Earth Week Speaker Bios 2021

Navigate back to the Earth Week schedule here. Speaker bios are arranged by date.

Monday April 19

Anya Guyton

Anya Guyton is a student at Bellevue College who cares deeply about the environment. She has most recently attended the Washington and Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC), where she learned about a variety sustainable practices on different campuses. Outside of school, she can be found playing music, enjoying her family’s aquaponic garden towers, and cooking fun recipes! 

Derrick LaMere

Derrick LaMere is a Native American Filmmaker from Spokane Washington by way of the Colville indian Reservation.

“The 7th Wave” The 2013 coastal Canoe Journey was one of the largest canoe journey gatherings in recent memory. The film follow the Quinault Indian Nation as they host the journey on their traditional homeland. 

Official Selections: LA Skins Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Bare Bones Film Festival, One Nation Film Festival, First Nations Film & Video Festival, Canada International Film Festival, Audience Award at the One Nation Film Festival.

“Makwa Jiimaan Deep Water Deep Roots” In the summer of 2016, 6 Teme-Augama Anishnabai youth built a traditional Temagami Birch Bark Canoe on their homeland N’Dakimenan. Over the course of 6 weeks, we documented them harvesting, preparing and building their canoe all on their traditional homeland. Makwa Jiimaan is currently screening at multiple universities across Canada and the US.

Official Selection: Princeton Environmental Film Festival

“United by Water” The 5 tribes of the Upper Columbia River unite on the water in traditional canoes for the first time since the Grand Coulee Dam flooded their traditional waterways 76 years ago.

Official Selections: LA Skins Film Festival, California’s American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival

Peter Prescott

Peter Prescott teaches in the Health and Physical Education, Outdoor Recreation Leadership, Health and Wellness BAC and Allied Health programs and has been at Bellevue College for over 20 years.  He is the primary guide for all Outdoor Recreation Leadership Adventures and seemingly countless Wellness Center adventures. Peter received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, and his Masters in Sports and Exercise Leadership with a focus on Education from Seattle Pacific University. Certified affiliation with Wilderness Medical Institute, American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, Leave No Trace Master Educator and a member of the Washington State Wellness Advisory Board. Peter grew up locally on Vashon Island and sees the northwest as his dream playground; skiing, surfing, backpacking, biking, and running.  Get Out There…

Sam Wilder

On behalf of City of Bellevue Utilities: Ms. Wilder has been in the sustainability and resource conservation field for twenty-four years.  She is a graduate in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State University, with a minor in Education. Through City, County and State programs in Washington, she has worked with residents, businesses, property managers and schools on a variety of waste reduction and sustainability topics.  As a professional educator, she has given over 2,000 presentations to school classes, school assemblies, neighborhood associations, residents and businesses. She has assisted over 1,200 businesses with eco improvements. She has worked as a consultant for City of Bellevue for twenty-one years on a range of programs and has taught the Greener Living community classes for nine years. In June, 2017 she was certified as a Climate Reality Leader through Al Gore’s Climate Reality Corps.

Tuesday April 20

Favianna Rodriguez

Favianna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and social justice activist based in Oakland, California. Her art and praxis address migration, gender justice, climate change, racial equity, and sexual freedom. Her practice boldly reshapes the myths, stories, and cultural practices of the present, while healing from the wounds of the past. Favianna’s projects include Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Resist, two large scale public art commissions with the City of San Francisco, a partnership with Joey Soloway to create 5050by2020.com, and an upcoming storytelling initiative at the US Mexico border. Her work serves as a record of her human experiences as a woman of color embracing joy, sexual pleasure and personal transformation through psychedelics as an antidote to the life-long impacts of systemic racism. Her signature mark-making embodies the perspective of a first-generation American Latinx artist with Afro-Latinx roots who grew up in Oakland, California during the birth of hip hop and the crack cocaine epidemic.

Favianna’s practice includes visual art, public art, writing, cultural organizing and power building. She leads meaningful collaborations with social movements that lead to resilient and transformative cultural strategies. In addition to her expansive studio practice, she is the co-founder and president of The Center for Cultural Power, a national organization igniting change at the intersection of art, culture and social justice. In 2016, Favianna received the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship for her work around immigrant detention and mass incarceration. In 2017, she was awarded an Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity for her work around racial justice and climate change. In 2018, she received the SOROS Equality Fellowship for organizing artists activists. An artist entrepreneur, she has co-founded various institutions, including the EastSide Arts Alliance, a cultural center and affordable housing complex in Oakland, CA, and Presente.org, the largest Latino online organizing community in the US. She is currently working on a short form, web-based series about sex and consent. See more on Favianna’s website.

Rachel Lowe

Rachel joined Bellevue College in 2005 and teaches in the Health and Physical Education. She has taught in the fitness industry since 1993 and specializing in Yoga since 2001.  She is the Lead Instructor for the Bellevue College Yoga Teacher Training Certification Program which is also a Yoga Alliance 200 hour Registered Yoga School. She teaches all levels of students, leads workshops and yoga retreats.  Rachel will often be seen leading desk yoga for staff and faculty,  teaching yoga credit classes for students, or partnering up with the Wellness Center for outdoor yoga.  She also has a Masters of Public Administration.  She is a rollerblader, rock climber, mother, baton twirler, Girl Scout, cyclist, and enjoys the outdoors.

Ramiro

Ramiro studied Marketing and Environmental Studies at the University of South Carolina. He now works as the Post-Landfill Action Network’s Director of Events. In his role, he works on the planning and execution of PLAN’s larger events such as their annual Student’s for Zero Waste Conference in the Fall and their Beyond Waste Student Summits Series in the Spring.

Wednesday April 21

Ros Studd

Ros teaches fashion textiles and loves teaching. She started her professional life as a retail buyer and product developer for the big fashion names.  Textiles are her thing and she loves manufacturing but not the current levels of pollution and waste it creates.  The project came about when she realized how much money she saved by mending her children’s clothes and that others did not have the skills to make this choice.  Her website and project, Repair What You Wear, is all about proper teaching and what the student can achieve for themselves.

Caroline Coffee

Caroline Coffee, Strategic Outreach at TerraCycle ~ Caroline graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. After working in Compliance and Business Analytics in the financial sector, Caroline made her passion to work for a purpose-driven company a reality, starting a career in sustainability at TerraCycle. Caroline specializes in building community infrastructure for National Recycling Programs across the US and Canada! Focused on unique categories of waste, like cigarette butts and disposable razors, Caroline helps businesses, cities, and non-profits engage in sustainable initiatives while educating communities on the importance of waste elimination and recycling.

Connect with me on LinkedIn!

Kent Short

Kent Short is an emeritus faculty member in the Earth and Space Sciences Program at BC, having retired from full-time teaching in 2019. His academic specialties are meteorology and oceanography, but has focused on climate and climate-change issues for much of his career. Prior to joining the BC faculty in 1998, he worked for the federal agency NOAA and several environmental consulting companies. 

Abdulmajid Ali

Abdulmajid Ali is a first-year student in his second quarter at Bellevue College. He is expected to graduate in Spring 2022. Currently, he is pursuing a major in Engineering. In his free time, Abdulmajid likes woodworking, playing sports, and problem-solving. Growing up in a first-generation Somali household he has learned to appreciate cultural diversity.

Thursday April 22 – Earth Day!

Jim Olson

Jim Olson has been a gardener since way back. He joined the Master Gardener Program in 2013. Currently, he shows how to grow melons at the Bellevue Demo Garden, is on the Growing Grocery series faculty, leads the Redmond Plant Advice Clinic, and is the current President of the Master Gardener Foundation of King County.  At home, he has a little bit of everything edible, with a side of multiple landscape plants, including orchids and plumeria.

Friday April 23

Andrew Westenbroek

Andrew is the Sustainability Associate Fellow for the Office of Sustainability as part of a new collaboration between Strategic Energy Innovations, Puget Sound Energy, and Bellevue College. He is a lifelong resident of western Washington, having grown up in nearby Issaquah. As a recent graduate of Western Washington University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Energy Science & Technology, he is working with the Office of Sustainability to help implement energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction measures through the climate action plan. He enjoys engaging in and finding ways to implement sustainability into everyday life.

Theodore Koepf

Theo works at the Office of Sustainability at Bellevue College where he helps create and expand the reach of sustainability focused projects and workshops that encourage students to fight for climate justice. In addition to his duties at Bellevue College, Theo also works for a software and consulting startup that helps companies track and analyze their sustainability data. When he’s not sifting through the trash, he likes to brew his own beer, play board-games and spend time with family.

Last Updated April 8, 2021