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Environment and ecology graduates celebrate outside Murray Hall in spring 2018.

With an expanded focus, the new Environment, Ecology and Energy Program offers graduates new interdisciplinary options.

Alumnae Liza Schillo ’07 and Morgan Zemaitis ’17 appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of their Carolina degrees, an aspect that has fueled their rewarding careers in sustainability and energy.

Schillo, who received a B.A. in environmental studies, is manager of product sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco. Zemaitis, who received a B.S. in environmental science with a minor in mathematical decision sciences, is an analyst in Enterprise Energy Solutions with Insight Sourcing Group in Atlanta.

Both returned to campus last spring — Zemaitis to the UNC Clean Tech Summit and Schillo as the speaker for the environment and ecology curriculum’s graduation ceremony.

Zemaitis, who was a Morehead-Cain Scholar, had internships with a sustainable development NGO in Uganda and a utility company in San Francisco. She also worked on research in the UNC Energy Frontier Research Center.

“The benefit of consulting is I get to see how energy and sustainability impact all levels of a corporation,” she said.

Zemaitis said she is excited about the expanded focus on energy in the College of Arts & Sciences’ new Environment, Ecology and Energy Program (E³P).

“I think this will pave the way for more internship opportunities for students and keep the program on the forefront in the changing energy industry,” she said.

Liza Schillo, Greg Gangi and Jaye Cable at the May 2018 graduation ceremony for the curriculum for environment and ecology.
Liza Schillo, Greg Gangi and Jaye Cable at the May 2018 graduation ceremony for the curriculum for environment and ecology.

Schillo, who went on to receive a dual MBA/master’s in environmental management from Duke University, founded Epsilon Eta, the environmental honors fraternity, while at UNC.

“I really valued how cross-cutting the UNC curriculum was. I learned about geography, climate change and economic policy,” she said.

At the spring graduation ceremony, Schillo told students the world is in desperate need of their skills because they understand not only the science of climate change, but also what makes a good story.

“You can connect the dots, and you have the ability to translate across sectors,” she said. “You are graduating at a pivotal moment in history for the environmental movement. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that one person cannot change the world.”

By Kim Weaver Spurr ’88

Read a story about the new E³P.

Published in the Fall 2018 issue | Features

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