University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Sustainability Education

Meet the first class of IonE Leaders!

Samantha Ehrenberg

Samantha Ehrenberg is excited to be a part of the first cross-disciplinary IonE Undergraduate Leaders team. A junior studying Mechanical Engineering, she is interested in sustainable power generation, storage, and use. She is currently the president of Engineers Without Borders-USA University of Minnesota Student Chapter. Through EWB-USA UMN she supports four student-led sustainable development projects in partnership with international communities lacking reliable water access. She has previously worked to design and implement improvements to a Guatemalan school’s rainwater harvesting filtration system as a part of EWB-USA UMN

Maaso Kalema

Maaso Kalema is an IonE Undergraduate Leader for 2012-2013. Native of Blaine, MN, she is currently a 3rd year student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities pursuing a degree in Individualized Studies with concentrations in Environmental Science, Political Science, and Sustainability Studies with an intent to progress onto graduate school to obtain her Master’s degree. Through her studies she is striving to bring a social context to environmental issues in order to lessen the disparities felt by underrepresented communities. On campus, she is currently the co-vice president of a student organization called Black Motivated Women or BMW. Outside of school and extra-curricular activities, she enjoys spending time with my family and friends, dance, art, and reading.

 Gaurav Kandlikar

Gaurav is an undergraduate student of Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Plant Biology. He is interested in various aspects of tropical forest ecology (biodiversity generation and maintenance, nutrient cycling, conservation biology). He is also interested in applying basic ecology to the engineering of alternative energy sources. He has previously worked in Dr. Bo Hu’s lab, where he investigated the chemical cause of foaming in swine manure storage pits, and is currently pursuing his interest in tropical ecology as a student in Dr. George Weiblen’s lab. When he is not in classes or in lab, Gaurav is generally organizing, participating in, or writing for academic competitions for the University’s Quizbowl team. He blogs at

Phillip Kelly

Phillip Kelly is a fourth year undergraduate student studying Global Studies, with an emphasis on Environment & Sustainable Development.  His passion for sustainability blossomed out of a service-learning research internship with Campus Beyond Coal and he quickly moved from there to become a student leader on campus.  He has been a key actor in the on-campus sustainability demonstration project called the Bike Pasture and currently serves in many capacities for the undergraduate student government – the Minnesota Student Association.  He is a co-director for MSA’s Facilities, Housing, and Transit Committee, undergraduate representative to the Minneapolis campuses’ surrounding neighborhood alliance (the University District Alliance) as well as the City Council, and he is the undergraduate representative to the UMN-TC Sustainability Committee.  He also currently serves on the Student Unions & Activities Board of Governors and is building a coalition to create a student grocery store.

Eric Sannerud

Eric Sannerud is a fourth year undergraduate student studying Sustainability, Applied Business, and Social Justice and is a 2012 Udall Scholar. His entrepreneurial energy has led him to create the first undergraduate student food issues group, U Students Like Good Food, and lead U of M Food Day 2012. Because of his passion for a more just food system he founded his own Community Supported Agriculture farm, the Sunny Brothers farm, last season at his great-grandparents farm in Ham Lake, MN. He sold to 8 shareholders including President Kaler’s family. Eric is interested in engaging and empowering other undergraduates through innovative curriculum, student groups, and leadership development programs as well as advancing the dialogue around societies greatest challenges past the “us vs. them” dichotomies to pragmatic, solutions focused action.

Chelsey Shoup

Chelsey Shoup is a senior pursuing a Biomedical Engineering major and a Management minor.  Although her studies lie in the medical sciences, she is thoroughly involved with sustainability and energy efficiency.  Chelsey was able to combine her love of renewable energy with her love of leadership and mentorship through her vice-presidency role in the Active Energy Club.  She continues to promote sustainability and conservation with her role as Coordinator for the Energy Efficiency Student Alliance.  In the future, Chelsey hopes to fuse her medical interests with her passion for the environment by starting a biomedical company that promotes overall wellness and sustainability to its employees and customers.

Emma Wright

Emma Wright is an undergraduate senior in the Inter-College Program focusing on the intersections between Political Science, Carlson School of Management, and Sustainability. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has developed a passion for public service and advocates for sustainable community development as chair of the state Board of Directors for the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group.  Emma has also become an expert “trash talker” after several years working as a recycling coordinator for the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Emma loves to travel, bake, dance, and speak Brazilian Portuguese.

 Questions? Contact us at:

The Sustainability Education website is administered by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

The University of Minnesota offers sustainability courses in most of its colleges and campuses around the state. These courses encompass biophysical sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, design, engineering, business, and health. The Sustainability Studies minor is one of several interdisciplinary programs through which such diverse courses come together.