This month we are excited to welcome five additional members to our team!
Get to know them and help us wish them a warm welcome!
Josh Cohen is joining us through service with the Chesapeake Conservation Corps. Josh is a New Jersey native, coming to the Chesapeake region initially to attend to school at Washington College in Chestertown, MD. There he studied Environmental Science, Chesapeake regional studies, and music. Since graduating in 2020, Josh worked with AmeriCorps NCCC doing service work from Arizona to New York. With his collegiate and professional background, as well as his upbringing in the Jewish faith, IPC was a perfect fit. Josh is incredibly passionate about climate resiliency and believes that one of the key solutions will be forming resilient communities. He feels that working with faith communities across the Chesapeake will help us do just that!
"As my first full on experience in the workforce, my hope is that I maximize my contributions to the bay as well as my own knowledge. Thus far, I've gotten experience in things like data management, assisting in running events, interviewing faith leaders, with even more possibilities to come. But in the end, if I leave a lasting impact with IPC's mission in mind, I'll consider myself successful." ~Josh
Katie Ruth is our newest full time staff member and is working in our Lancaster County (PA) and Harford County (MD) hubs as an Outreach Coordinator. Growing up on the beautiful coastlines of Sydney, Australia, Katie spent many summer afternoons down by the local river. Here is where she first experienced exposure to the harm that occurs when pollution and trash end up in our waterways. Katie graduated from Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary with a BA in Christian Counseling, and is now pursuing a Masters in Public Leadership through a joint program between United Lutheran Seminary and Temple University both located in Philadelphia, PA. She brings a variety of non-profit, faith-based, and organizational experience with a passion for peacemaking and justice, particularly through the lens of ecofeminism and interfaith collaboration.
"I'm very glad to be here at IPC. These first few weeks have been a whirlwind and I am learning a lot. I'm so inspired by all that our partner congregations are doing to care for our shared watershed. I look forward to continuing to support this faithful justice work." ~Katie
Erina Kironde was born in Kampala, Uganda, and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. She spent her childhood hiking and camping on Mt. Longonot, Mt. Kenya and Ngong hills. She graduated with a B.S. in Geology at Bryn Mawr College, then worked in the Environmental Research and Geotechnical Engineering industries following her graduation. She spent time working in the Geomicrobiology lab at the University of Melbourne in Australia, where she grew and studied bacteria in Winogradsky columns. Erina is with IPC as part of her time with the Episcopal Service Corps and will be working primarily with Partner Congregations in our Baltimore hub region.
"I put my left foot in and shook it all about. There are so many projects here with IPC that I can't wait to jump into." ~Erina
Susan Parker is joining IPC in a part-time capacity to also make time for her work with Wicomico Environmental Trust (WET). She grew up in Salisbury where she worked for her hometown newspaper for 28 years, during which she held many positions in the newsroom. Since taking early retirement in 2019, Susan has held one part-time position at a local senior center in the community relations office that ended with the arrival of COVID and complete shutdown of most senior programs. She was then invited to take on an AmeriCorps position with WET in late September 2020 and since then has transitioned to working part time with the Wicomico River Creekwatchers program. Susan will be using her native knowledge to work in our Eastern Shore hub region, coordinating events and other outreach efforts.
"I am excited about the opportunity to add a part-time position with IPC as a Program Assistant, while maintaining my work with Creekwatchers." ~Susan
Peter Hoogstraten is a Maryland native, growing up in Bethesda in Montgomery County. He graduated from Hamilton College in 2020, where he received a major in Religious Studies and a double minor in History and Mandarin. Peter is currently an AmeriCorps member serving as a Volunteer Coordinator with IPC. He is interested in the intersection of religion with issues of social justice, human rights, and peacebuilding, something he plans to study further at graduate school in the future. Most recently, Peter interned with Religions for Peace, where he assisted with scheduling and organization. With IPC, Peter will help create a volunteer program to support emerging green teams by pairing them up with successful green team leaders to be their mentors.
"I am very excited to meet and work with people of diverse faith backgrounds all driven by love for Creation." ~Peter
You can connect with and read more about each of them on the Team and Board page of our website.
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