Alumni Then and Now

The Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program at Western Michigan University is thrilled to follow the work of our alums.  Browse many of their profiles below.

Photos of Remy Long

Remy Long, 2010, Environmental Studies and Global and International Studies

Remy recently completed his two-year service in Peace Corps Gambia, where he specialized in agroforestry and apiculture (bee keeping).  With a close Peace Corps friend he also raised funds for a folklore project, "Preserving the Oral History of Gambia."  Remy will extend for a third year to complete his main project--establishing the Peace Corps Gambia Food Security Training Center.

At WMU Remy graduated Magna Cum Laude and received Environmental Studies' Academic Excellence Award.  On campus he was coordinator of the Gibbs House For Environmental Research and Education.  Off campus, Remy Wwoof'd in England, Scotland, and Ireland; interned in North Carolina at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems; and took on a Wisconsin apprenticeship in carpentry at the Little Sugar River Farm.

See Remy's photostream here!

Images of Tristan Brown

Tristan Brown, 2005, Environmental Studies and Student Planned Major;
2007, M.S. in Economics, Cambridge University

Update: During summer 2013, Tristan will be working at Van Ness Feldman PC, a law firm that specializes in energy and environmental law, and has a niche serving renewable energy projects.

Tristan is currently attending Berkeley Law at the University of California-Berkeley. From 2008-2011 he was legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), with responsibilities for environment, agriculture, and energy. During that time Tristan participated in annual meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COPs) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In 2005 Tristan won an undergraduate Udall Scholarship from the Morris K. Udall Foundation, and the next year a graduate Gates Cambridge Scholarship to attend Cambridge University in the Department of Land Economy. In the photos above, Senator Klobuchar is introducing Tristan to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (left); attending the confirmation hearing for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak (middle); and celebrating a Gates Scholars reunion at the British Embassy.

Check out Tristan's WMU honors thesis project, the documentary Jaunt to Malaysia.

Pictures of Alissa Lahti

Aliisa Lahti, 2006, Environmental Studies and Comparative Religion

Since graduating from WMU, Aliisa has applied her training and personal vision to becoming a farmer and artist.  She farms at her home, Heron Homestead, where she uses no petrochemical or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Aliisa loves insects, discovering them to be one of her favorite things about farming! While attending WMU, Aliisa served as co-chair of Students for a Sustainable Earth, a member of Women's Equality, and a volunteer at the Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center.  Having decided to settle in Kalamazoo, Aliisa remains extremely active in the community. She is the long-time chair of the board of directors for the People's Food Co-op and a board member of Fair Food Matters; she was also an educator for Girls in the Wild. Most recently, Aliisa has become involved in ERAC/CE, a non-profit organization formed as part of a local movement to eliminate racism.

See the Kalamazoo Gazette's feature article on Aliisa (above photo at left by John A. Glacko for the Gazette).  You can also find some of her beautiful wearable art at