Alexandra "Alex" Kasdin '14 MPA '18, of Princeton, New Jersey, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude with a degree in ecology and evolutionary biology, focused on conservation biology and environmental policy. She was also inducted into the Sigma Xi honors society. Originally inspired by her first-grade teacher and an obsession with penguins, conservation of biodiversity has been Alex’s passion for nearly all her life. She focused her volunteer and internship experiences on environmental preservation; working in the Philadelphia Zoo education department for over two years while in high school, helping a Mayan community develop sustainable farming practices with the American Jewish World Service in the spring of 2011, teaching conservation biology to primary school children in Kenya in the summer of 2011, interning at the non-profit Climate Central in the summer of 2012, and researching conservation attitudes of tourists at a colony of endangered penguins in South Africa in the summer of 2013.
As a Gilbert S. Omenn ’61 and Martha A. Darling MPA '70 Scholar, Alex has spent her SINSI service in the federal government promoting endangered wildlife conservation. Alex’s SINSI internship was with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuge System in Washington, DC. Her fellowship rotation with the Fish and Wildlife Service has taken her from Hadley, MA to the Regional Office in Denver, CO, where she worked on endangered species issues. She completed her last rotation in Washington, DC at the agency’s Division of Congressional and Legislative Affairs (USFWS). She returned to WWS in the fall of 2017 to complete her MPA.