Undergraduate Leaders Program

Mallory Thomas

Mallory is a sophomore in the College of Biological Sciences’ Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. She’s also purusing a minor in Sustainability Studies. Her areas of interest include using research of ecological interactions to develop sustainable resource usage at an industry level and sustainable lifestyles at a social level. Mallory is a member of the CBS Student Board, serves on the CBS Learning Technologies Committee and contributes to research in the Snell-Rood laboratory. She also enjoys talking about her experience as a student studying sustainability in Denmark. In the future Mallory hopes to pursue a PhD with a focus on ecosystem ecology, communicate the importance of science to the public and learn Spanish (since Latin didn’t really pan out!). Some of Mallory’s favorite things outside of school include her four younger brothers, Birch Lake, ranting about social justice and brunch.

Justin Halverson

Justin Halverson is a musician, organizer, poet and senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities. He majors in Music, which he ties into his interest in the intersection of social, environmental and economic assets that benefit communities in creative ways. He is currently a leader of the West Bank Community Garden and is working with local activists and organizations to draft state legislation that funds the growth of community rain gardens. His other experience include working with multiple equity and sustainability organizations across the University of Minnesota campus, as well as Face Forward, Spark-Y Youth Action Labs, Project Sweetie Pie and the St. Paul School of Rock. Justin collaborates with local spoken word artists, plays bass in a number of bands and leads his own group. He envisions bringing people together around the intersection of art, nature and change that will transition us into a world that feels softer, smells like the seasons and moves just a little bit slower.

Kyle Samejima

Kyle is a non-traditional student working on her Bachelor of Individualized Studies in Environmental Communication with concentrations in Sustainability, Communication Studies and Mass Communication. She plans to work in a non-profit or government position, creating environmental advocacy campaigns that excite, engage and empower citizens to make the systemic and personal changes necessary in the age of climate change and the Anthropocene. She is interested in the tension between climate change mitigation and adaptation and the role of our economic system in destroying or preserving our planet, and she traveled to Italy in May 2015 for the Sustainable Food Systems of Italy study abroad program.
Kyle’s favorite things are her three daughters, weather, being a good environmental steward, friends, making jewelry and the awe and excitement of learning about our natural world. Her favorite books right now are “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond, “This Changes Everything, Climate Change vs Capitalism” by Naomi Klein, and “Active Hope, How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy” by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone.

Jessica Eckerstorfer

Jessica Eckerstorfer is a senior English and Philosophy double major with a concentration in civic life and ethics. She is currently working with Free Arts Minnesota, through the Art Connection Grant to bring local youth artwork to various venues in the Twin Cities community. Her research focuses on environmental ethics, and the links between the humanities and the environment, as well as consumer language and ecofeminism. In her spare time (which there’s never enough of!), Jessica continues to grow her mounting book collection, play the piano, spend time as an amateur photographer and bike around the Twin Cities.

Moriah Maternoski

Moriah is a second-year student pursuing her undergraduate degree in Food Systems. She wants to make a difference in the food system by gathering people from all backgrounds and providing them with the ability to know how to cook nutritious and healthy foods, as well as grow them. Additionally, she wants to increase the amount of locally sourced food in her city by enhancing local communities and economies. She is currently a member of the Real Food Challenge leadership team — a group working to get more local, fair, sustainable and humane food on campus. One of her favorite pastimes is running and racing and she also loves to cook while perusing the internet for new recipes.

Tyler Redden

Tyler Redden maintains office operations and publication orders for the Publications Office at the Institute on Community Integration, as well as providing general office and administrative support. Since October 2012 Redden has worked in offices at the University, including the Carlson School of Management (IDSc/SME), School of Social Work, Center for Transportation Studies, Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences and the Health Natural Sciences Libraries (with two years of prior experience working in retail banking). Redden is a Biology, Society and the Environment (BSE) major with a concentration on the environment. Redden is also a double minor in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Studies and Sustainability Studies and pursuing an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting certification. Through the GLBTA Programs Office Redden is listed as a staff and student resource due to his work in the GLBT mentoring program in academic year 2012-2013 and the present.

James Butler

James Butler is a freshman studying Environmental Engineering. He is also a member of the Institute on the Environment Undergraduate Leadership Program. James is from Vermillion, South Dakota, and has been passionate about the environment ever since his time as a Boy Scout. He is an Eagle Scout and has been on backpacking trips in Wyoming and New Mexico along with numerous summers at Camp Geiger in Saint Joseph, Missouri. His Eagle Scout project included the planning, management and building of two footbridges for a local youth soccer club.

He is very interested in addressing the detrimental effects of climate change with sustainable engineering solutions and being able to communicate these solutions in an effective manner. He enjoys working in a team of diverse individuals to solve real-world issues dealing with sustainable systems, energy and infrastructure. Outside of academics, he plays trumpet in the University’s marching band — the “Pride of Minnesota” — and loves all things Gopher Sports.