Volunteers

Nina Birger graduated from Tufts University where she double majored in English and Peace and Justice Studies (PJS). Within the PJS program, she focused on the climate protection movement. She interned at MA 350 in the fall of 2009, and in April 2010, she attended the alternative climate conference (a reaction against COP15) in Cochabamba, Bolivia as a participant-observer. At the moment, she is specifically interested in environmental justice and climate justice and how the two movements might work together. She is currently considering environmental law as a career, but more importantly, she simply wants to work for a just transition into a more sustainable future through an effective means as possible.

Marlee Furman Cowan graduated cum laude from New England School of Law in Boston, MA and received the Dean Timothy J. Cronin, Jr., Award for recognition as the student who showed the greatest promise of outstanding contributions to public service. Marlee is the co-founder of Mobilize.org, a national organization that makes democracy work better by investing in Millennial-driven solutions, and currently serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors. She has traveled extensively and lived in Hungary, Croatia, and Ghana. Most recently, her international volunteer work took her to the eastern part of Croatia where she taught English and researched post-war reconstruction efforts in the Balkan region. She also volunteered at the Buduburum Liberian Refugee camp in Ghana where her work focused on sanitation and organizational development. Marlee grew up in California and graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 2005 with a major in International Relations and Human Rights Protection. 

Stephanie Curtin is a rising junior English major at Johns Hopkins University. She aspires to go on to law school after her undergraduate studies. Beyond academics, Stephanie is a member of her university's dance team, the Johns Hopkins Ladybirds. As campus liaison for the team, Stephanie promotes and advertises their many performances and activities. Stephanie loves to travel and is looking forward to spending the fall semester in Siena, Italy.

Drew Douglas-Steele is a rising sophomore at Amherst College who hopes to attend law school after graduating from Amherst.  She is a member of the Amherst women's varsity soccer team, and plays the harp in the Amherst College Symphony Orchestra.  She also has her own harp entertainment business and performs at various venues.  Drew loves hiking and kayaking at her cottage in Maine, which has no electricity.  She and her mother also enjoy canning the fruits and vegetables they grow in their garden, and her family is vegetarian.

Ilisa Horowitz is an experienced intellectual property licensing attorney. She has worked extensively with start-ups developing new technologies and Web services. Her work with entrepreneurs has informed her belief that innovative individuals and small entities can make major contributions to the environmental challenges facing society as a whole. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a writer and editor for e-commerce and Web start-ups.

Paul R. Kennedy (Lead Volunteer) is a graduate of Boston College and Northeastern University School of Law. He has been an associate with the Boston law firm Cornell & Gollub since 2006. His practice focuses on asbestos litigation and automotive product liability actions. Since 2007, Paul has been an active member of the Massachusetts Bar Association/Conservation Law Foundation Energy and Environment Task Force, which created the Lawyers Eco-Challenge. Outside the legal realm, he enjoys cycling and gardening, and is passionate about sustainable agriculture and other environmental issues. Paul also enjoys playing bass in a local folk-rock band, which has performed extensively in Boston, as well as New York, Toronto, Wisconsin and several places in between.

Michael McWilliams is a veteran public affairs executive and social entrepreneur with experience across diverse fields. He moved to the nonprofit and public policy arenas in 2004 after a career spanning 17 years in the corporate world and 12 years leading a strategic communications agency. His background encompasses issue and cause advocacy, organizational development, nonprofit management, marketing, journalism, media relations, and entrepreneurship. Michael recently repatriated to the US from Stockholm, Sweden upon finishing work with an international NGO focused on the growing global water crisis. A former ski instructor and an avid outdoorsman, he most at home in the backcountry or on the water.

David Milner has been Webmastering for environmental conservation, animal welfare and other not-for-profit organizations for more than 15 years. Among the organizations for which he has worked are the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Rainforest Alliance, New York University and the United Nations. Among the many not-for-profits for which David has done Web work on a volunteer basis are National Biodiversity Parks, the Climate Institute and the Endangered Species Coalition.

Michaela O’Neil is a 2007 graduate of Boston University where she majored in Communications with a focus in Economics. She is currently a media professional at Digitas, a Publicis Groupe company. Michaela is passionate about the global issue of climate change and has a strong interest in sustainable business and non-profit communications. Outside of work and volunteering, she enjoys skiing, running, traveling, photography and writing.

B.J. Richards is a freelance commercial writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  She was formerly a staff attorney with People For the American Way, associate counsel in the Office of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, and the senior writer/editor for three presidents of Harvard University.  B.J. is a 2001 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law.  When she’s not writing, B.J. enjoys vegetarian cooking and working on her line of handcrafted jewelry.

Hal N. Schwartz, a Graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is married with 2 small children and lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts.  He was a former corporate partner of the international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and Senior Vice President, General Counsel of the health services company Best Doctors, Inc.  Mr. Schwartz has years of experience advising entrepreneurs and large enterprises in the research, development, and commercialization of innovating technologies and services in the international marketplace.  Mr. Schwartz has been keenly interested in the advancements in the development of technologies to use renewable energy resources since a middle school science fair project building a model solar power facility.

Carly Shannon graduated from Boston College with a degree in Environmental Geoscience. Driven by her inherent need to effect change, she strives to begin a career in sustainability and environmental awareness.  Having volunteered for several non-profits, Carly recognizes the need for free legal guidance and representation. Countless organizations are equipped with an inspired goal and motivated people, yet they are disadvantaged by their lack of legal assistance.  Without this, progress is halted and efforts are wasted. This is why Carly chose to volunteer for Green Pro Bono and plans to continue on the path of helping environmental non-profits succeed.

Natalie Sporysova is a graduate student at Northeastern University studying for her Master of Public Administration degree, with a concentration on environmental policy. Aside from academia, she is a deputy coordinator of the Global Warming Education Network, an NGO that focuses on climate-change awareness and education. She has worked for an international research organization as a consultant on climate-change economics projects regarding carbon offsets, carbon-credit investments and deforestation in sub-Saharan Africa. She is very passionate about economic development as it relates to climate-change adaptation. Natalie also loves to travel and has visited and lived in France, Thailand, Morocco, and Egypt amongst many other places.

Ariana Vito is a fourth-year student at Northeastern University, dual majoring in Environmental Studies and International Affairs with a minor in French. She is an active member of the Northeastern environmental group, the Husky Energy Action Team (HEAT), which focuses on campus sustainability and carbon neutrality. She participated in the Massachusetts Power Shift student convention in Washington, D.C. in 2009 and interned at the Massachusetts State House as a Press Assistant for Governor Deval Patrick. Ariana has traveled extensively throughout Europe and spent last semester studying in Grenoble, France. She is very interested in environmental policy and is currently seeking an internship in this field in D.C. for the upcoming Spring, 2011. She strives to have a role in implementing sustainable environmental policies and transitioning the U.S.’s energy supplies to alternative energy technologies. Ariana is an avid runner and tennis player and just discovered a newfound love for ballroom dancing!




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