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Dow Fellows, L to R: Joe Halso, Sarah Wightman, Rory Pulvino, Jeff Jay, Stephen Scheele, and Sommer Engels

Six Michigan Law Students Named Dow Sustainability Fellows

By Lori Atherton
Feb. 13, 2014

Six Michigan Law students will be making their mark as sustainability leaders thanks to their selection as 2014 Dow Sustainability Fellows. They are among an interdisciplinary group of 40 U-M graduate and postdoctoral students charged with developing sustainability solutions that have a local-to-global impact. Each will receive $20,000 for their studies.

Sommer Engels, 1L, Joseph Halso, 3L, and Jeffrey Jay, Rory Pulvino, Stephen Scheele, and Sarah Wightman, all 2Ls, are representing Michigan Law as Dow Fellows. The students will form collaborative teams comprised of students from eight U-M schools and colleges, whose diverse interests include water, energy, health, consumption, green chemistry, transportation, climate change, environmental law, and public policy, among others. Through the program, the fellows will develop their interdisciplinary thinking and engagement and implement sustainability projects that will have a positive impact in the community and throughout the world.

David Uhlmann, the Jeffrey F. Liss Professor from Practice and director of Michigan Law's Environmental Law and Policy Program, said each of the Law School's Dow Fellows is committed to sustainability and will make an "outstanding addition to the Dow program." Prof. Uhlmann, along with professors Kristina Daugirdas and Nina Mendelson, nominated the students for the fellowship program, which was established at the University through a six-year expendable gift from the Dow Chemical Co.

Wightman said she is looking forward to working with "smart and talented graduate students from many different disciplines within the University. The program will provide me with a variety of new perspectives, which will only increase my ability to work with and understand a variety of clients in my future career as an environmental attorney."

Ben Kobren, a 2013 Michigan Law graduate and a member of the University's first cohort of Dow Fellows, experienced firsthand what Wightman is hoping to gain through the program. He and his team focused on issues related to sustainable food, and assisted the newly formed Washtenaw Food Hub in its preparation to enter the market for aggregation and distribution of local produce. Their work included a report analyzing market demand for local produce and offering recommendations to help guide the Food Hub's initial efforts.

"The Dow Sustainability Fellowship was an excellent complement to the classroom education I received at Michigan Law," Kobren said. "The program's interdisciplinary approach offered a unique opportunity to leverage diverse expertise, technical resources, and student passion in order to develop ideas and programs that will hopefully enable communities to move toward a more sustainable future."

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