Clockwise from left: Alex Killion (PhD '21); Chelsea Lisiecki (MS '19) and her husband, Michael; and Kerry Fitzmaurice (BS '91). Lisiecki photo credit:
© 2022 MLive Media Group. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Image from the May 13, 2022, MLive edition.

Class Notes


Donald L. Dworsky (MS ’71) has established the Dworsky Award in Water Resources Governance at SEAS. The endowed award provides an annual monetary prize to a student who has submitted the highest quality paper on water resource management. Topics include institutional governing arrangements, management of water quality and supply, water policy and more. The award was established to promote scholarship in this field and to encourage students to consider careers in the public administration of American water resources. The award is named after the three Dworsky family members who attended SEAS and went on to administer natural resources policy in various governmental organizations: Donald; his brother, Richard F. (BSF ’65); and their father, Leonard B., who completed doctoral studies at SEAS from 1955 to 1956.


Ellen Airgood’s (BS ’88) latest novel, “Tin Camp Road,” was released earlier this year. Set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the book focuses on a young single mother and her 10-year-old daughter who “stand up to the trials of rural poverty and find the community they need in order to survive.” Airgood and her husband, Rick, operate a diner together in Grand Marais, Michigan.


Kerry Fitzmaurice (BS ’91) launched Pure Grit BBQ, described as “the first-ever 100% plant-based fast-casual BBQ in NYC,” last May. “I figured the best thing I could do for the environment was create a brand and food that celebrated the best of barbecue, sharing and community, with plants,” Fitzmaurice says. “We celebrate all BBQ lovers and welcome everyone to pull up a chair. No food politics and no judgment. Check out the Pure Grit BBQ website at”


Michigan State Rep. John Cherry (BA ’07) is serving his second term representing the 49th House District, which comprises the cities of Flushing, Mount Morris and Swartz Creek, part of the city of Flint, and Flint and Mount Morris townships.

Susan Dieterlen (MLA ’04, PhD ’09) published a new book, “Design by Deficit: Neglect and the Accidental City,” about how everything we don’t do shapes our surroundings, our lives within them, and our struggles with climate change, inequality and public health. Dieterlen is the founder of DeftSpace Lab, where, as a researcher and designer, she focuses on sustainability, clean energy and how people interact with environments.

Leslie Garrison (BA ’09) is director of commercial charging deployment at Rivian, an electric vehicle automaker and automotive technology company. She leads the team executing the design and construction of all Rivian charging offerings.

José González (MS ’09) received the 2022 Heritage Award from the Aquarium of the Pacific for his work with Latino Outdoors, a Latinx-led community and organization that is focused on building family and celebrating culture and heritage in the outdoors. González is the founder and director emeritus of Latino Outdoors. He currently is a partner at The Avarna Group, which helps businesses integrate social and environmental justice awareness, policies and culture within the workplace.

Meghan Miner Murray (BS ’06) is a freelance writer/researcher and a senior editorial researcher for National Geographic Magazine. She writes: “Greetings from Kona on Hawaii Island! I’ve been living and working as a freelance journalist specializing in travel and environmental topics for the past eight years. I’m an avid scuba diver, certified PADI Divemaster and hobbyist underwater photographer. I’d love to connect with anyone heading this way, in the same field or who I may have lost touch with.” Follow her on Instagram @meghanminermurray.

Amy Senter (BS ’08, MS ’11) is the global director, food and finance, at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. She works with the chief executives of more than 200 international corporations and financial institutions to accelerate industry transformation of the global food and agriculture system.

Melissa Hopkins Taggart (MS ’05) has joined the U.S. Forest Service as an environmental education specialist. She previously worked for seven years at the North American Association for Environmental Education.


Stefania Almazán-Casali (MS ’16, PhD ’20) started a new role as an engagement consultant for The Nature Conservancy’s Water Facility.

Mike Barg (MS/MBA ’17) has started a new position as vice president, partnerships at Shifted Energy in Denver. Shifted Energy designs and deploys energy storage and interactive demand response solutions for grid operators and energy providers.

Madeline Baroli (BA ’16) is a climate adaptation specialist at the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. She works with scientists and natural resource managers to support the integration of climate change considerations and adaptation approaches into land management, with an emphasis on forest ecosystems.

Zoe Berkery (BA ’12) is the chief operating officer at CleanCapital, a renewable energy investment platform. She is responsible for the management and optimization of CleanCapital’s growing fleet of clean energy assets; she also oversees corporate operations.

Jennifer Carman (MS ’15, PhD ’20) is now the deputy research manager at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. She develops and supports survey research on public attitudes, behaviors and policy support regarding climate change in the United States and globally.

Chelsea Lisiecki (MS ’19) and her husband, Michael, opened Carosello Pasta in Dexter, Michigan. The business offers fresh and fried pasta as well as other specialty food items.

Cybelle Shattuck (MS ’11, PhD ’16) was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor at Western Michigan University. She holds a joint position in the

Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Department

of Comparative Religion.

“Level Up,” a song by Cynthia Shih (MS/MBA ’13), a singer/songwriter performing under the name Vienna Teng, was featured in U-M’s 2022 welcome-back video, “This is Your Day, No Other!” The video can be found on YouTube. Shih has been a performing songwriter since 2002 and has released five studio albums. She also is the senior adviser, global insights and strategies for the environmental nonprofit Delterra.   


Alex Killion (PhD ’21) has a new job as the managing director of the Center for Biodiversity and Global Change at Yale University. The center’s efforts focus on global biodiversity research, conservation and policy.