WSRA was proud to award seven Student Guest scholarships for our 2020 Annual Conference, held virtually. These scholarships were awarded to AmeriCorp volunteers, undergraduate and graduate students from across Washington and beyond. The WSRA Student Guest program provides an outstanding opportunity for future leaders in the industry to network with leading industry professionals, expand their knowledge of recycling and waste reduction, and prepare themselves for a career in a rewarding and innovative field.


Carolyn Bowie   |   University of Washington, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
My passion for the environment is intrinsically and intentionally interwoven with material stewardship. While pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at Western Washington University, I coordinated a campaign to end the sale of bottled water on campus in support of sustainable, municipal tap water. As an ecologist on Mt Rainier and in wilderness areas of northern Nevada, I studied botanical communities, soil health, evidence of our planet’s changing climate, and the impact of humans in unexpected places. In remote desert landscapes of the Great Basin I found garbage pits over 70 years old, left behind by nomadic miners or ranchers. With an intention to pivot my career towards shaping environmental policy and programs, I decided to return to school in 2018 to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Washington. When I wasn’t in class or writing analytical policy reports, I worked in Bellevue Utilities’ solid waste team where I compiled tonnage data, analyzed the City’s waste trends, and conducted technical outreach to customers across all sectors. There I organized a reusable plate sharing program across departments, transformed the “recycling at work” webpage, and hosted educational outreach tables for employees and the general public. In September 2020 I began working for Full Circle Environmental conducting waste reduction and recycling initiatives in King County. I believe that sustainable resource management is a powerful pathway to address some of human’s greatest challenges and I’m excited to continue applying my skills and passion in this field.”

Rachel DeCordoba   |   University of Leeds
Rachel DeCordoba (she/her) is soon to graduate from the MSc Sustainable Cities program at the University of Leeds in the UK, where she studied the systems of mobility, housing, energy, and urban ecosystems. Prior to her time abroad, Rachel worked as a Seattle-based public involvement and community engagement consultant, focusing on wastewater, energy, and transportation projects with a diverse range of public and private clients. Though her studies and career have touched many sectors, waste reduction, education, and outreach have been continual passions. Growing up in Seattle, she helped create the city’s first student-run high school composting program as a freshman at Garfield High School and instituted a campus-wide bottle cap recycling program as a freshman at the University of Washington. Rachel is looking forward to applying her project management experience as she seeks her next opportunity, where she hopes to promote environmental justice and youth empowerment in the context of waste reduction. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, musical theatre, and playing the steelpan.”

Jennifer Gabriel   |   University of Washington
My name is Jennifer Gabriel and I am currently a senior at the University of Washington in Seattle and am set to graduate in Spring of 2021. I am majoring in Environmental Science and Resource Management and could not be happier with my decision! I spent time in Germany right before COVID-19 hit for a study abroad program with IES Abroad focusing on environmental studies and sustainability. During my time there I saw a wonderful dedication to sustainable infrastructure and practices and was hopeful that I might be able to be part of the solution back home in the United States. I currently am on a zero-waste journey, and see the benefits of reducing waste both on a personal and commercial scale. In all of my jobs I have held during college that may be seemingly unrelated to waste management, I have made an effort to make a more waste conscious work environment by implementing recycling protocols and educating my coworkers on reducing waste in the workplace. When I graduate this coming spring, I would love to dive right into my career and make a positive change and support sustainable practices.”

Sai Smita Garimella   |   City University of Seattle
Sai Smita Garimella is a graduate student from City University of Seattle. She is presently in her 2nd year of MBA with Emphasis in Project Management. Smita also hold a Master’s in Microbiology. According to her she is a compassionate person, Empathy being one of her biggest strengths. Having worked in Environmental Sector she understands the importance of waste management and resource utilization. In future she would like to use her educational and work experience to develop a sustainable approach to curb the challenges faced by the Waste management Industry. She strongly believe in implementation of the 4R’s of waste management (reuse, refuse, reduce and recycle) which has the potential to reduce the waste going into the dump.”

Mackenzie Rowley   |   Eastern Washington University
My name is Mackenzie Rowley, I am an undergraduate student at Eastern Washington University, working to achieve a dual major in Environmental Science and Biology.  Which I plan to use my degree in conservation and restoration for the environment. I have always believed that we are all responsible for our own waste.  Which is important to our society and our environment. By attending this conference, I want to learn more about recycling management through career professionals and learn how to become more involved with the recycling efforts in Washington.”

Jack Rumery   |   Michigan State University and Spokane County Environmental AmeriCorp Volunteer
Jack is a 2019 graduate of Michigan State University, and currently an AmeriCorps service member with Spokane County Environmental Services. In undergrad he studied Education and Environmental Science, and he has continued to work in the field of environmental education since graduating. Jack’s experience and interest in the field of sustainability encompasses a broad range of scientific topics including waste reduction & recycling, ecology, community sustainability, and sustainable food systems. But his main passion is teaching kids about the environment, and working to build education programs that ensure sustainability for future generations. After his current AmeriCorps term ends he hopes to attend graduate school and continue his journey into the field of education.”

Barbara Segal   |   Miami University of Ohio
Click HERE to view Barbara’s video Biography!