Get to Know GREENie, Ashley Forwood!

 

 

I grew up in Mobile, AL on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. You may or may not know this, but it's where Mardi Gras was really born. Living in a city that backs right up to wetlands and beaches, I always had love for the natural environment. But I didn't start to become eco-conscious or sustainable until high school when I realized my own unsustainable practices and the impact that it could have on the environment. Mobile as a city has a problem of industrial pollution, and not to mention the BP oil spill back in 2010, which we're still seeing the effects of. I want to help solve problems like these on a global scale, and I think it all starts on an individual scale with informed consumers and mindful, sustainable practices. My background is in environmental economics from Miss. State University, and I'm in a TGP-partner graduate program studying Resource Management with a concentration in International Sustainable Development and Climate Change at Antioch University New England.

 

“TGP taught me to get out of my comfort zone”

 

Going to Iceland for spring break in 2019 was an unforgettable experience. It sparked something in me that I'm certain will continue to flourish for years to come. I met so many people from all over the world that had similar mindsets regarding renewable energy resources and sustainability, and a lot of that spilled over to real life interests, leaving me with 30 new friends by the end of it all. One of my favorite parts was watching everyone come together to create ideas for capstone projects. It was truly an exciting and empowering experience to see these stellar people collaborating to formulate strategies that help combat climate change. TGP made sure that every site we visited and every lecture we attended was a blend of relevance, purpose, and education, while still keeping it fun and interesting. This is a huge reason why I decided to apply for TGP's partnership master's program with Antioch University New England: Resource Management & Administration, concentration in International Sustainable Development & Climate Change."

What Has Ashley Been Up to Since Iceland?

Ashley has been a GREEN alum for two years - but that hasn’t stopped her from going the distance! Ashley is about to graduate with her Master’s Degree in International Sustainable Development & Climate Change (TGP & Antioch University’s degree!). She just recently accepted a position as a Plan Formulator with The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - and shared with us how her GREEN program helped her find such an amazing opportunity. 

“I talked about my Iceland experience and graduate studies throughout my interviews,” Ashley said her time in Iceland opened her up to a whole new world of renewable energy resources and their uses. Expanding her TGP experience into the graduate program has completely changed her mindset to now think about problems (big or small), through a systems-thinking lens. “It helps me in my professional role by allowing me to break down complex problems, analyze the systems, and eventually change them to increase efficiency,” she added. She hopes to continue her work with The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and one day focus on coastal resiliency. 

Ashley LOVES talking about her program experience, her favorite part of her Iceland trip was the perfect blend between coursework and adventure - she loved that she could learn something at Reykjavik University in the morning and then go see it in the field that same afternoon! Plus, the lifetime friends she met on her program were an added bonus! 

When she’s not implementing sustainable practices both in her personal life and at work, you can find her car-camping through National Parks with her best friend! 

Ashley is an active member of our TGP Alumni Network, and would love to connect with you all further! Thanks Ashley for taking the time to share your post-program story, keep on changing the world! 

Ashley’s tips for new alumni: 

  • Stay up to date and stay engaged

  • Use TGP resources to your advantage

  • Take every opportunity to engage with TGP's platform to connect with others and build your professional network!

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