CCESS 2022 Highlights

CCESS 2022 Climate, Health, and Justice

GVSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Geography and Sustainable Planning Department, and Office for Sustainable Practices welcome you to the Fourth Annual Climate Change Education Solutions Summit (CCESS), held virtually October 11-13, 2022 in partnership with Global Climate Change Week

Azizur Molla


Professor of Public Health 

Dr. Azizur Molla is a Professor of Public Health in the Master of Public Health program of School of Interdisciplinary Health, College of Health Professions at Grand Valley State University. His area of interest includes environmental health, social  and behavioral health, and community health. Dr. Azizur R. Molla has over 20 years of experience in teaching and research with topics including E. coli, fecal coliform in drinking water, disease and culture, environmental health, health policy, community health, and social determinants of health. He earned his Bachelor from the University of Dhaka, his MPH from University of North Carolina-CH, and his PhD from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Molla has worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in designing, implementing and assessing reproductive and public health programs in South Asia. Azizur also coordinated and provided training on global health, reproductive health and healthcare system to the health officials in Bangladesh and Indonesia. He authored a book on drinking water and disease, authored/co-authored book chapters and articles based on his research in the USA, in Bangladesh, Ghana, and Haiti

Lisa del Buono


Executive Director, Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action

After completing her residency in anatomic pathology at the University of Michigan and staying on as an assistant professor for a short time, Lisa spent most of her professional career practicing in Traverse City, MI with expertise in gastrointestinal and breast pathology.
In 2012, Lisa woke up to the fact that our climate was rapidly changing, and that urgent collective action was needed. So, in early 2013, she became a Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) volunteer. Lisa has served in a variety of roles in CCL from Group Leader to State Liaison Coordinator and now she co-leads CCL's Health Action Team. In early 2020, Lisa co-founded Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action (MiCCA) with the desire to utilize the trusted healthcare voice to educate the public and policymakers about the health benefits of addressing climate change.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. ET

Introduction by Dr. Erik Nordman, Professor of Natural Resources Management

Denise Keele


Director, Michigan Climate Action Network

Denise Keele received her doctorate in Environmental Politics from Syracuse University and was an Associate Professor of Political Science at Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her research and teaching focused on environmental policy and law, in particular the use of the courts and interest groups to influence public policy. At WMU, she chaired the interdisciplinary Climate Change Working Group from 2014-2022, bringing over one hundred faculty, students, and staff together to create and implement several academic and outreach programs. She served on the Kalamazoo Township Climate Committee, the City of Kalamazoo Sustainability committee, and as a Board of Trustee with the Kalamazoo Nature Center, Keele led the development of a climate action plan with a carbon neutrality goal of 2035. From 2019-2022, she led the grassroots Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition coordinating over 2000 members and 40 affiliate organizations to take collective action and address climate change. Keele was honored with an inaugural Climate Champion award from the Michigan Climate Action Network in 2021, and now serves as the Director of the organization. With almost two decades of experience in educating others and encouraging action, Keele brings a collaborative and positive approach to addressing the climate crisis.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Introduction by Dr. Azizur Molla, Professor of Public Health

Presentations and panel discussion

"Air Pollution, Climate Change, and Public Health"

Kindra Weid and Darren Riley, moderated by Dr. Azizur Molla


Kindra Weid


Coalition Coordinator, MI Air MI Health

A graduate of the University of Michigan, School of Nursing (2000), Kindra currently practices as a critical care RN with 20+ years of experience in nursing.  She is also passionate about environmental health issues, which drove her to obtain a Master’s degree in Public Health, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2009).  Kindra has been avidly advocating for the climate, air quality, and public health in Michigan since 2015 as the Coalition Coordinator for MI Air - MI Health.  She strongly believes that everyone deserves to breathe clean, healthy air, and is currently working to expand electric school buses across the state and Midwest region.

Darren Riley


Co-founder and CEO of JustAir

Darren is the Co-founder and CEO of JustAir and aims to bring more transparency to air quality health impacts at a neighborhood level.  Before JustAir, Darren was a portfolio manager at Endeavor, working with a global portfolio of high-growth companies and supporting them through various scaling challenges.  He is also a Co-founder of Commune Angels, an angel group united by their shared interest in high-growth ventures and strengthened by their diverse experiences. Overall, Darren is keen on leveraging emerging technologies to bring about visibility and solutions to the issues that impact overlooked communities. Darren holds a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University.


Wednesday, October 12 at 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Introduction by Dr. Yumiko Jakobcic, Director, Office of Sustainable Practices

Round Table

Citizens Climate Lobby work in West Michigan

Jan Strait


Grand Rapids Citizens Climate Lobby Chapter Leader

Jan Strait, is one of the leaders of the Grand Rapids Citizens Climate Lobby Chapter since 2016. She assisted with formation of the Holland Area and Grand Haven Lakeshore CCL chapters. She has previously organized advocacy groups within CCL Grassroots and Grass Tops Teams for numerous collaborative projects, community initiatives,  and events for climate actions.

Peter Profile picture

Peter Boogaart

Promotion of Residential Energy Efficiency, Ottawa County & the City of Holland

Peter Boogaart is retired and a long-time resident of Holland Charter Township. Peter is one of the founding members of the Holland Area Citizens’ Climate Lobby chapter where he takes the lead in communication with our member of congress. Peter spent his last 10 years of employment working for both Ottawa County and the City of Holland in the promotion of residential energy efficiency. Peter was involved in the grass-roots advocacy which encouraged creation of Holland’s 2011 Community Energy Plan and again in the 2020 effort to strengthen the plan. Peter has been involved in Creation Care groups since 2000 exploring the intersection of faith and environment.

Dr. Dennis Icabone

Dr. Dennis Icabone

Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry

Dr. Dennis Icabone is a retired professional with a fellowship in Dentistry and  Masters in Public Health. He is passionate about the impact coal ash and carbon emissions have on the public health. His research includes the scheduled shutdowns of coal plants in Michigan and specifically, the JH Campbell Coal Plant in Port Sheldon, along the Lake Michigan lakeshore, notably rated the sixth most pollutant coal plant in the nation. He will share his research and forthcoming solutions.

Kristin Davis


Kristin is a senior at GVSU, majoring in Film and Video. She works as a videographer for GVSU Cimate Change Education Netowork and Michigan Resources on Climate and Land Change Education, helping Dr. Lioubimtseva to develop video stories for schools. She is active in many student organizations and clubs such as GVTV, GVFA, Cinespace, and Cinesthesia. In the future, Kristin hopes to be a writer and director of her own films, while at the moment her main skill is cinematography. Working with the CCESN and MiRCLE teams of students and faculty she hopes to create inspirational and informational videos for all to enjoy and learn from. 

Leah Anderson


Leah Anderson is a GVSU alumna with a dual degree in Geography and Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation, and Resiliency Planning. She is a co-founder of GVSU Climate Change Education Network and was one of the first CCESN interns in 2018. During her time at GVSU, she was actively engaged with the GR Citizens Climate Lobby, studied renewable energy in Iceland, was a President of the Geography Club, and completed multiple internships pertaining to climate change resiliency. After graduation, Leah served two AmeriCorps terms in Salida, CO and is  back to Colorado this fall to pursue her Masters of Environmental Policy at the University of Denver.

In summer 2022 Leah joined the CCESN as a research assistant for Michigan Resources on Climate and Land Change Education project and narrated "Climate Sisu" documentary - a collection of climate stories from Northern Michigan.

CCESS 2022 Moderators



Director of Grand Valley State University’s Office of Sustainability Practices

Yumiko Jakobcic is the Director of Grand Valley State University’s Office of Sustainability Practices. She received a BS in natural resource management from Grand Valley State University, a MEM in conservation science and policy from Duke University, and a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Winooski Valley Park District, managing eighteen parks across seven communities in Vermont. Her research interests include the transboundary management of natural resources, human diversity in conservation, and neighborhood cohesion supported by natural areas. She is passionate about engaging students in a more sustainable lifestyle.



Professor of Geography and Sustainable Planning

Elena Lioubimtseva is a Professor of Geography and Sustainable Planning at Grand Valley State University and a 2022/23 Russell G. Mawby Faculty Fellow with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy. Her research  and teaching interests include human vulnerability and adaptations to climate change, justice in climate adaptation planning, nature-based solutions, and urban green and blue infrastructure. Elena is a co-founder and coordinator of GVSU Climate Change Education Solutions Network.


The Climate Change Education Solutions Summit is sponsored by the NASA Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MISGC), GVSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, GVSU Geography and Sustainable Planning Department, GVSU Office of Sustainable Practices, Michigan Climate Action Network (MICAN), Michigan Clinicians for Climate Actions (MiCCA), MiAir MiHealth, and JustAir Solutions.

For more information, please contact the CCESS Planning Committee Chair, Dr. Elena Lioubimtseva at [email protected].

Page last modified October 20, 2022