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ESF Celebrates December Commencement

Three alumni to be honored during ceremony
12/3/2019

The College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) will celebrate its December graduates in several events this week.

The College will award 165 degrees, including 45 master's degrees and nine Doctor of Philosophy degrees, during the 2019 December Commencement 2 p.m. Dec. 5 at Hendricks Chapel.

The Inclusive Excellence Graduation Reception, which celebrates and honors the diversity of ESF's graduates will be held at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 5 in the Gateway Center. This reception includes, but is not limited to, women, United States military veterans, domestic students of color, international students, students who identify as members of the LGBTQ community, students with disabilities and those with other underrepresented statuses.

The graduates' accomplishments will be celebrated with the traditional champagne toast sponsored by the ESF Alumni Association Dec. 4.

Ceora L. Gibson is the student speaker for graduation. Gibson, of Nassau, New York, is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in wildlife science, with a focus on wildlife population management. Gibson was involved in clubs including the Guy A. Baldassarre Birding Club and the Wildlife Society Student Chapter. She also volunteered as an organismal biology and ecology laboratory teaching assistant for Dr. Gregory McGee.

Student marshals for commencement are Emily E. Parsons and Gabriela B. Wemple.

Parsons, of Webster, New York, is a paper engineering major with a minor in management. She served as secretary and executive vice president of the Paper and Bioprocess Engineering Club and the AXS Honor Society. Parsons has been involved in research in lignin fractionation to create sustainable products such as sustainable hydrogels and biofuels. After graduation, she plans to move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to work for Solenis, to focus on paper industry process optimization and sustainable water treatment practices.

Wemple, of Delmar, New York, is a conservation biology major with minors in recreation resources and protected area management, and environmental writing and rhetoric. At ESF, she piloted the Move-Out Program, funded by the Sustainabili-Team, for students to donate unwanted items at the end of the academic year for re-use by incoming students the next academic year.

Three ESF alumni will be honored during Friday's commencement. Graduate of Distinction Awards will be bestowed upon Nikita Lopoukhine '68, John Anlian '73 and Roseana Burick '06.

Lopoukhine will be honored with the Graduate of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award.

After earning his degree in forest botany from the College of Forestry, Lopoukhine began his career working with Forestry Canada in Ottawa. He completed his master's degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He worked for the Lands Directorate for Environment Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he led the development and application of a Coastal Classification System for the Atlantic Provinces of Canada.

In 1981, Lopoukhine began working for Parks Canada, where he worked as a World Bank advisor, served as National Science advisor, chaired the Society for Ecological Restoration Board, served as executive director of the Ecological Integrity Branch and finally, as director general, National Parks Directorate.

His accomplishments include the application of controlled fire in maintaining park ecosystems, the launch of a leading-edge ecological integrity monitoring program, the introduction and implementation of the Species at Risk Act. In 2004, he was elected chair of the World Commission on Protected Areas for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature where he served for the next eight years.

Anlian is the recipient of the Graduate of Distinction - Notable Achievement Award.

After graduating with a degree in forest biology, Anlian earned his Juris Doctorate from the New York Law School in New York City and began practicing law in New Jersey.

Running as an independent candidate on a platform of providing responsive government in his hometown of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey he was elected to the board of commissioners in 1980. Now serving his 10th four-year term, he continues to promote local government which is responsive to the will and needs of the people. This included the establishment of a nature preserve in his community, the creation of an Environmental Commission and Green Team, furthering the goals of the village's Shade Tree Commission and keeping the environment and conservation as important factors in municipal decision-making.

Anlian volunteers his time and knowledge teaching members of the NJ Shade Tree Federation and others about the legal issues concerning shade tree commissions and community forestry. He was instrumental in providing counsel and advice in the adoption of the New Jersey Community Forestry Assistance Act and continues to guide proposed legislation in New Jersey affecting trees and community forestry.

The Graduate of Distinction - Incipiens Quercu (young oak) Award will be presented to Burick. The award is given to a recent ESF graduate who exemplifies ESF's commitment to environmental stewardship.

Burick made her mark managing natural resources with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She has dedicated her career to overseeing public recreation and environmental stewardship, planning, interpretation, outreach services and budgeting for federal projects.

Burick's degree in water sciences/environmental policy and law prepared her for a career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She served as a park ranger for a lake in Virginia and North Carolina, a natural resources technical specialist for the St. Louis District, a lock and dam program manager for the Mississippi River, a chief of natural resources for the Louisville District, a deputy chief of operations for Rock Island District, and as the National Environmental Stewardship Business line manager. She recently accepted a program manager position at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters office working on policy and budget for the Northwestern and Pacific Ocean divisions.

Burick played an integral role in the development of national community outreach programs. She was instrumental in the implementation of the national Every Kid Outdoors initiative in conjunction with other federal agencies. This program provides free access to national parks across the country for every fourth grader and their family. Burick served as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' key point of contact on the project. Her involvement included training field agents, assisting with grants, coordinating corollary events and attending a White House reception.

Following commencement, a reception will be held in ESF's Gateway Conference Center from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.