Luther College hosts “Sustainability Careers: A Luther College Alumni Panel”

February 17, 2021

Luther College is hosting an online panel discussion titled "Sustainability Careers: A Luther College Alumni Panel." At 7 p.m. Thursday, March 4, four Luther alumni will speak about how sustainability concerns have influenced their careers. 

"I am excited that this panel will feature two alums who have been out of college and in the workforce for two decades and two more recent Luther graduates," says Stephen Sporer, vice-president of development. "There's also a nice diversity of academic majors and professional pursuits represented that reflect Luther's broad definition of sustainability."

According to Jim Martin-Schramm, director of Luther's Center for Sustainable Communities, Luther defines sustainability broadly as "integrated action to address environmental, economic, and social challenges to ensure a more just, equitable, and ecologically healthy world."

"Sustainability Careers: A Luther College Alumni Panel" will take place via Zoom. A link will be available to the public under this event listing at The event is co-sponsored by Luther's Center for Sustainable Communities, the Alumni and Development Office, the Environmental Studies Program, and the Career Center.

Meet the panelists:

Alycia Ashburn '99 majored in biology at Luther. Alycia engages faith communities in energy stewardship programs and in constructive dialogue on climate change, renewable energy and environmental justice. She is currently a non-profit consultant and has worked with organizations such as Interfaith Power & Light, Sojourners, Sustainable Cleveland, the Center for Spirituality in Nature, Lutherans Restoring Creation and the Udall Scholar Alumni Association. 

Meghan Barker '17 majored in environmental studies and political science. She currently serves as the Bristol Bay organizer for Trout Unlimited and is based in Anchorage, Alaska. In 2019 and 2020, she led grassroots efforts among sportsmen and women to stop the proposed Pebble Mine, an industrial mining plan slated for the headwaters of the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery in southwest Alaska. 

Harleigh Boldridge '18 majored in social work and was awarded the Jensen Medal when she graduated from Luther. She is a community organizer and activist in the Des Moines area.  Harleigh organizes around various issues including accessibility, health care justice, and Black liberation. 

Josh Byrnes '96 majored in biology while at Luther. He was recently appointed to the Iowa Utilities Board by Governor Kim Reynolds for a term that runs through April 2025. Josh previously worked as general manager of Osage Municipal Utilities and served six years in the Iowa House of Representatives, where he was the Iowa House Transportation Chairman. He has also served on the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities Board of Directors, American Public Power Associations DEED Board and T&D World Executive Advisory Board.

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