Environmental Science Grads Embark on Diverse Careers

VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova University master's program in Environmental Science supports research in a wide range of scholarly interests that span the scope of geography, biology, chemistry and geology and intersect at the nexus of environmental issues. Students learn to see beyond linear and fragmented approaches to solving environmental problems to understand the complex interactions between people and the environment. Because of this philosophy, students are prepared for careers in government, academic or commercial fields, or to continue their education in top PhD programs. Learn more about some of the program's recent graduates.
 

Sandra Demberger ’20 MS

Sandra Demberger ’20 MS

Sandra Demberger ’20 MS is currently working as a contractor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where she serves on the Scientific Advisory Board. Previously, she was a Knauss Fellow with the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Program. In this role, she assisted with communications and conservation planning. During the fellowship, she was afforded extensive travel experiences to speak with conservation partners in California, Florida and Hawaii. Before earning her masters at Villanova, she worked with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. There, she worked in the field monitoring marshes and living coastline construction and conducted outreach for technical audiences and the public. “This experience has proven extremely valuable as I work towards the next steps in my career,” she says.

John Nguyen ’19 MS

John Nguyen ’19 MS

John Nguyen ’19 MS recently started a new position as a Life Scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Chicago, Illinois. “Under the Permits Branch of the Water Division, I'll be reviewing NPDES permits for transport, storage, and disposal facilities, as well as handling litigation cases. I'm pretty excited to move to a big city like Chicago!” he says. In addition to his role with the EPA, Nguyen works as a consultant with the Environmental Grantmakers Association. He graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with a BS in Chemistry in 2014 before pursuing his Master's in Environmental Science at Villanova. Nguyen worked with Steve Goldsmith, PhD, on his masters’ thesis, focused on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on streams in the upper Susquehanna River watershed. He also served as a graduate student representative on Villanova’s Student Sustainability Committee. Upon completing his graduate degree, Nguyen was a William Penn Foundation fellow where he helped safeguard water resources in the Delaware River watershed.

Justin Stewart ’20 MS

Justin Stewart ’20 MS

Justin Stewart ’20 MS recently started a doctoral program at Vrije University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. “My research focuses on identifying key players and patterns in networks of microorganisms with an emphasis on plants, soil, and maps, and space,” he says. To aid in the preservation of fungal networks, he helped to launch the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN). As a student at Villanova, in the labs of Dr. Kabindra Shakya and Dr. Peleg Kremer, Stewart wrote his masters’ thesis on the microbiome of the atmosphere of cities.

Andrea Stumpf ’20 MS

Andrea Stumpf ’20 MS

Andrea Stumpf ’20 MS graduated from the Environmental Science program at Villanova during the height of the pandemic. “I defended my thesis on Zoom,” she says. Despite this hardship, Stumpf was able to accept a position at an ecology lab at the University of Notre Dame where she researches the Montana grasslands and the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Her duties include processing samples from these locales and running laboratory experiments on brine shrimp, an organism that is a major component of the Salt Lake ecosystem. “I am working on innovative research at a time when the Great Salt Lake is in trouble,” she notes. Prior to her experience at Villanova, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and a Master of Fine Arts in Theater Design and Technical Production. 

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

Office of Graduate Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Villanova University
Vasey Hall - Suite 202

Campus Map and Directions

Meet Our Staff

        

Grad CLAS newsletter

GRAD CLAS NOTES

The newsletter of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Studies

    

SCHEDULE YOUR CAMPUS TOUR

Graduate students walking on campus

The Office of Graduate Studies offers personal tours of the beautiful Villanova campus. All tours begin in the Graduate Studies Office, located in Vasey Hall, Suite 202. Please sign up here to select the time of your tour.