The Food & Water Watch Campus Program has seven Coaches this semester! Our Coaches are experienced student organizers who provide direct mentorship and support to Campus Fellows around the country through weekly check-ins and one-on-one mentorship. They work with Campus Fellows to launch campaigns, create strategies and execute tactics to win real victories for environmental and socioeconomic justice on campus and in the wider community.
Meet our Fall 2018 Coaches:
Maddy Gawler, University of Denver
Senior, Spanish, Geography & International Studies
Graduate Program, Sustainability in International Development
Maddy has been with our campus program for three and a half years, getting her start sophomore year as a Campus Fellow. Maddy found out about the Take Back the Tap campaign while working with Divest DU, a group working to end the school’s investment in the fossil fuel industry. After graduating, she hopes to work internationally in the sustainable tourism industry as a sustainability consultant. Along with Take Back the Tap, she has been working with the Sierra Club for the past two years to put Denver on a path to 100% renewable energy. Currently, Maddy is starting a sustainability committee for Denver Public Schools with the aim of empowering and educating students regarding environmental issues within their schools. In her free time, Maddy loves to go country dancing and travel the world!
Allison LaPlatt, Central Michigan University
Graduated, Environmental Studies & Non-Profit and Public Administration
Allison has been involved with Central Michigan University’s Take Back the Tap campaign since her freshman year, eventually becoming the lead student organizer for the group as a junior. Having always had a passion for social justice, the connection between bottled water and racial and economic issues deepened her commitment to taking back the tap. Since graduating last May, Allison continues to apply the skills she learned with the Food & Water Watch Campus Program. Along with being a Coach, she is now the Great Lakes Regional Organizer for the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, focusing on the fight against Line 5, a major pipeline that carries petroleum under the Straits of Mackinac threatening the environmentally sensitive area connecting Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. Allison also loves hiking, kayaking and super heroes! Out of the Marvel and DC heroes, her favorites are Iron Man and Oliver Queen as the Arrow.
Carlyn LeGrant, College of William & Mary
Senior, Government & Environmental Science and Policy
This is Carlyn’s third year with Take Back the Tap. Starting as a member of the university’s group, she became a student organizer with the Food & Water Watch Campus program her junior year. She was intrigued by William & Mary’s Take Back the Tap campaign because the goals set forth were realistic but also had the potential to highly impact the lives of students on campus. Outside of the environmental movement, Carlyn is also involved with Voices for Planned Parenthood and has been a figure skater for the past 10 years!
Sara McAuliffe, Central Michigan University
Senior, Environmental Studies & Non-Profit and Public Administration
Sara has been an active member of Take Back the Tap on Central Michigan University’s campus for the past year, becoming one of the lead student organizers last spring. Having always been environmentally conscious, she got involved with the campaign after learning about the connections the issue of bottled water has to issues of social justice. Living in Michigan, the Flint water crisis deepened her interest in and commitment to environmental justice and the issue of water privatization and affordability. After she graduates, Sara is hoping to continue her involvement in the environmental movement and is excited to see where that path leads her. Along with her passion for justice, Sara loves her cats and electronic dance music.
Carlos Vargas, University of Texas at El Paso
Junior, Environmental Science with a concentration in Biology
Carlos has been a Food & Water Watch student organizer since the fall of 2016. He started the Take Back the Tap campaign at El Paso Community College and brought the fight to UTEP when he transferred in the spring of 2018. Already familiar with Food & Water Watch, Carlos wanted to get involved in our organization’s fight for the rights of people against corporate control of vital resources. Along with environmental activism, Carlos works with Movimiento Cosecha fighting for the protection and rights of immigrants. When he’s not organizing, you can usually find Carlos outside where he loves to hike, run and skateboard.
Kelly Verrinder, Northern Arizona University
Graduated, Environmental Sustainability Studies
Kelly got involved with Northern Arizona University’s Take Back the Tap program in the spring of 2016, becoming a student organizer the next fall. While working with the larger sustainability group on campus she was drawn to Take Back the Tap due to it’s work on a more specific issue. After learning about the social justice implications of water privatization and how much deeper the issue of bottled water goes than just plastic waste, Kelly was committed. Kelly’s dedication to Taking Back the Tap on university and college campuses has led her to stay involved with the campus program as a Coach for the past year. She also loves crafts, gardening and every dog she comes across!
Jessie Wasser, University of Florida
Senior, Sustainability and the Built Environment
Jessie became a student organizer last year with the campus program having heard about Food & Water Watch, and she resonated with the work the organization does surrounding water issues. Having been raised using reusable water bottles, she saw it as an opportunity to teach everyone about the importance of not using plastic water bottles. As a sophomore, Jessie was already involved as a student ambassador for Filter of Hope and traveled to Haiti with the organization to supply water filters for families and communities without access to clean, safe drinking water. After graduation, Jessie is looking to work in the world of corporate social responsibility, helping companies become more sustainable and environmentally conscious. Jessie is also a painter and involved on her campus with “One for the World."