 1972, retired from the University of New Haven, where he is now professor emeritus of Earth and environmental sciences. He moved to Concord, NH, and completed his 50th summer as Director of Nature Programs and Teaching at Camp Pemigewassett in Wentworth, NH. Last November, Davis received an outstanding educator award from the New England Environmental Alliance. 

Tori Fancher, AB 2008, was promoted to director of the Health Industries Advisory team at PwC. She and her husband, Colton, welcomed their daughter, Hadley Rose, on June 21, 2019.

Andrew Foreman, AM 2009, was promoted to Geosciences and Remediation Lead at Enercon Services, Inc., in Tulsa, OK.

Yosef Gillers, AB 2010, was recently named one of Jewish Week’s “36 under 36” for his work founding and developing his organization, GrowTorah, part of the inaugural cohort of the Orthodox Union’s Impact Accelerator.

Matthew Guiang, AB 2015, began law school at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor this fall.

Pierre Haenecour, PhD 2016, started a new job as an assistant professor in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona.

Elizabeth Hasenmueller, PhD 2011, received promotion with tenure, moving up to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Saint Louis University.

Walter Hays, PhD 1961, is still working on the Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction, an international NGO, which he created in 1999.

Margaret Hinkle, PhD 2015, recently began researching water quality at a coal mine remediation site in West Virginia and had the opportunity to conduct field work there with her Environmental Field Methods students last spring. Hinkle welcomed her second child, Marshall, in June.

Julie Iles, AB 2015, recently accepted a position as a political business reporter, working in the Parliament press gallery for the National Business Review, a national New Zealand newspaper. 

Blair Johnson, AB 2016, started working at the Earthwatch Institute in January, where she works on projects related to citizen science research and corporate sustainability. She has been living in the Boston area for over a year. 

Carla Koretsky, AB 1992, currently Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Geosciences at Western Michigan University, was named one of the 2019 Notable Women in STEM by Crain’s Detroit.

Yang Liu, PhD 2013, was awarded the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s prestigious Urey Fellowship last December. After completing a two-year postdoc at LPI, Liu accepted a position at the National Space Science Center in China, where he leads the planetary research group. His group’s work focuses on remote sensing on Mars and the Moon, and they are heavily involved in the Chang’E 4 mission as well as China’s upcoming Mars 2020 mission.

Nicole Lovenduski, AB 2001, was recently promoted to associate professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and will receive the Ocean Sciences Early Career Award at AGU this fall.

Andrew McCollum, AB 2016, left his air monitoring job in Oklahoma City to start a two-year graduate program in Sustainable Development at Utrecht University in the Netherlands on a Utrecht Excellence Scholarship.

Elizabeth Mitnick, AB 2013, finished her PhD in Earth and planetary science at UC Berkeley in December and now works as a data scientist for an analytics consulting company in Oakland, CA.

Erol Morey, AB 1982, returned to graduate school in August at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC, where he is enrolled in the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. 

Peter Murrey, AB 2011, in his role as Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Division of the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, assisted in litigation brought by the state of Tennessee against the Tennessee Valley Authority for TVA’s disposal of coal ash in unlined pits along the Cumberland River. The case resulted in a settlement requiring TVA to excavate coal ash from unlined pits located in a well-developed karst system.

Seth Olinger, AB 2018, completed his first year in the PhD program at Harvard University. At AGU 2018, he received the Outstanding Student Paper Award for his talk on tidal and thermal stresses driving seismicity along a fracture in the Ross Ice Shelf, which began as his WashU senior thesis.

Laura Schaefer, AB 2002, started a new job in January as an assistant professor in geological sciences at Stanford University.

Brian Shiro, AM 2002, has had a busy year monitoring earthquakes, the Kilauea eruption, and the aftermath of the eruption. His team published their first summary paper in Science and won several awards, including the Department of Interior Unit Award for Excellence of Service, the USGS STAR Award, and the Samuel J. Heyman “Sammie” Service to America Medal. 

Kelsi Singer, PhD 2013, received the Harold C. Urey Prize for early career scientific achievement, and she was named Deputy Project Scientist on the New Horizons mission.

Nadav Sprague, AB 2016, and his colleagues at Gateway to the Great Outdoors, of which he is CEO, recently published a pilot study in the journal Sustainability on how nature-based education impacts the health-related quality of life and STEM-capacity for low-income youth.

Paul Thiel, AB 1959, received an honorary doctorate from UMSL last December for his work in the literary community in St. Louis.

Alexander Webb, AB 2016, moved to Alaska at the end of last year to work as a glacier guide at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the country’s largest national park.

Michael Yue, AB 2013, graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and began his residency in internal medicine at Walter Reed in Bethesda, MD. In April, Yue rotated at NASA Johnson Space Center for a clerkship in Aerospace Medicine, where he worked on a project updating cardiovascular screening protocols in astronauts.