Samuel Kessler

Alarah Gillum

Individualized Major Title:  Public Policy & Industrial Ecology

Awards and Accomplishments: 

George J. Mitchell scholar , US-Ireland Alliance. Attending university college Dublin for a professional masters of public policy.

Lou Seig award in UofL dept. of Geographic & Environmental Sciences

Former intake specialist at KY Resources Council

Grawemeyer Scholar

Although I have had a stem focus, because of liberal studies allowing exposure to the public policy side, I founded the Commonwealth Policy Coalition and became a senior fellow, working directly with the general assembly to design new bills aligning economic support behind environmental benefit. I specifically drafted a bill that became sponsored in the general assembly which would put an incentive system on the re-use of bourbon stillage wastes in Kentucky- which is like a keystone species to our economic ecosystem. CPC had an additional bill in the general assembly from other students who joined the new group with their own ideas and has now grown to accept any university student or community member who wants to become a certified policy fellow and become qualified to advise our local and federal government.

I hold a patent with the federal government for a cumulative water sampling device from research project in southwest Louisville. The Etscorn scholarship and liberal studies internship tied together and allowed me to evaluate potential business use of the patent in the state of New York and Kentucky, publish original research in sustainable aquaculture development linked to renewable biogas energy, and complete a senior thesis on using NASA satellite early famine warning system to detect potential water scarcity of certain agricultural areas in the Peruvian Andes. I will be returning this summer to use that research as a basis to expand UofL’s International Service Learning program in Peru and continue the work with integrated water resource management partners from the local community to the UN and Peruvian government.

How has your Individualized Major through the Liberal Studies Program prepared you for the next stage(s) of your life? 

It has allowed an accurate and ideal connection between my multi-disciplinary extracurricular involvement and course work. I know the value of a liberal education, and I feel confident to seize the day because of that.