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ESF Announces Honorary Degree Recipient Camille Dungy

Camille DungySyracuse, NY – May 3, 2024 – The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) will present an Honorary Degree to Camille Dungy during its 2 p.m. May 11 commencement exercises at the Empower FCU Amphitheater at Lakeview. Dungy is an award-winning author and editor who has worked tirelessly to expand the realm of nature literature and environmental studies by bringing African-American voices into the canon.

ESF is proud to acknowledge the remarkable contributions of Camille Dungy to the realm of environmental writing" said ESF President Joanie Mahoney. "In a world where environmental issues touch every corner of our planet, Camille's writings serve as a powerful amplifier for a multitude of voices, ensuring a broader spectrum of perspectives is heard as we strive for solutions."

Dungy is a University Distinguished Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University, where the courses she teaches include environmental writing and African American literature. She is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade, winner of the Colorado Book Award. Dungy considers history, landscape, culture, family, and desire in her writing. Her latest book, Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden, was published in 2023.

Dungy’s interest in the intersections between literature, environmental action, history, and culture led her to edit Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, the first anthology to bring African-American environmental poetry to national attention. She co-edited the From the Fishouse poetry anthology and has served in several other editorial positions.

Dungy is the poetry editor for Orion magazine. Her work has appeared in over 40 anthologies plus dozens of print and online venues in the United States and abroad. She is also the host of Immaterial, a podcast from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Magnificent Noise. Dungy’s honors include the 2021 Academy of American Poets Fellowship, a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Book Award, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and fellowships from the NEA in both prose and poetry.


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.