Alex Gilbert

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As a writer and researcher for a Washington D.C.-based energy trade publication, Alex Gilbert must analyze environmental issues from different angles—a skill he developed from strong faculty support and the academic and experiential learning opportunities available to him at Lake Forest College.

During his first year at the College, faculty assisted his successful application for a prestigious Kemper Scholarship that secures professional development opportunities for two students. Through his scholarship, Alex landed an internship with an energy firm in Sydney, Australia, that profoundly shaped his desire to pursue graduate school and work in the energy field.

A double major in environmental studies and politics, Alex visited the Gulf of Mexico with Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Glenn Adelson to observe first hand the impact of the catastrophic 2010 oil spill. Professor Adelson also taught him how to apply for a grant that funded a semester at sea trip to conduct senior thesis field research examining how several countries addressed environmental issues. Alex went on to earn an MS in energy regulation and law from Vermont Law School, a graduate program that Professor Adelson helped him identify and gain admittance to through a letter of recommendation. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for my relationship with Professor Adelson,” Alex said.

The interdisciplinary nature of his coursework also “made the difference” in graduate school. “You need to look at energy issues from different angles. You need to understand how science determines engineering, and the economics that are involved in that. Then you have to understand how that impacts social, political, and regulatory frameworks, or you won’t find the best solution to the problem,” Alex said. “Lake Forest College trained me so well that when I look at issues, I understand their wide-ranging impacts at a more in-depth and complex level.”


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