senior spotlight: lia franklin ’24

Hi, lovely coexist blog readers! My name is Lia Franklin and I have been an intern for the Bailey COE for the past two years. I have been so lucky to work with the wonderful Laurie Kenney to write some great blog posts, create content, and help with events. I have been so grateful for the opportunity to get to know the Bailey COE community more; from students to professors to outside speakers. So, now it’s time for you all to get to know me a little better!

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but have always had a love for the outdoors. This dual love, which many think is somewhat contradictory, has driven my interest in climate change and environmental issues. 

Here at Wesleyan, I am a second semester senior and a government and environmental studies major. I am currently writing a thesis about environmental constitutionalism using New York State as a case study. Through this project, I have been able to combine my two passions: political science and climate work. After graduation, I hope to continue pursuing this combination and am interested in one day working in environmental public policy. I’m specifically interested in urban policy and the intersection between environmental justice movements, public policy, and environmental law in urban areas. 

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brown ’22 shares travel-volunteer experience and advice

Belle Brown ‘22, an environmental studies and government major while at Wes, shares her Workaway experiences in Goa, India, and the Western Ghat mountains, working in permaculture and eco-building; discusses her time at Wesleyan and her late night talk show thesis, Wesleyan Tonight; and shares advice for current Wesleyan students!

Hi, Belle! Would you mind sharing a bit about yourself and your time at Wesleyan?
Hi! I am from Arlington, Virginia, but was raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. I graduated from Wes in 2022, with degrees in environmental studies and government. While at Wes, I was involved in the comedy groups Hysterics and Awkward Silence. For my capstone I created a late night TV show called Wesleyan Tonight, which continued on for a year after I left! I worked at Long Lane Farm, and for Wesleyan Food Rescue, as well as on some senior film theses. I was also a compost intern and got to collect people’s food waste and educate them on composting. That was one of my favorite jobs; it really sparked my current interest in food justice and sustainable agriculture.

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senior spotlight: maggie monaghan ’24

Maggie Monaghan’24, is an American studies and environmental studies major and an electee of Wesleyan’s Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Maggie is developing a thesis on the influence of naturalist and writer Alexander von Humboldt, and how language plays a central role in the development of culture and our conceptions of history. As a recipient of a Bailey College of the Environment summer fellowship she had the opportunity to work on a musical about Alexander von Humboldt, set in the modern day.

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exploring the relationship between redlining and co2 emissions

On Tuesday, October 10, Professor Patrick Trent Greiner presented a talk about redlining and CO2 emissions in cities in the United States. The talk was cosponsored by the Bailey College of the Environment, Government Department, Allbritton Center, and African American Studies Department. Professor Greiner is an assistant professor of sociology and public policy studies at Vanderbilt University who specializes in the intersection of structural inequality, development processes, and environmental change. His talk, “The Racialization of Space and the Spatial Differentiation of Emissions,” was an incredible opportunity for students and faculty alike to listen and learn together.

Professor Greiner began by explaining that CO2 emissions must be decoupled from growth and human well-being. Since the preindustrial era, more than 2.4 trillion tons of CO2 has been released and this has been done so inequitably. He reported that the effects of CO2 emissions have been felt disproportionately both across and within nations. 

Greiner then went on to explain redlining and its lasting effects. In the 1930s the Home Owners Loan Corporation, a government sponsored corporation that was created as part of the New Deal to help citizens become homeowners, created maps of neighborhoods. These maps delineated which neighborhoods were safe investments and would get loans, noted as green areas, versus risky neighborhoods, which were color coded red. These decisions were highly racialized and the majority of minority neighborhoods were largely classified as red and, hence, those who lived in these areas were unable to get home loans. Professor Greiner pointed out that this system had many impacts that can still be seen today. 

The main goal in Professor Greiner’s study was to explore the relationship between CO2 emissions in a place and life expectancy. Racial projects, such as the construction of public housing, interstate highways, or redlined neighborhoods, played a major role in this relationship. In fact, using CO2 data from 2010 and 2015, along with redlining maps from the 1930s, Professor Greiner found a clear tie between environmental hazards and racial bias.

In the talk he differentiated between embodied emissions and production emissions. The former refers to emissions created by residents while the latter refers to emissions from companies. He found that there is little correlation between redlined districts and higher embodied emissions but a clear correlation with production emissions. He concluded that redlined areas had lower life expectancies and drew connections between the effects of particulate matter in the air due to emissions and health problems in citizens.

mobilizing power event focuses on community building for enviro justice

The Robert F. Schumann Institute of the Bailey College of the Environment was honored to host Mobilizing Power: Community Building for Environmental Justice on November 11, 2023, in Daniel Family Commons in Usdan. The event brought together advocates from a variety of nonprofits, government agencies, grassroots campaigns, and academic institutions to exchange ideas for making meaningful, long-term environmental progress.  The event was sponsored by The Robert F. Schumann Institute of the Bailey College of the Environment at Wesleyan University, Wesleyan Sustainability Office, Save the Sound, Sunrise Wesleyan, Wesleyan Environmental Solidarity Network (ESN), Sustainable CT, The Rockfall Foundation, and the DEEP.

Organized by Malana Rogers-Bursen, project coordinator for food security, environmental justice, and sustainability for the Robert F. Schumann Institute of the Bailey COE, Mobilizing Power brought together approximately 90 participants, including environmental justice leaders, high school youth organizers, and college students from Wesleyan and other universities, to discuss important issues related to environmental justice in Connecticut. The planning team for the event included community leaders from Sustainable CT, CT DEEP, Save the Sound and the Rockfall Foundation, as well as student leaders Dylan Campos ’24, Michael Minars ’25, Debbra Goh ’24, Hannah Phan ’25, Laine Gorman ’25, and Naysa Abraham ’26, who took clear leadership shaping the event and presenting throughout the day.

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meet our 40+ summer 2023 fellows!

Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer (and spring and fall) research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. Most recently, the COE awarded more than 40 fellowships to Wes students. Learn a little bit more about each, below! Applications for summer 2024, fall 2024 and spring 2025 Bailey COE fellowships will open in January 2024.

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weiner ’24 explores 1947 texas city disaster

Arlo Weiner ‘24 is a history and Middle East studies major. For his thesis, he is creating a documentary about the 1947 Texas City Disaster in which 576 people were killed and more than 3,000 injured. With the assistance of a 2023 Bailey COE summer fellowship, he spent his summer in Texas City and Galveston, meeting with witnesses of the disaster and conducting historical research. 

What led you to choose the Texas City Disaster as the subject for this documentary project? 
I picked this project because I was able to get in touch with a man named Carl Trepagnier, who wrote a fictionalized account of his experience of the disaster entitled Rise Up: A Novel about the 1947 Texas City Explosion. He offered to bring me to the town and offered to show me around and introduce me to other people who also lived through the disaster.

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