Meet Kelly Wedell
Current Environment Protection Specialist and 2008 University of Dayton graduate Kelly Wedell greatly benefited from relationships forged with professors while at UD. Wedell graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Biology and received a Master's degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University. She now works for the Pollution Prevention Division of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.
She has been able to combine her Environmental Biology degree with her policy background to help make industry more sustainable. She currently works on several projects at the EPA with others who are just as enthusiastic as she is about environmental sustainability.
"I am surrounded by some of the most passionate people in the environmental field on a daily basis, each working so hard to make society just a little bit better for coming generations," Wedell said.
During Wedell’s time at UD she was active with UD’s chapter of AED, a health pre-professional honor society, and TriBeta, a national biological honor society.
"I loved being involved in AED and TriBeta; I met some of my best friends in those programs, while also learning more about potential career fields," she said.
She also took advantage of UD’s emphasis on service opportunities to give back to the community. Christmas on Campus was a particular favorite. She said she did not realize what a unique atmosphere of service existed at UD until she graduated and now tries to carry on this spirit in her current life.
"I was always amazed at the amount of service students and staff at UD participated in; there seemed to be an unending desire to give back," she said.
Wedell worked as a teaching assistant for Dr. Carl Friese who she described as a phenomenal mentor. She attributes her current career path to his encouragement and influence. He encouraged her to make the most of her time at UD and become involved in groups such as TriBeta.
"He only wanted the best for me, and made sure I put myself in the right position to obtain just that," she said. "I don’t think my college experience would have been nearly as rich without him."
Dr. Robert Kearns was another professor who has impacted Wedell’s life. Kearns pushed her to do her best academically.
"He holds his students to a higher stand, and in turn, I think I learned to hold myself to a higher standard," Wedell said.
The personal attention and encouragement that UD biology professors give to their students is something Wedell is grateful for and remembers fondly.
"One of my favorite things about the University of Dayton were the relationships I was able to develop with my professors, specifically Dr. Friese and Dr. Kearns," she said.