LVC Senior Headed to Graduate School to Study Environmental Policy, Fracking

Lebanon Valley College graduate Kelly Jacobs will be pursuing a master's degree in environmental policy.

Upon graduating as an economics major, Kelly Jacobs ’18, is headed to the University of Delaware to continue her education studying energy and environmental policy. Her graduate school choice became an easy decision when she received a scholarship toward tuition, a research assistantship, and a stipend.

“I happened to sit next to the right professor at lunch on my visit and after discussing my research interests, he promised he would find funding to facilitate my research,” Jacobs said. “He called his friend from the Water Resources Center and the next thing I knew, I was meeting with Dr. Jerry Kauffman. We discussed my experiences at LVC and how I became interested in environmental issues, and then he offered me an assistantship for my first year. No application necessary.”

Jacobs’ research at the Water Resources Center will include collecting and testing water samples from local streams and rivers.

“In my second year, I hope to complete my master’s thesis project on the environmental ramifications of hydraulic fracturing,” she said.

Jacobs is thankful for her past internships that influenced her career path. At LVC, she worked on the Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC) as a data intern and completed carbon accounting for the College. She also interned with the Public Works Department of the City of Lebanon inspecting storm drains and analyzing best management practices for the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System.

As she looks forward to graduate school, Jacobs appreciates her time at The Valley that prepared her for this next step. Through her economics and politics classes, Jacobs developed her written and verbal communication skills as well as conducted scholarly research in her honors thesis.

“Once I visited the LVC campus for the first time, I had a ‘gut feeling’ that this was the place I was supposed to be,” Jacobs said. “A beautiful campus, small class size, and personal relationships with professors made my decision easy.”

At LVC, Jacobs was a writing mentor for the First-Year Experience course, microeconomics study pod leader, resident assistant and residential mentor, founder and president of the environmental club, member of SAC, and studied abroad at Maastricht University in the summer of 2017.

“After reflecting on my four years here, I realized that there is not one distinct memory that stands out,” Jacobs said. “Instead, I found myself thinking about the simple, day-to-day moments with my friends. Watching Family Feud with my roommates before bed, study sessions at 3J’s, and supporting my friends during their games are the memories I will hold on to.”   

In the future, Jacobs hopes to work for an environmental advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. or conduct research for the Environmental Protection Agency.