Lainie Collett

Lainie Collett

My name's Lainie Collett. I'm from Chicago. I go to school at Arizona State University where I am a Bachelors in Business and Political Science candidate.

What got you interested in sustainability?

I remember becoming aware of how our everyday actions affect the future at a young age, when learning about recycling and the effects of pollution in school and watching documentaries. My growing interest in sustainability came with the realization that our survival depends on it. When I started studying Political Science in school, I became more aware of the key role policy holds in sustainability. Efficient policies lead to innovation and environmental conservation, defective policies worsen climate change and environmental injustices. 

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

Improving transportation is an important issue to me because reducing emissions is one of the most critical steps to fighting global warming. I think many of the solutions already exist, we just need to make the necessary changes towards more efficiency. Stricter policies regarding fuel economy and improving our public transportation is needed to combat our dependence on petroleum fuels.

What exciting projects/research are you working on now?

Currently I am just working and volunteering at an independent political organization in my community. Our main focus right now is the affordable housing crisis in Chicago, as well as the Gubernatorial races. 

What are your plans for the next five years?

I hope to transition into a community/environmental planning position before applying to grad school programs. I hope to study either environmental policy or urban planning. 

What made you want to apply to SISE?

The program provides the opportunity to expand upon my sustainability and public transportation knowledge, which is perfect for my career passions. I’m excited to solve problems with a diverse group of individuals that are passionate about the same issues as me. 

What are you most looking forward to doing in the city?

I would recommend all Chicago newcomers to check out the museums. The many Chicago lagoons, like the Jackson lagoon, are all awesome man-made habitats around the city. The Chicago Lakefront Trail is also a great bike ride to check out, it runs along the shore and is a beautiful view of the city. 

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

I do like cats! Although I’m currently a dog mom, so the likelihood of me getting a cat would depend on my dog’s willingness to like cats.