New Alumni Advisory Council

We are excited to introduce our first ever Alumni Advisory Council! The council will work towards developing alumni engagement strategies, assist with planning events, increase our alumni communications, aid in recruitment and engage with current members to improve program experience. We are excited to work together to make 2017 great!

Get to know the members:

Neil Brouwer

Why did you want to be part of the council?

I wanted to be a part of this council so that I could help engage and connect alumni.

Favorite food:  

Tacos.

Favorite outdoor activities: 

Hunting, fishing, and hiking.

Career goals:

I am working toward becoming a Wildlife Biologist.

Person or experience that has most influenced your life:

This is going to sound kind of cliche, but I think the Corps has influenced my life the most. At least in terms of figuring out my career goals. 

 

Caitie Ryan-Norton

Why did you want to a be a part of the council?

The Conservation Corps was an opportunity that came at a pivotal time in my life. Between the skills that I learned and the friendships that I made I am definitely invested in making sure those opportunities are there for other CCM members.

Favorite food:

Spaghetti with my mom's homemade sauce.

Favorite outdoor activities:

Canoeing, foraging, climbing, swimming.

Career goals:

I love working with people and connecting them to issues that matter to them and make an impact in their lives. I hope to be able to combine my own interests in art and the environment with working with others.

Person or experience that has most influenced your life:

My dad. As a young child he fostered my love of the outdoors and as a young adult he challenged me to continue shaping my ideas about myself, the world around me, and the work that I would do in it.

Brian Elder

Why did you want to be part of the council?

To help the corps with visibility and recruitment, and to help strategize ways to improve corps members' experiences during and after their service. 

Favorite food: 

Seafood, especially lobster and crab. 

Favorite outdoor activities:

Hiking, kayaking, downhill skiing, and grilling. 

Career goals:

Still figuring it out, but I want to always be working in some way for social and environmental justice.

Person or experience that has most influenced your life:

Maybe because it's recent in memory, but my time living in Bemidji and working for Habitat for Humanity has had an important impact on my priorities and worldview. I was confronted with a much more intimate view of diversity, poverty, and privilege than I had experienced prior to my time in Bemidji, and my desire to work for social and environmental justice was made all the more urgent. 

Eric Chien

Why did you want to a be a part of the council?

My time serving with the Conservation Corps was a defining and meaningful life experience. I believe in the power of civic service for the betterment of self and community. The mission and offer of the Conservation Corps embodies that spirit of service, and while my time as an active service member with the Conservation Corps has passed, I want to continue to build the organizations capacity to offer the same opportunities I valued, and to provide alumni with post-service opportunities and the means to remain connected to CCM.

Favorite food:  

I am not too discerning, but I do not think I have turned down a cookie to date.

Favorite outdoor activities: 

I enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking, and canoeing. If it takes me out into natural areas, and is a conduit for revealing all of the amazing things in Nature than I am game.

Career goals:

I aim to commit my professional life to the management and restoration of Minnesota’s natural resources.

Person or experience that has most influenced your life:

I owe my mom for exposing me to the outdoors from the very start, and for both fostering and enabling all of my inquiries into the natural world no matter where they led.

Rachel Sicheneder

Why did you want to be a part of the council?

I am excited to be part of the alumni counsel to expand networking opportunities within the Corps and create a larger support network for Corps members after their service. Ultimately, the Corps is part of your life for more than just the year in which you served. I would like to help see the alumni council expand on that idea.

Favorite food:

Anything with peanut butter or chocolate on or near it.

Favorite outdoor activities:

I love hiking and camping outside. I've also developed a love for snowshoeing and dog sledding (mushing) to keep away the winter blues.

Career goals:

I would like to continue working for the Coast Guard for the next few years as a Prevention Officer - working with U.S. ports to ensure all ships that come into our water are adhering to our environmental regulations. If I decide to get out of the military my main priority would be to find work somewhere back in the Midwest.

Person or experience that has most impacted your life:

This past summer, the ship I am stationed on crossed the Atlantic Ocean to visit Europe. As the Junior Watch Officer aboard I drove the ship every night from midnight to four a.m. Making decisions in rough seas that affected the lives of the 250 people onboard made me reevaluate how I function under stress and taught me more about myself as a leader.

Kou Yang

Why did you want to a be a part of the council?

I want to help build a greater alumni community and help in enriching current corps members' experience so that they can continue the great work that alumni have the capability of achieving.

Favorite food:

Anything containing noodles. Pho and Pasta, to name a couple. 

Favorite outdoor activities:

Being active, playing sports, or canoe/kayaking.

Career goals:

I'd like to work engaging under-represented communities in the realm of natural resources.

Person or experience that has most influenced your life:

I had a history professor, David Obermiller, in college. I resonated greatly with his own adolescent experiences, and he was able to teach me many great things throughout my college career.