Meet Katie Mesa, Fall Intern (Wheaton College)
I am majoring in environmental science with minors in math and Spanish at Wheaton College. I chose to major in environmental science because of its intersectionality with other fields and because of my passion for sustainability.
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
Still trying to figure that out, but I hope to continue working in public health and environmental justice.
What is your dream job?
My dream job is running my own sustainable fiber farm and making/selling handspun yarn and textiles.
What do you hope to learn while interning with GASP?
I hope to learn more about community engagement within the environmental policy process as well as to see what environmental justice looks like at the grassroots level.
Why is our mission to reduce air pollution important to you?
Air pollution is an inescapable kind of pollution. There are ways to gain access to clean water and clean food, but people do not get a choice in what quality of air they breathe. This is what makes the polluting of minority communities so insidious. Everyone has a right to breathe clean air.
What is your favorite food?
Katsu curry, dragonfruit, Thai iced tea, and pretty much everything my brother cooks
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy doing a multitude of different crafts such as knitting, crochet, embroidery, needle felting, and jewelry making. I also have a passion for music; I’ve played harp for 16 years and I am a verified hand bell choir veteran.
Who or what are your influences?
My Catholic faith is very important to me. As such, my main influences are St. Francis of Assisi and Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Workers movement.
What are some other fun facts about yourself?
- In high school I worked at a reptile sanctuary with very large snakes.
- I have dyed my hair every color of the rainbow.
- In my middle school production of Wizard of Oz I played a tree.
Michael joined GASP as communications specialist in April 2013 and now serves as the Executive Director. Previously, he was director of public relations for The Modern Brand Company where he managed communications for the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership’s Champions for Health campaign. Before joining The Modern Brand, Michael served as public relations and marketing coordinator at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Michael has years of experience and extensive training in the areas of public health and environmental protection. He is a member of the board of directors for the Southeast Climate & Energy Network. Michael worked tirelessly for years to pass Birmingham’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, which passed in 2017 and led to the creation of the Birmingham Human Rights Commission in 2019.
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