Laurentians do not seem to shy away from complex challenges, and those working in public policy or advocating for change to enhance the lives of others are part of a growing community of alumni.
Administrative Specialist, Office of Self-Governance, U.S. Department of the Interior
Emma Phillips ’16 | Washington, D.C.
Emma Phillips ’16 is currently the administrative specialist for the Office of Self Governance (OSG) within Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Interior. Working at OSG has given Phillips exposure to 287 of the 574 federally recognized tribal nations across the country. Born and raised in Akwesasne, New York, Phillips is a proud enrolled member of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. She graduated from St. Lawrence with a degree in environmental studies and is currently serving as a St. Lawrence University McCurdy Sprague Trustee. Most recently, she completed a master’s degree in sustainability management within the Kogod School of Business at American University.
Advocate, Disability Rights Maine
Keenan Weischedel ’16 Jericho, Vermont
On November 22, 2016, Weischedel broke his neck in a ski accident at Mad River Glen in Vermont. Upon learning that he had suffered a complete spinal cord injury at the C7 level and was a quadriplegic, Weischedel wasted no time working through his recovery and looking for new ways to stay active and happy. He has chosen to focus his energy on advocating for others and illustrating all the ways to engage in life after suffering a traumatic injury. In 2021, Weischedel joined Disability Rights Maine where he advocates for reducing transportation barriers, more trail and nature accessibility, and access to necessary medical equipment for individuals. His advocacy began earlier with an internship for the Kelly Brush Foundation after graduating from St. Lawrence, assisting individuals with spinal cord injuries to get adaptive recreational equipment. Weischedel was recently featured with fellow Laurentian Zach Stegeman ’02 on an episode of “Maine Calling” at Mainepublic.org as well as served as a panelist for the Maine Land Trust Network accessibility workshop.
Legislative Assistant, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Annie Dietderich ’16 | Washington, D.C.
With her bachelor’s degrees in government and communication from St. Lawrence University and a master’s in public health from the University of Edinburgh, Annie Dietderich ’16 (pictured right) is providing support as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (pictured left), a republican from Alaska. Dietderich assists Sen. Murkowski on policy (including all women’s issues), and has shared her expertise with St. Lawrence students as part of the SLU Connect–DC networking event.
Grants Specialist, USAID’s Child Blindness Program
Sean Kelly ’15 | Baltimore, Maryland
Sean Kelly ’15 (pictured right with Chief of Party Chris Pearson on the coast of Togo) has spent the last two and a half years working as the grants specialist for USAID’s Child Blindness Program. Currently managed by Integrative Sciences LLC, the program supports NGO’s delivering high-quality eye health services to children and other vulnerable populations. In its 30th year of operation, the program has served over 7 million children in more than 50 countries. In 2020, Kelly was joined by fellow Laurentian, Lizzy Catherwood ’20, as grants assistant. The deep D.C. cohort of Laurentians, including Kelly, make quite an impression sharing their expertise with students during the SLU Connect–DC networking program, and he has also proudly served as the Class of 2015 reporter since 2018.
Director of Development Operations, Alliance for Health Policy
Kelly Appenzeller ’15 | Eliot, Maine
Kelly Appenzeller ’15 has been working in the Washington, D.C., nonprofit health policy space for over seven years. Currently, they live in Maine working remotely and are loving the New England weather and being outside with their wife and pup. Appenzeller loves all things system operations and project collaboration within the organization. As a nonprofit development leader and HubSpot administrator, Appenzeller specializes in aligning organizational goals to growth and revenue strategies. They are currently sourcing and securing over seven figures in annual corporate revenue while also piloting new project management and operations systems. The Alliance for Health Policy is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. As a student in 2014-2015, Appenzeller worked with University Board of Trustees Vice Chair and Chair-Elect Jennifer Curley Reichert ’90 and Lynn Fox to develop the first SLU Connect–DC program.
More Young Alumni at Work
- Meet some Laurentian researchers
- Learn about alumni in traditional and new media jobs
- Check out a few of our Laurentian entrepreneurs
- Laurentians taking the lead on money management
- Boat captains to soil saviors, read more about the next generation
- Learn more about two alumni working in sports
- Two alumni find a way to keep making music