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Environmental Professionals Network

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Building Career Resilience: A Discussion with Students and Environmental Professionals

Apr 23, 2020, 5:30pm - 6:30pm


Program Overview 

As we continue to respond to the virus affecting our global community, nurturing our relationships and building our networks are skills we can all learn together. The Environmental Professionals Network (EPN) and School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) Career Services invite you to attend a webinar conversation about resiliency and skill development in a time of uncertainty. This webinar will provide perspectives from students and environmental professionals, along with tips and resources on how to best maintain your professional networks during these unpredictable times. Moderators, speakers, and participants will share resources to be compiled into one document and shared.

We plan to discuss:

  • Transitions in the workplace and a shift in using new or different skills
  • Adjusting to new levels of uncertainty and communicating our needs in a school or workplace setting
  • Strategies for engaging in networking, job searching, and professional development during this period of social distancing

Career Resilience Resource List

This list was generated from a combined effort of SENR Career Service, the Environmental Professionals Network, and participants in the Building Career Resilience webinar on April 23rd, 2020. This document is not comprehensive and offers only a sampling of tools to help support career development for students and professionals during this time of uncertainty.

SENR Career Resilience Resources


4:30 p.m.  Program introduction from SENR Career Services Advisor, Lucia  Hadella and EPN Program Coordinator, Nicole Jackson 

4:35 p.m.  Environnmental Professionals panel discussion 

  • This panel discussion will involve differing and overlapping perspectives from two environmental professionals that work in the environmental nonprofit field. We will also dive deeper into their organizational roles and how their work is being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

5:10 p.m.  Student Panel Discussion 

  • Rylie MacDonald - graduating senior, Natural Resources Management major, School of Environment and Natural Resources 
  • Jayson Velazquez – 3rd year Environment, Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability major, School of Environment and Natural Resources 
  • Shane Scaggs, Ph.D., Ecological Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences 

5:35 p.m.  Audience Q&A 

5:45 p.m.  Program concludes 


Maria F. "Masi" Mejia

Maria F. "Masi" Mejia, educator, East Foundation, San Antonio, TX 

As an educator for the East Foundation, Maria F. “Masi” Mejia, delivers natural resource education to the underserved communities of South Texas. She deploys educational programs on East Foundation lands, and takes the proven L.A.N.D.S. (Learning Across New Dimensions in Science) curriculum of partner, the Texas Wildlife Association, into schools in Zapata, Jim Hogg, Brooks, Duval, Webb, Dimmit, and La Salle counties. Masi aims to inform and engage diverse audiences in the importance of wildlife conservation.

Masi received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Conservation of Natural Resources and a Master of Science in Wildlife, Aquatic, and Wildlands Science and Management from Texas Tech University. While attending Texas Tech University, Masi conducted research on the factors that influence natural resource professionals and students to pursue careers in the field. Additionally, Masi conducted various educational events to inform the public about wildlife, conservation, and our natural resources.

Prior to working with the Foundation, Masi served as a mentor for the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Idaho. She has also interned with The Nature Conservancy, Ogallala Commons, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Texas Youth Hunting Program and Texas Brigades. Masi resides in Laredo, Texas.


Rachel Aronson

Rachel Aronson, program coordinator, Freshkills Park Alliance, Staten Island, NY

Rachel Aronson is the education programming coordinator for Freshkills Park in Staten Island, NY. She is responsible for planning and leading field trips, tours, and public programming to increase awareness about the landfill-to-park transformation project. She loves spending time with kids and being outside, and is passionate about improving access to parks in urban spaces. Rachel has worked as a classroom teacher, environmental educator, and manager of the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, a sustainability program for organizations. She has a Master of Science in Childhood Education from Hunter College and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont and is a certified elementary school teacher.



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