The Alumni Council is comprised of Nicholas School of the Environment Alums who are elected by the school to serve on a Board for a period of three years each. The Council is responsible for fostering better relationships between alumni, alumni and the school, and between alumni and the student body. Their mandate is ultimately to serve the school on a range of issues as set forth by the Dean of the Nicholas School. The Council convenes once a semester on Duke’s campus to engage with students and to discuss initiatives and also participates in frequent communications with school administration throughout the year.

Letter from the President

Dear Nicholas School Alumni,

When I had the opportunity to speak at the NSOE graduation ceremony several years ago, I talked about how the school is only as good as the sum of its community. The school has some of the best faculty and staff members, many of which are recognized as global experts in their fields. The students constantly amaze me with their dreams and vision for a better world. And last, but certainly not least, are the alumni. The Nicholas School has amazing alumni spread across the world, working tirelessly to protect the environment while also achieving personal and professional success. 

Although we only spent a few years at the Nicholas School, our role as alumni lasts a lifetime. We are experts in our fields working across the world with purpose. Together, we can ensure that the Nicholas School continues to provide world-class environmental education to tomorrow’s leaders while also helping fellow alumni connect and make a collective impact.

The Go · Grow · Give program provides the framework to do just this. As an alum, I would encourage you to Go to local Duke events in your community to represent the Nicholas School, Grow your wealth of knowledge and experience with students and fellow alumni, as well as help to identify the future environmental leaders of the world and encourage them to attend the Nicholas School. I also ask you to consider Giving a donation of any size in support of the school’s important work. Robust participation of all Nicholas alumni is vital!

As president of the Alumni Council, my hope is for the Nicholas alumni body to be a strong and enriching community where we, as alums, work to enable other alums and our students to be the best they can be. We on the Alumni Council serve as the voice for you, our alumni body, and work to ensure our graduates stay engaged with both the Nicholas School and the larger Duke community. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any other Council member if there is ever anything we can do for you.

As alumni of the Nicholas School, we all have the skills and knowledge to tackle the world's environmental challenges. While this is certainly no small task, I know that we, as alumni, together with the students and faculty of the Nicholas School, are up for the challenge. 


Nick DiLuzio MEM/MF’10
President – Nicholas School Alumni Council

Benefits & Expectations

Potential Benefits

  • Connect with the school from a strategic position
  • Influence the direction of how the school engages with alumni
  • Learn more about the school and broaden your perspectives on current issues/ topics
  • Improve alumni relations for the school and university by sharing your individual knowledge and skills
  • Receive exposure to other disciplines and professions which you may not encounter in your “day job”
  • Strengthen your reputation and build your personal brand
  • Enrich your career and/or professional development
  • Have access to new networks that may not have been previously available or considered
  • Get advanced invitations to university and school-related events and programs
  • Have fun!

Time Commitments

  • Attend on-campus business meetings twice a year — one in the fall and one in the spring. Meetings typically begin with dinner on Thursday evening, followed by our business meeting on Friday morning through late afternoon. Due to special on-campus events, meetings can be scheduled during the week or at a different time than usual, if deemed appropriate.
  • Attend virtual business meetings held approximately three to four times annually
  • Actively engage as alumni leaders 3-5 hours monthly
  • “Lead by example” in supporting the school as volunteers and donors
  • Serve as an ambassador by pro-actively staying apprised of activities, plans, and needs of the school; share pertinent information with your Nicholas School networks.
  • Participate effectively in a collaborative group process, provide feedback in a respectful manner, and be open to a variety of recommendations
  • Respond to requests via email and phone for feedback or assistance

Alumni Council Fellows

Each year, the Alumni Council awards fellowships to continuing professional degree students (first year and/or concurrent degree) who demonstrate exemplary leadership, career and professional development preparation, and character. On behalf of the Alumni Council, The Office of Development and Alumni Relations (ODAR) awards fellowships in the amount of $6,000 to each fellowship recipient. 

The Alumni Council Fellows help to connect Nicholas School students and alumni in meaningful ways – most notably with their work on the Alumni-Student Mentorship Program.


  • Applicants must be enrolled at the Nicholas School pursuing a professional degree as a continuing first year and/or concurrent degree student.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • Past Alumni Council Fellowship award recipients are not eligible.

Selection Process

  • All continuing students are notified by email of the open application period in January of each year.
  • Applications are reviewed by the award committee after the application deadline. The award committee is comprised of Nicholas School alumni, staff, students, and Alumni Council members.
  • Once applications have been reviewed, students (at the discretion of the award committee) are selected for interviews to determine fellowship awardees. 
  • As applicable, students are notified of their status during each stage of the selection process. 

Current Alumni Council Fellows

Emma Fulop

Graduation Year: 2019
Concentration: Ecosystem Science and Conservation

Emma Fulop is a second-year MEM student with a concentration in Ecosystem Science and Conservation and a certificate in Community-Based Environmental Management. She hopes to use these skills to improve access to environmental resources for communities that have been historically underrepresented. Before coming to the Nicholas School, Emma worked within the land trust community, in both Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC.  She has experience with community engagement and project management and is interested supporting grassroots influence on policy development. This summer, Emma worked at the Dogwood Alliance as a Campaigns Intern and is excited to continue to explore the intersection between people and policy at NSOE.

Jeffrey Meltzer

Graduation Year: 2019
Concentration: Business and Environment

Jeff Meltzer is a second year MEM student with a concentration in Business and Environment. Jeff’s master’s project is a client-based group project helping a biopharmaceutical company reduce its carbon emissions throughout its supply chain. Over the summer, Jeff interned with the Environment, Health, Safety, and Sustainability group at L’Oreal USA in New Jersey.  Among his many projects were organizing data from L’Oreal’s vast green power portfolio, helping improve biodiversity and recycling at its offices, and developing a communications plan for the company’s many sustainable technologies. Jeff is Co-President of the Net Impact Club and attended Career Treks to Portland and Seattle visiting with alums at companies like Amazon and Nike.

Sarah Vondracek

Graduation Year: 2019
Concentration: Energy and Environment

Sarah Vondracek is a second year Master of Environmental Management and Master of Business Administration dual-degree student at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. She graduated with a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Colgate University and has hands-on experience in environmental compliance, ecological research, environmental policy analysis, and the electricity generation industry. After graduation, Sarah is interested in supporting companies and utilities to integrate renewables, energy storage, and smart grid technologies.

Former Alumni Council Fellows


Sydney Fishman
Lisa Remlinger
Eric Smith


Brianna Elliott
Janet Larsen
Nathan Walker


April Christensen
Erin Tomaras
Leslie Cakey Worthington


Alexis Bolton
Genna Gomes
John Paul Miller


Mark Panny
Alice Kodama
Wenjing Shi
Daniel Chow


Annie Brock
Heidi Winner
Nairuo Zhu


Anna Chavis
Stephanie Roe
Cassidy Travis


Brian Keaveny
Heather Heenahan
Monica La


Hua Fan
Meghan Giuliano
Maura Nowalk


David Cooley
Julia Gruber
Xiaojing Sun


Jason Franken
Carla Frisch
Heather Hosterman


Miranda Smith
Dean-Lorenz Szumylo
Terah Elizabeth Donovan


John Tynan
Rebecca Ryals
Sharon Yeh


Joel Dunn
Katrina Jayme
Julia Watkins


Meaghan Calcari
Melissa Sanderson
Zhou Zheng
Erika Zollett


Lindsay Fullenkamp


Susan Watts
Christina Bird


Carla Norwood
Timothy O’Connor