Grace Wilken


My name is Grace Wilken. I am from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. I go to Eastern Illinois University where I am a M.S Sustainable Energy and Business Administration candidate.

What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?

What sustainability, energy, and community issues aren't important to me? I'm  passionate about using resources wisely and respectfully in a way that is socially just. Waste management is a particularly involved issue for me currently, as I am working on compost projects in my personal, academic, and community life.  

What exciting projects/research are you working on now?

I have started a compost project at EIU to use food waste and landscape waste as feedstock for compost to then use as a soil amendment for a sustainable garden. In addition, I enjoy finding creative and sustainable solutions to problems, such as planting a rain garden to help with drainage on campus. 

What are your plans for the next five years?

I'm willing to see what adventures lay ahead.  I would like to work in sustainable development in rural communities, and there are a lot of options that I can't even foresee right now. 

What made you want to apply to SISE?

I love networking and collaborating with others who are passionate about sustainability. I'm eager to learn and experience everything at this event and meet awesome peers in the field.   

What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?

I'm most looking forward to attending the SISE event, and I may visit a few friends in the city (otherwise I'm happy in the cornfields).

Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?

I actually consider myself more dog-like, but I do have two cat fur-babies and love them very much. I've definitely become a cat person (maybe even crazy-cat-lady).