Earth and Environmental Systems
My name is Julie Whitaker and I am currently the Energy and Sustainability Specialist for Valparaiso University. My experiences during Indiana State University and my professional career choices have lead me on the path to receiving my current dream job at Valparaiso University.
I began my journey at Indiana State University in 2009. I entered ISU being an undecided in the direction and major I wanted to study. It wasn’t until I took an ENVI 101 class that my interest in the environment and renewable energy really developed. After that course, I dove into everything I could to further my career in environmental work and in sustainability. My passion for sustainability grew when I worked as the Student Engagement Coordinator at the Institute for Community Sustainability. My time at the Institute for Community Sustainability gave me a glimpse of what my dream career path could be.
Once I graduated in 2013 with a degree in Human and Environmental Systems, I became a substitute teacher and naturalist educator at Flat Rock River Camp where I taught children about different environmental topics. After my time at Flat Rock River Camp, I became a Natural Gas Analysis Scheduler. As a natural gas scheduler, it was my job to manage the flow of natural gas to customers. I then received a job at the Department of Natural Resources has a Water Planner, where I helped counties manage their floodplain and flood damage adamant.
In 2017, I started my dream job at Valparaiso University as their Energy and Sustainability Specialist. My favorite thing about my job at Valpo is that I develop programs that foster a culture of sustainability among the whole university. I am able to be creative and implement different programs and initiatives to help the university become more environmentally friendly. My team performs energy audits on all campus buildings, which helps identify possible energy conservation measures to decrease our energy consumption. The great thing about my job is my involvement in many different projects like our bicycle sharing program, remodeling buildings to LED lighting, and also plan events like our Earth Day Celebration and so much more. Every day is different and the possibilities are endless on projects and programs that can be implemented to help Valparaiso University and the planet to become more sustainable.
Indiana State University helped me discover my passion for helping people find an interested in the environment and ways they can participate in the green movement. I hope that with my experience, I will be able to help out in any way that I can for you and your future career.