Meet alumnus Emily McInerney

Emily McInerney with students in Agua ZarcaEmily McInerney completed her BS degree in May 2015, with a concentration in climate and water resources and a minor in geology.

“I am very thankful for the Schroeder Scholarship. It helped me reach my education goals, which  led me to join the Peace Corps. Scholarships like the Schroeder Scholarship are incredibly important for supporting students so they can continue their studies.”

McInerney has served in the Peace Corps for the past two years, at a site in Agua Zarca, Mexico, where she is an environmental education volunteer working with various environmental groups.

She says, “Despite recent changes in the United States, people continue to be welcoming and interested in engaging in conversation with me to learn my perspectives and feelings about the situation in the U.S. I have met many wonderful people, several of whom have had a profound effect on my life, for which I am incredibly grateful. They have shared their homes with me, many cups of coffee and plates of delicious Mexican food, family outings and, most importantly, their culture.”

After completing her Peace Corps service, McInerney plans to attend graduate school. She is interested in environmental justice and international environmental policy and would like to one day work for a nonprofit organization.

While a student at UConn, McInerney received a SURF grant to conduct field research for her honors thesis, in which she collected greenhouse gas samples from constructed wetlands located on Horsebarn Hill. She also worked as an intern for UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy and helped organize the Earth Day Spring Fling during her four years as a student.“Long term, I hope to work internationally with the government to shape policy that reflects both human rights and environmental values,” she says. “I am especially interested in shared water resources, access to sustainable food systems and the impacts of climate change in the developing world.”

“My favorite memory was when I attended the Climate March in NYC, for which I helped organize UConn’s participation. Being a part of such a monumental moment in history was very rewarding.”