My name is Jessica Mizaur. I’m from Nebraska. I go to Creighton University where I am a BA candidate in Sustainability Studies and Social Entrepreneurship.
What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?
I’m most interested in community resilience, environmental justice, rural/urban relationships, sustainable fashion and design, public transit, and urban planning.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
I just started working with Omaha’s first zero waste store, Exist Green, which I am super excited about! Alongside that, I am involved with a local non-profit, The Naturalist School, which is a group dedicated to growing together in local ecological knowledge, mindfulness, and creativity. I also recently launched my own consulting service as a way to promote sustainability education and practice in my home community. Currently, I am focused on working with small scale non-profits, but eventually I hope to also work with local offices, small businesses, homeowners–anyone who is interested, really. My goal is make sustainable living feel accessible and meaningful to all people. I have found engaging with sustainable living practices can be very grounding when we find ourselves amidst the overwhelming nature of the more abstract, systems level issues we are grappling with. I believe it’s important to find ways to connect daily with what you are fighting for.
What are your plans for the next five years?
I’m up for whatever life has coming for me! Five years ago, I thought my plan was to be a high school english teacher. Instead I’ve found myself in a completely different field, which I’m just as in love with. I try to stay open to new things and be present with where I’m at. That being said, there are some next steps I do have in mind after graduation–I’d love to move to a bigger city (Chicago is at the top of my list!), work at a community resilience geared environmental non-profit, learn more about LEED certification, and eventually pursue a masters degree in urban planning or perhaps another environmentally focused field.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
I lived in Chicago for a little while, so this visit will feel like coming home! I’m looking forward to returning to some old stomping grounds and also seeing what’s changed.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?
I was interested in having the opportunity to connect with new people and broaden my own understandings of environmental practice through shared passion and collaboration with others. I love learning in a community setting–I think the energy of it can be really revitalizing.
Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
I’m a big fan! Always down for a new furry friend. I’ve got an extra soft spot for black cats.