As the Vice-Chair of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA), I would like to help “foster effective and inspiring communication that alleviates environmental issues and conflicts, and solves the problems that cause them.” Because I valued the idea of the IECA, I joined as a founding member five years ago. As Vice-Chair, I hope to continue the environmental ethic initiated more than twenty years ago with the first Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE). Broadly speaking, I am dedicated to environmental issues and have sought out ways to address these problems in my professional and personal life.
Professionally, I have served the Environmental Communication Division of NCA as Legislative Assembly Representative, Vice President (and Program Planner), and President of the division. This year, I chaired the awards committee, as is typical of the Immediate Past President. I regularly volunteer as a reviewer, chair, and respondent with the Environmental Communication Division. Finally, through my research and teaching, I seek out opportunities to better understand how communication shapes our perceptions of the natural world and invite students to use the tools of communication to advocate for a better, more just world. To make this kind of scholarship more accessible, I have given public presentations in Omaha and am partnering with local advocates to present additional research at local meetings and at the 2017 Neighborhoods USA conference.
In my personal life, I am not only the board chair for the Community Bike Project Omaha, I am also a dedicated volunteer. I teach a class every Saturday called Kids Bike Club, which helps 5-9-year-olds learn the different parts of the bike, how to maintain them, and some basic safe riding skills. At the end of four classes, a child receives a bike and helmet for free. Because this organization depends on donations, I also help plan and execute fundraisers. Along similar lines, I started a free bike shop on Creighton’s campus, which earned an honorable mention in 2015 from the League of American Bicyclists, called The Bike Nest.
From my perspective, these efforts are socially responsible and contribute to combating not only material, environmental threats but also the cultural and social barriers that prevent change. Serving as the Vice-Chair, I wwill work hard to develop meaningful relationships internationally and with professionals in the field.