Profiles

– Alumni Profile, Sarah Cooksey ’78/’84 M.S.

– Rooted in Nature – Nature Conservancy program director helps protect thousands of acres in Delaware –

Sarah Cooksey ’78/’84 M.S. has always had a profound connection to nature, and her successful career in environmental conservation is deeply rooted in that bond.

She was recently appointed director of conservancy programs at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Delaware, a nonprofit that since 1989 has helped protect more than 30,000 acres and manages more than 5,000 acres in its Delaware preserves.

Her background includes 20 years as the environmental program administrator for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. While there, she chaired the state’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Board that produced the state’s first major report on its susceptibility to sea level rise and represented Delaware in the development of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Plan, according to TNC.

Cooksey followed in her parent’s footsteps as public servants, focusing primarily on water issues so she could really make a difference.

“I knew I wanted to be a scientist and study biology,” she says, recalling the environmental protection laws in the 1970’s and the first Earth Day.

“Through those experiences I learned that, unfortunately, most people won’t voluntarily protect and conserve the environment,” she says.
Cooksey is responsible for overseeing restoration projects at TNC and managing other initiatives such as “large-scale land protection, the establishment of a water fund in the Brandywine-Christina and an increased effort to make conservation more relevant to urban audiences,” according to TNC.

“I love my new job. Coincidentally, my TU education is being directly put to use—I literally have dusted off my old botanical keys to help refresh my mind and move back into the study of terrestrial ecosystems. Moving from government to the not-for-profit world has been a huge change, but TNC values are directly in my line of thinking, so I feel grateful to be in a place with so many like-minded people,” she explains.

—Heidi Stasiowski ‘17

 

– Alumni Profile, Diana Goldsmith ’16

– The Mobilizer – Associate for Repair the World spurs young Jewish adults to give back

Giving back and working with the Baltimore Jewish community defines Diana Goldsmith ’16. Now she’s refining that role as a program associate for Repair the World, an organization that mobilizes thousands of young Jewish adults who want to make giving back part of who they are.

Repair the World is a New York City-based fellowship program with four other “communities” in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

The Baltimore group focuses on issues of food justice and education equity, and works with the Jewish Volunteer Connection, an organization that connects its volunteers with top community partners.

Goldsmith connects young adults with service opportunities, planning volunteer events and service learning programming, and overseeing teams of volunteers.

“It involves a lot of emailing and meetings, but it is so fun and incredibly meaningful to be able to create purposeful and influential programming for the young adult community,” she says.

Goldsmith’s experience includes working with the Har Sinai Youth Group and the Baltimore Educational Initiative for Teens and Reform Judaism. As a TU student, she was treasurer of Students Helping Honduras, the student director of the Honors College, and studied abroad in Costa Rica at the International Center of Development Studies in the Human Rights and Development program.

“While abroad, I learned about a variety of social issues, human rights law, and how to execute community development successfully, all of which have been extremely useful in my work, she notes.

Her plans for Repair the World include continuing to encourage other young adults to make service an important part of their daily lives and learning about and tackling social issues that are having an impact on Baltimore.

—Heidi Stasiowski ‘17