MEET KATHLEEN R. TEUSCHER (MA Environmental Studies ’12)
- B.S., Zoology, Ohio University
- M.A., Environmental Studies, Cleveland State University (2012)
Where are you currently residing?
Where are you from?
Position Title: Senior Project Manager/Risk Assessor
Place of Employment: TRC Environmental Corporation
Job Duties: As an environmental consultant, I provide project management and technical support for a variety of projects in accordance with various state and federal programs such programs as CERCLA, RCRA, and individual state and USEPA Brownfield Programs. My areas of expertise include remedial investigation, risk assessment, vapor intrusion, Brownfield redevelopment, RCRA closures, Phase I/Phase II environmental assessments, feasibility studies, statistical analyses, and analytical chemistry.
Describe your volunteer experience:
I participate in the Buckeye Breakaway Ride (formerly Pedal to the Point) with an inspiring team to benefit MS every year. I'm humbled by the challenges others struggle with every day, and feel blessed to help in some small way.
Why did you decide to attend Levin?
In addition to the convenience of the downtown location, I was very interested in the diversity that the M.A., Environmental Studies program offered. It offered courses on a variety of topics (e.g., finance, policy, law, sustainability) that I lacked in my previous education.
How did your experience at Levin influence your career path?
I'm involved with project and financial management, grant acquisitions and application, budgets, transactional due diligence, environmental liability issues, and an endless variety of regulations in addition to managing projects requiring a diversity of expertise. I have clients that include municipalities, regulators, private sector industries, coalition groups, law firms, and banks. It is critical to understand implications of projects and how they are managed from the perspective of all potential stakeholders. The MA, Environmental Studies program enabled me to not only obtain a better understanding of several disciplines, but more importantly how one area of focus affects others.
What piece of advice do you have for current Levin graduate students?
Always remain open to learning. Being in the environmental field (and probably any field), more information becomes continuously available, technology keeps improving, and regulations and policy keep changing. Never think you know enough – there’s a consequence for everything, another perspective to consider, and there's almost always a better way.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned at Levin?
With courses such as environmental law, engineering, policy, statistics, and finance, in addition to more traditional environmental courses (e.g., ecology), the M.A., Environmental Studies program offered a unique and valuable opportunity to experience the critical interactions between these topics that are typically only experienced once out in the working world. I often wonder how much of an advantage I would have had if I had the education I received through the M.A., Environmental Studies program much earlier in my career.
Additionally, it is increasingly apparent that the most successful employees are those that have a diverse skill set and can communicate effectively to a wide-ranging audience.
What inspires you about Northeast Ohio? Why?
Cleveland is one of the biggest little cities or one of the smallest big cities in the country. There’s theater, sports, music, academic opportunities, museums, a variety of businesses, and a lakefront right outside your doorstep. I love living and working here.
What issues are you passionate about/what inspires you?
Environmental issues infiltrate into almost all career paths. The science behind environmental policy and regulation is complex and far-reaching. Industries need to meet environmental regulations, yet compliance comes with costs. This affects the bottom line. Conversely, noncompliance also comes with costs affecting health and welfare. Establishing effective policy requires understanding of its consequences, the ability to compromise, and the capacity to implement policy appropriately and effectively.
We desperately need leaders that can cross the gaps of understanding environmental concerns and the ultimate consequences in order to come up with effective solutions. As an older student, I was inspired and optimistic about the talent observed from my much younger classmates. I am passionate about the importance of nurturing this kind of teaching in our academic programs.