Elizabeth Adams (‘80)
San Francisco Bay Area
Profession: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Director Superfund Cleanup Program
Johnston Emphasis: Biology and Humanities

The "living/learning" community was for me, the heart of my experience at Johnston, and the "proving grounds" for the skills I would need to pursue my future career. The diversity of the students, and the environment that was created by the faculty, helped me learn how to truly listen to people, how to believe in myself and effectively express my ideas and perspectives, and developed my tolerance for different points of view!

I use these skills all the time in my current work at EPA when I meet with representatives of companies that must clean up contamination from their past operations, and when I represent EPA at community meetings where people are angry and upset with the threat of pollution in their neighborhood.

The ability to help design and initiate classes, and working with faculty that loved learning, helped me "learn how to learn" for myself, and it has given me the ability to be a very creative problem solver in the face of the many obstacles that arise in my work at EPA and in life. Anything is possible if you put your mind and heart into following your passion. If you come upon an obstacle in your way, study it, learn about it and you will find a way through it!