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Interns and Student Workers

College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute

Summer 2018

Jasmine Neosh

Jasmine Neosh is an enrolled Menominee, pursuing an Associates degree in Natural Resources at the College of Menominee Nation. Her past work with the Sustainable Development Institute includes the Tribal Climate Relations internship, which was part of a National Science Foundation-funded multi-year collaboration with Michigan State University. Currently, she is a Sustainable Development research intern, studying the history of SDI and its Menominee Model of Sustainable Development. These efforts support the development of a unique Bachelors program in Integrative Studies under the guidance of CMN faculty member Dr. Dennis Vickers.


Marissa Vele

Posoh, my name is Marissa Vele and I am the Sustainability Leadership Cohort Education Mentor for the 2018 program year. I live in Wittenberg with my husband-Curtis, daughter-Leikyn, and my dog named Aries. I hold an Associate’s Degree in Business Management from NTC. Currently, I am working towards my Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood/Middle Education and I am in my third semester at CMN.

My plan is to teach within the area and give back to my community. In the meantime, I work as a special education paraprofessional at the Shawano Middle School. I enjoy working with a variety of different students and helping them succeed. I look forward to this internship because I can gain more experience working with students and gain more knowledge about SDI and what they do. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to the many experiences that I will have.

Dolly Potts

Dolly Potts is an enrolled Prairie Band Potawatomi from Kansas. She has lived on the Menominee Reservation for twelve years. She graduated this spring from the College of Menominee Nation with an Liberal Studies Associate Degree in Humanities.

This is her third internship with SDI; this year as an Agricultural Research Assistant. This will be the second year, she will be assisting with the planting of Bear Island Flint corn research plot using soil amendments found in ancient Menominee garden beds. Another component she will be sharing traditional knowledge insuring food sovereignty and sustainability. One of her greatest interests in SDI is incorporating native input into the sustainability and diversity aspect of planning. She hopes that these teachings become a part of Sustainable Development for the future.

Adam Schulz

Adam Schulz is a first line descendant of the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohican Indians. He lives in Shawano, WI with his three daughters and wife. Adam has been pursuing his degree at College of Menominee Nation for the last eight semesters. He has two Associates degree’s from CMN. One in Natural Resources. He was awarded an Associates in Business Administration with an emphasis on management in May 2018.

Adam is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at CMN. His career objective is to work in a natural resources capacity as a manager for either the Stockbridge-Munsee, or another tribal government.

This spring and summer, he will be doing a third internship with SDI. Rebecca Edler will serve as his mentor while interning as an Agricultural Research Assistant for a second year. He has traveled and gave presentations at several venues on behalf of SDI. He has attended many seminars held by both the College and the Sustainable Development Institute. Adam looks forward to this opportunity to add valuable traditional knowledge to my learning journey.


Cat Majer










Not Pictured:


Nicholas Schwitzer

Nicholas Schwitzer is a Visualizing Forest Futures Intern for the Sustainable Development Institute. He is also a former member of SDI’s Sustainable Leadership Cohort from the summers of 2013-2016. A member of the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin, Nicholas was raised on the Reservation but moved to Shawano before starting middle school. He is currently attending University of Wisconsin: Stout to get a degree in Entertainment Design with a concentration in Comics and Sequential Arts. He is looking forward to the ViFF project as he thinks it will be interesting to use virtual reality technology to help explain the effects of climate change on the forest.

Jacob Schwitzer

Jacob Schwitzer is a first decendant of the Menominee Tribe and lived on the Menominee Reservation for 10 years before moving to Shawano. He is currently attending UW Stout to pursue his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Game Design and Development.

This summer, Jacob will be working on the Visualizing Forest Futures project. The project will use Virtual Reality to show the many ways how the Menominee forest can change due to climate change. He is looking forward to seeing how the immersive nature of VR will influence the project.

Sonja Meintsma

Sonja Meintsma is an MPA candidate at Indiana University’s SPEA, studying sustainability and policy analysis. She is a member of the Service Corps program at IU, where she works with Girls Inc. of Monroe County. Before graduate school, Sonja served in Peace Corps Zambia as an Environment and Food Security Extension Agent. She is working with SDI this summer as an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow to work towards improving the College’s climate neutrality. She will investigate different options of reducing carbon emissions by examining the CMN’s current GHG inventory and opportunities through carbon credits, forest carbon sequestration, energy efficiency, and renewable energies.

Curtis Wilhelmi

Curtis Wilhelmi is an enrolled member of the Menominee Tribe who is currently in his third semester at CMN. He is working towards his Associates Degree in Liberal Studies Social Science with plans to transfer to a four-year university to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Curtis will be working on the Visualizing Forest Futures (VIFF) internship project with Penn State University and will be conducting forest ecology research to examine how virtual reality can be used to examine possible impacts of climate change on forest systems and elicit values about forest change.

Luke Perez

Luke Perez is the lead field technician for the collaborative phenology project between the College of the Menominee Nation and the University of Minnesota. Luke, along with two other attached interns, will be seeking to establish a baseline dataset of plant flowering and fruiting on the Menominee Indian Reservation. This data will eventually be used assess and understand the effects of ongoing climate change, specifically its impacts on Menominee tribal forests.
Luke is an enrolled member of the Menominee Indian tribe of Wisconsin. He is currently seeking his Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

Denise Kasprzak

My name is Denise Kasprzak, I am an enrolled Menominee Tribal Member. I was born here on the Menominee Indian Reservation. I did not spend my childhood years here. I grew up in Wheeling, IL. I returned back to my original place of birth in 2000 and have been residing in Keshena, WI with my husband. My new journey is to recollect my education and move forward with a passion that I have found in the “outdoors!” I graduated with a Associates Degree in Natural Resources. I have had some experience with internships, and work-study programs with the Sustainable Development Institute. I have found this the most exciting and challenging experience working here and with the ecology, and how our environment needs to be more recognized.


Adam Lemieux 

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