Five Michigan Law students named Dow Sustainability Fellows

By Jenny Whalen

U-M Law

Five Michigan Law students will soon add their experience and views to an array of sustainability efforts as members of the 2015 cohort of Dow Sustainability Fellows at the University of Michigan.

Christina Bonanni, 2L, Madeline Buck, 1L, Rachel Hampton, 1L, Insung Hwang, 1L, and Sarah Stellberg, 2L, were selected from a distinguished group of nominees representing 11 programs across campus. They now join an interdisciplinary group of 40 U-M graduate and postdoctoral students charged with developing sustainability solutions that have a local-to-global impact. Each will receive $20,000 for their studies.

"The fellowship is all the more meaningful to me because it comes at the start of a new professional career," Hwang said. "Other than learning about the most up-to-date issues in sustainability, I hope to engage in a project that I can continue developing throughout my career even after the program is over. In other words, I hope the program can be a starting point of my influence in the field."

Over the next year, Hwang and his Michigan Law peers will form collaborative teams with fellows from 10 other U-M schools and colleges, whose diverse interests will enable them to approach sustainability challenges related to water, energy, transportation, built environment, climate change, food, health, and human behavior, among others.

Throughout the program, the fellows will develop their interdisciplinary thinking and engagement and implement sustainability projects that will have a positive impact in the community and throughout the world.

"I am so honored to be awarded a Dow Sustainability Fellowship and am excited by the opportunity to spend this next year developing innovative sustainability solutions to local and global problems with an interdisciplinary team," Hampton said. "My hope is that I really connect with and learn from the other fellows and their unique experiences, and that I take the lessons I learn from this interdisciplinary project into my own legal career."

In addition to co-curricular activities and interactions with the Dow Sustainability Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows, the students will also complete an interdisciplinary team project with real-world relevance.

"As a Fulbright Scholar in Norway, I was involved in very interdisciplinary research concerning sustainability in the textile industry," Buck said. "In law school, I wasn't sure how exactly I would be able to connect my earlier research with my current studies until I came across the Dow Fellowship opportunity. The Dow Fellowship will be a wonderful way to combine my current studies with my interest in sustainability and l can't wait to see what develops as we all put our heads together."

The 2015 class of fellows marks the third cohort of Dow Sustainability Master's/Professional Fellows at the university. The program was established through a six-year gift from The Dow Chemical Company. The new fellows will work with the program through December 2015.

Reprinted with permission of University of Michigan Law School

Published: Mon, Jan 26, 2015