Five Michigan Law students are among more than 30 graduate students from across the University of Michigan who are the recipients of the 2024 Dow Sustainability Fellowship.

The Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, supported by Dow and administered by U-M’s Graham Sustainability Institute, is supporting 32 outstanding graduate students from 12 U-M schools and colleges.

Each Dow Sustainability Fellow will receive a $25,000 stipend, supplementary project funding, sustainability professional development opportunities, and practical experience working on a team with an external organizational partner.

Now in its 12th cycle, the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program promotes interdisciplinary and collaborative engagement, encouraging sustainability leadership in all fields and sectors. This cohort will participate in the program through December.

“We are delighted to welcome a talented new cohort of Dow Sustainability Fellows into this productive, highly selective program,” said Jennifer Haverkamp, Graham Family Director. “The 2024 Dow Sustainability Fellows join a community of over 1,000 current students and alumni supported by the Dow Sustainability Program at U-M. Over the coming year, they will advance their external partners’ sustainability goals and deepen their commitment to sustainability, preparing to promote a more sustainable future wherever life leads them after graduation.”

Meet the Law School’s Dow Sustainability Fellows

 

Noah Hellum

I came to Michigan Law to join a community dedicated to the cause of Midwestern environmental revitalization. One of the things I have taken away from my coursework is that pure legal advocacy isn’t always enough. Therefore, I wanted to build experience working with interdisciplinary teams to help communities solve the environmental and social issues they face. As a Dow Sustainability Fellow, I love having the chance to learn from the diverse backgrounds of my cohort and understand how each fellow’s role fits into the broader operations of a sustainability project.

My project, sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, is researching what it would take to expand grass-based meat and dairy supply chains in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. We will create a roadmap for a robust and sustainable supply chain, including public and private investment priorities, necessary infrastructure development, marketing governance options, and the potential scale of a fully realized supply chain. We will also estimate economic, environmental, and social impacts of the new supply chain.

I want to spend my career helping Midwestern towns revitalize their economic and environmental health through projects that blend clean energy and land stewardship. As these opportunities arise, I hope to work with towns and developers alike to build projects that benefit the communities they power. Having the chance to meet with farmers in the Driftless Region and help them promote regenerative grazing practices—it’s this dream in practice.

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Portrait of Noah Hellum
Noah Hellum

 

Raisa Faatimah

I was interested in the Dow Sustainability Fellowship because it offers an invaluable opportunity to address critical sustainability challenges through mentorship from leaders at the University of Michigan. Through this experience I hope to enhance my practical and leadership skills in sustainable development.

My team and I are working with Friends of the Shiawassee River. Our project aims to explore and establish best practices for integrating photovoltaic stormwater management into the Mid-Shiawassee River Watershed Plan in Michigan.

As a Bangladeshi-American, fostering just and inclusive pathways to sustainability is a guiding principle for the work I aspire to do in my home country, given its high vulnerability to climate change. The urgency of my country’s problems moves me to take advantage of every opportunity I can to become a more capable leader within the field of sustainable development. With a law degree and the skills gained through the Dow Fellowship, I hope to continue advocating for sustainable law and policy in Bangladesh and across the developing world. 

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Portrait of Faatimah Raisa
Raisa Faatimah ​​​​

 

Kamryn Sannicks

I applied to the Dow Sustainability Fellowship program because it provides students with the unique opportunity to do interdisciplinary work with University of Michigan peers across multiple colleges and programs. I also applied to the program because I wanted to continue to work on sustainability issues and create positive change through my work on one of the projects. 

My team is just beginning our work with Amcor, which is based in Ann Arbor. We are looking into possible collection programs for flexible packaging, and we are creating education materials for Ann Arbor residents regarding flexible packaging collection in order to increase recycling rates. 

This fellowship aligns with my goals for law school in that I am always looking for ways to be a more well-rounded student who thinks critically about the issues I encounter. Looking beyond law school, I am interested in working with emerging companies and emerging technologies, and I believe it is important that startups (and all companies) think strategically about how they can drive innovation while not only limiting their impacts on the environment but seeking to improve it with each business decision. 

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Portrait of Kamryn Sannicks
Kamryn Sannicks

 

Madeline Turk

I was interested in pursuing a Dow Sustainability Fellowship because I was excited about the opportunity to contribute to a project that will have a positive impact on my community’s environment. I was also confident that it would be a great substantive learning experience and a fun way to connect with other students across the University of Michigan.

I am working with Western Lake Erie Basin Partners to foster coordination, collaboration, and resource sharing in the Western Lake Erie Basin watershed to reduce Lake Erie nutrient pollution. On my team, I have students from the School of Environment and Sustainability, the School of Information, and the College of Engineering.

As a student pursuing a career in environmental law, I need to develop the ability to work across disciplines and understand complex issues. The Dow Sustainability Fellowship provides a uniquely valuable opportunity to develop that skill, as I will work with graduate students from multiple disciplines. 

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Portrait of Madeline Turk
Madeline Turk

 

Jessie Williams 

Given my interest in land preservation and environmental law, my desire to attend law school has always been inspired by my interest in protecting and respecting our environment and ensuring that we live within it in a sustainable way. I view the Dow Sustainability Fellowship as a great opportunity to develop my experience working in an interdisciplinary team, considering all perspectives with regard to sustainability issues, and engaging with communities in Michigan on the environmental issues they face.

I am working with Friends of the Shiawassee River on a survey of stormwater runoff regulations for land being used for renewable energy, with the intention of formulating best practices for local government ordinances. As someone interested in municipal law, I’m looking forward to learning more about how local governments can regulate to support environmental quality and sustainability goals while facing a changing landscape.

After law school, I plan to use my education toward land preservation and environmental protection goals in my northern Michigan home; specifically, I am most interested in land use regulation in the municipal sector. The fellowship will help me develop my ability to work in a team on complex sustainability issues, while my specific project team will aid me in ordinance evaluation and considering how local governments can contribute to environmental regulation—skills that will all help me in my future career in land use law.

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Portrait of Jessie Williams 
Jessie Williams