Kelly Kleinert
Student at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University

Kelly Kleinert participated in the World Leaders Forum panel, Columbia University and the Global Sustainability Challenge, in October 2008.

Kelly Kleinert is a second-year medical student at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.  She currently heads the Medical Center's EcoRepresentatives (EcoReps), a group of health science students working to reduce the community's environmental impact and improve environmental stewardship.  As the only interschool group on campus, the EcoReps serve as environmental liaisons between faculty, administration, and students, collaborating with Facilities Operations and Housing at the Medical Center, as well as the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and the Office of Environmental Stewardship.  Since the EcoReps's conception in the fall of 2007, the group has coordinated a complete overhaul of residential recycling on the health science campus, operated a variety of awareness and engagement campaigns, and shepherded several successful projects from the Morningside campus. This year, EcoReps has added projects targeting both energy use and waste management in the research and educational buildings on campus.

Kelly's work on university environmental stewardship began in her first year as an undergraduate at Auburn University in Alabama.  When the university continued to disregard student opinions on campus-wide recycling, she and other members of the student-run Environmental Awareness Organization led a trash audit of campus dumpsters to determine how much of the school's waste was recyclable.  She continued her involvement with student environmental groups during her three years at Swarthmore College, where she also served on the Board of Manager's Properties Committee.  After graduating from Swarthmore in 2005 with a double major in biology and Spanish, she worked on a national HIV surveillance program at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.  During her work at the health department, she began to realize the possibility of uniting her interests in public health, medicine, and the environment.

Kelly has enjoyed the experiences and challenges that come with living and attending medical school in New York City.  The urban environment provides a unique opportunity for combining environmental issues and medicine.  Living in the city while periodically returning home to her family's farm in Kentucky has offered her a fresh perspective on the environment and public health.  Kelly remains interested in a number of medical specialties, but hopes to continue integrating environmental issues with her career in medicine.

Participated In

Columbia University and the Global Sustainability Challenge

Date: October 23, 2008 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: Columbia University Morningside Campus Miller Theatre
Description: President Lee C. Bollinger hosts this World Leaders Forum program, featuring a panel discussion examining environmental stewardship through Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative, Columbia's contributions to the City's sustainable future, and what role New Yorkers play in the global effort. The program will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience.