Past Board Members

University of Massachusetts, Amherst:Professor Emeritus, Environmental Health in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Vice Provost for Research, Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, Special Advisor for the Clean Energy China Initiative

Paul Kostecki dedicated his career to research, education, and training in environmental contamination, with an emphasis on human and ecological risk assessment and risk management of soils. His work included: soil ingestion estimates for children and adults, establishment of scientifically sound cleanup levels for soil, bioavailability of soil contaminants, fish as toxicological models for contamination assessment, and assessment and management of petroleum contaminated soils.

A developer and director for more than 60 conferences, workshops, and courses both nationally and internationally, he made presentations at over 100 national and international meetings. Since 1985, his University of Massachusetts, Amherst conference on contaminated soils, sediments, and water attracted more than 10,000 environmental professionals from over fifty countries. His publications include more than 100 articles and reports, and 35 co-edited or co-authored books. His research secured more than $15 million in support.

Kostecki co-created the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS) in 1989 and served as its executive director until 2009, when he established the AEHS Foundation and served as the president.  Kostecki helped found Amherst Scientific Publishers and co-created seven peer-reviewed journals: Journal of Soil and Sediment Contamination (1990), Human and Ecological Risk Assessment (1994), Journal of Phytoremediation (1998), Journal of Environmental Forensics (1999), Journal of Children’s Health (2003), Non-Linearity Journal (2003), and Journal of Medical Risks (2004), as well as Soils and Groundwater Magazine (1992). He also co-created the International Society for Environmental Forensics in 2002.  

Kostecki died n November 2021. His contributions to the CGRS board and to the environmental field will be deeply missed.

Past Fellows

Human Rights, Migration Issues

Dorien Braam, PH.D. directs Hong Kong-based Praxis Labs, where she researches health, protection and migration issues for the United Nations (U.N.) and other international organizations. Previously, she worked with the U.N., the Netherlands government and nongovernmental organizations across Asia and Eastern Africa, focusing on forced migration, protection, human rights and shelter. Braam holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and a Master of Science in biomedical sciences from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis on animal health in complex humanitarian emergencies. She is currently completing her doctorate in veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge in England, where she studies zoonoses — diseases transmitted between animals and humans — in displaced populations, with a focus on the Greater Horn of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.


Mallory Dutil is a 2020 graduate from Norwich University with degrees in environmental science, chemistry, and general engineering, plus a minor in biology. She is pursuing her master's degree in civil engineering with a focus on environmental and water resources engineering at Norwich University. She has worked with CGRS for more than two years on a variety of research projects. In 2020, she received the Distinguished NU Scholar Award, and became the sole Rhodes Scholar Nominee from Norwich University for the 2021 cycle.

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Retired)

Ronald Lessard joined the faculty of the David Crawford School of Engineering at Norwich University in 1979 and was named a professor of electrical and computer engineering in 1995. He completed his Ph.D. in engineering at the University of New Hampshire, developing an artificial intelligence (Al) lumber-drying controller, and later worked as an electronics design engineer for a commercial meter manufacturer in New Jersey. Lessard retired from Norwich after a distinguished, 42-year career, serving 20 years as the head of his department. He joins CGRS as a senior fellow with expertise in aerial mapping to support the Dog River Conservancy project.

Norwich University: Associate Professor of Biology

Simon Pearishstudies the behavior of fishes and uses ecological thinking to look for solutions to the eutrophication of our lakes and streams. He completed his undergraduate degrees in biology and psychology at Indiana University and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Since moving to Vermont, Pearish has joined the coalition of researchers, conservation workers, and concerned citizens that are looking for solutions to improve the water quality of our lakes and streams. At the center of his work in this realm are so-called treatment wetlands. Whether constructed in natural areas, in an urban setting, or in the form of an island floating in the middle of a lake, treatment wetlands promise to improve water quality, while providing natural beauty and improved habitat for wildlife. 

Norwich University: Assistant Professor of Spanish

Kaitlin E. Thomas completed her doctorate in Hispanic studies at the University of Birmingham (U.K.). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic studies from Washington College and an Master of Arts in Latin American and Spanish language and literature from New York University (Madrid). Thomas has also completed nondegree studies with the Council of International Education Exchange in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Sevilla, Spain: the Centro Panoamericano de Idiomas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica; the Universidad Antonio de Nebrija in Madrid, Spain, and the Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” in La Libertad, El Salvador. At Norwich, she teaches the courses Spanish I and II, Intermediate Spanish I and II, Advanced Spanish I and II, Hispanic Literature, the special topics classes U.S. Latinas/os and the Border, Music and Politics in Latin America, Contemporary Cuba, and La Hashtag nation. 

Past Student Fellows: Dog River Conservancy

Hannah Kowalewski ’22 is a member of Norwich University’s Corps of Cadets with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and military studies-naval science. She grew up in the small town of Landisburg, Pennsylvania. Following graduation, she will commission into the Navy as a surface warfare officer. On campus, she is president of Norwich Christian Fellowship. She is motivated to see how technology and advances in science have made the world a better place, such as in cleaning the environment and finding new treatments or preventative measures for diseases.

Ethan Miller ’21 studies architecture at Norwich University, having done several on-campus jobs while maintaining his GPA. He has worked as a woodshop proctor, teaching assistant for the laser cutter, copy editor/photo editor for the Guidon, and as an iPad mentor for information technology services. While he remains active in Norwich life, he always finds the time to help his fellow students such as coming in to fix the laser cutter on his off days or helping other students with their studio projects.

Zeb Perreault ’23 studies biology and is part of the Honors Program at Norwich University. He grew up and lives in Chelsea, Vermont, and is a catcher on the Norwich baseball team. He hopes to do something with genetics upon graduating from Norwich. 

Zhujun (Zelda) Wu ’24 arrived at Norwich in August 2021 as an international student from China. She majors in biochemistry and is interested in learning the cultures and environments of new places. In fall 2021, she earned fellowships in both the CGRS Resilient Vermont team and Dog River Conservancy. Interested in sticklebacks and other small fish that live in the Dog River basin and other places in Vermont, she is excited to look at these living creatures and do some research with a mentor.

Past Student Fellows: Energy Resilience and Security

Camryn Anderson ’22 studies general engineering with a focus on environmental engineering at Norwich University. She is a research apprentice to Professor Tara Kulkarni, performing research on the 100 Resilient Cities. She believes the fellowship under CGRS is an amazing opportunity to develop much needed research skills as well as provide a way to immerse herself in the topic of environmental security.

Sarah Carls ’22 is a senior from Niagara Falls, New York. She is pursuing a degree in electrical and computer engineering in Norwich University’s David Crawford School of Engineering with a minor in leadership. In May 2022, she will commission into the U.S. Air Force as an electrical engineer. She is captain of the Norwich women’s swim and dive team and holds the school diving record. She is doing research with the Army Corps of Engineers and CGRS, researching renewable energy with microgrids and tackling how renewables can be emulated today.

Anhkiet Huynh ’24 is a civilian student at Norwich working on a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering. He grew up on the island of Saipan in the CNMI and dealt with situations relating to natural disasters, which motivated him to focus in power systems. He hopes to create technologies to help individuals and families who have been hit by natural disasters. To that goal, he aims to travel around the world to further his education and knowledge and find more solutions to the issues different regions deal with.

Ilyes Hassani ’24 is a member of the Norwich University Corps of Cadets and part of the Regimental Band. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio, with origins from Morocco, where he was raised and spent most of his childhood. He is double majoring in mathematics and mechanical engineering. He is seeking a commission into the Air Force Reserves through Air Force ROTC and would like to follow an Aerospace engineering path, as he believes that “helping others is my mission and engineering is my passion.” He speaks Arabic, French and English and is seeking to learn Spanish. He is also very passionate about soccer and supports his favorite team, Raja Casablanca, Morocco.

Past Student Fellows: Environmental Security

Lydia Brown ’23 is a member of the Norwich University Corps of Cadets and with a major in criminal justice and a psychology minor. Following graduation, she seeks to commission into the U.S. Army National Guard to pursue a career path in law, “as I aspire to commit my future to the service of others through the ideals of justice.” Recycling, composting, and buying local is very much normalized in Vermont. As a fellow, she is “excited to conduct further research to bring awareness to both environmental security and degradation, especially when it comes to those who are from other states or remain unaware of the importance of such matters.”

Reiley Anderson ’23 is a member in the Norwich University Corps of Cadets, majoring in management with a focus in computer information systems. She is from Northern New Jersey. She seeks to fulfill her Army scholarship requirements and to commission into the United States Army in May of 2023, with plans to pursue business ventures focusing in communications and information systems. As a CGRS fellow, she will further her skills and work with others who are similarly motivated to develop their research strengths. 

Nicholas Clements ’23 arrived at Norwich in August of 2019 to begin his studies in criminal justice. He received a three-year Army scholarship, and hopes to branch in armor upon receiving his commission. On campus, he is involved with Unify and other clubs, and directs student operations for the campus branch of the Criminal Justice Students Association (CJSA), work that has taken him to Washington D.C. He also serves as vice president of the newly founded Norwich University Official Jerky Club. Following graduation, he hopes to get involved with a law enforcement agency in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts.

Renata De Paiva ’23 was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She studied agroecology in high school and majors in computer science at Norwich University. During high school she studied the environment, which instilled in her a great passion to learn more about it, especially when technology is involved. After Norwich, she aspires to graduate school. Renata loves learning new languages; she speaks Portuguese and English and is currently studying German. Besides that, she wishes to learn at least two other languages.

Jack LePage ’23, a sophomore, majors in criminal justice and is a member of the Corps of Cadets. Following the Air Force ROTC path, he hopes to contract or commission into the U.S. Air Force and go into OSI. Born and raised in Lewiston, Maine, he participates in hockey, tennis, track and field, and karate, as well as many clubs on campus. In the Corps, he serves as the chaplain’s assistant. He endeavors to make Norwich University an even stronger institution than it already is, saying, “I hope through this program to create solutions to the world’s problems even if that means starting small. Norwich Forever!”

Kpatcha Massina ’22 is an international scholar born and raised in Togo. He is a junior and an international studies major with a minor in computer forensics. Kpatcha is a member of the Corps of Cadets and men’s rugby team, president of the Arabic language club on campus, and serves on the junior ring committee. He is passionate about food security and refugee issues. His areas of interest are in the Sahel region in West Africa and the Middle East. He is an environmental security fellow under CGRS and AEHS. Upon graduation, Kpatcha wants to complete a master's degree in international development and work for the World Bank.

Shawn Matthews ’22 is a senior in the Earth and Environmental Sciences program studying environmental science with a concentration in law and protection. He is currently conducting research within the Environmental Science department, and plans to pursue his master’s degree in geosciences upon graduation. He grew up in Kennesaw, Georgia, and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and fishing in his free time. He is motivated by a drive to learn and explore as much as he can and to share that knowledge with as many people as possible.

Maggie McNeil ’23 studies mechanical engineering at Norwich University. As part of the Honors Program, she dove deep into the topic of sustainability, sparking an interest in environmental and chemical engineering. She is an outsider hitter on Norwich University women’s volleyball team, filling the role of team social media coordinator and representative. When not on the court, she serves on the executive committee of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She is also an active member and officer for the Norwich chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. While a student, she hopes to obtain her pilot’s license and study abroad. Following graduation, she wishes to pursue a career in engineering and coach collegiate volleyball.  

Dean Proctor ’24 was born and raised in Lisbon, New Hampshire, and graduated in 2020 as valedictorian of his high school class. He studies biology, and following his time at Norwich, he hopes to go to medical school. He wants to become a pediatrician and eventually work with Doctors Without Borders. He is involved in clubs such as Pinky Swear, the American Chemistry Society and the Pre-health Professions Club, and is a co-leader of events for Norwich Christian Fellowship. He enjoys learning how the world around him works and trying to understand why things are the way they are. He is motivated to have a better understanding of research to help him along the path of becoming a doctor.

Cameron Reed ’21 is a member of the Corps of Cadets. He remains on track to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in early May 2021, after which he will accept a commission as a U.S. Army Nurse Corps Officer. Raised in Mount Holly, North Carolina, Reed traveled abroad to Switzerland to attend the Summer Mountain Training Course accompanied by a variety of other international militaries. He studied environmental security as a Peace & War Center fellow under the Olmsted Scholar program and will continue this focus as a fellow for the Center for Global Resilience and Security.

Molly Twombly ’23 studies biochemistry with a minor in English at Norwich University. She grew up in the small coastal town of Rockport, Massachusetts, which fueled her passion for the ocean and its inhabitants. She plays tennis at Norwich, and in the future, hopes to work for NASA as an astrobiologist.   

Past Student Fellows: Resilient Vermont

Jorge Javier Huisa Chacon ’23 was born in Cusco, Perú, and grew up in a rural city in the Peruvian Andes. During high school he was particularly interested in the science and engineering field, and with his interest in mega-projects in first world countries, decided to study civil engineering. He joined CGRS (Center for Global Resilience and Security) in October 2021 and is presently at work on his proposal for research. 

Angela Samohuallapa Esenarro ’22 is pursuing an undergraduate degree in civil engineering as part of Norwich University’s David Crawford School of Engineering. Born in Peru, she has worked on diverse analytical research projects from high school to college. In previous academic research projects, she conscientiously analyzed events’ backgrounds from scientific and technological to political, artistic, and historical vantage points. She also participated in a Model United Nations at her secondary school in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). She currently works for the Norwich academic achievement center as a tutor, helping students in Spanish, statics, and surveying courses.

Zhujun (Zelda) Wu ’24 arrived at Norwich in August 2021 as an international student from China. She majors in biochemistry and is interested in learning the cultures and environments of new places. In fall 2021, she earned fellowships in both the CGRS Resilient Vermont team and Dog River Conservancy. Interested in interacting with local community, she finds it meaningful to engage in research and discussion on environmental security in Vermont.