Featured Alum: Sarah Uhl and the Presidential Management Fellowship
Hello FES Blog Readers!! I hope you are all doing well out there, and that the doldrums of winter are not starting to get to you (I myself am quite ready for spring to get here already. Here’s hoping Punxsutawney Phil misses his shadow tomorrow and brings spring a little earlier this year).
I’m back with another featured alum, this time Sarah Uhl (MESc ’12). Sarah worked closely with our environmental health faculty, and has been devoted to reducing toxins in our environment for her entire career. I wanted to speak to Sarah because she is now a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF), working for the EPA—an opportunity several of our students have gotten to participate in (or at least those ones interested in working for the federal government).
I sat down with Sarah for a quick chat about her time before, during, and after FES.
Emily: Thanks for chatting with me today, Sarah! Let’s start at the beginning: where were you before FES?
Sarah: I got a degree in Environmental & Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth. After that, I began working for the Clean Water Fund, and then Clean Water Action. I spent four years working for Clean Water Action. During that time, I spearheaded the Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Connecticut, an alliance of citizens, health professionals, workers, environmental justice leaders, educators, scientists, and faith communities working to replace toxic chemicals in everyday products and industry with safer alternatives.
Emily: Wow! That sounds awesome! So then, what did you do while you were at FES?
Sarah: As a master’s student at FES, I studied the health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. My research explored the degree to which factors such individuals’ age, race, and socioeconomic status are associated with their susceptibility to the metabolic and reproductive health effects of perfluorinated compounds and phthalates.
Sarah: It was. And I loved it!
Emily: So now you’re at EPA? Tell me a little bit about that.
Sarah: Yep! These days I’m working in Washington, DC at EPA Headquarters in the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, National Program Chemicals Division. Professionally, I enjoy interpreting science for policy-makers, gaining experience with the regulatory process, and knowing that my efforts contribute to protecting human health and the environment from toxic chemicals.
Emily: And you got this job through the Presidential Management Fellowship?
Sarah: Yes. During my two-year Presidential Management Fellowship, I have the opportunity to participate in 160 hours of classroom training to hone my leadership and project management skills, and participate in a developmental assignment at another agency or organization of my choice. I would highly recommend the program to others interested in pursuing a leadership position within the federal government.
Emily: That does sound like a great opportunity! Especially since so many of our prospective students are eager to get jobs in the District. Speaking of, how is it to be living around so many ex-FESers?
Sarah: Socially, I could not be happier to be in our nation’s capitol. While living here has been an adjustment given my rural roots in the hills of New Hampshire, the confluence of close friends from Yale FES, my undergrad days, and the PMF network has really made the city feel like home.
There you have it, folks! Sarah’s a busy lady, but we got the basic facts down. Certainly, if you have other questions, you can feel free to get in touch with me.
Until next time,