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Academic programs

Featured alumni

Chris Clarke

Chris Clarke

Chief information officer, Tonbo Biosciences
M.S. in Biology, 1998

Christopher W. Clarke focused on freshwater fisheries and geographic information systems while earning a master’s in biology. After graduation, Clarke began working in the biomedical sector in San Diego.

He is the founding member and chief information officer at Tonbo Biosciences, an international company that develops fluorophore conjugated antibodies for use in immunology-based research. Its products help researchers conducting cell analysis for immune function diseases such as cancer and leukemia/lymphoma.

“The foundation in biology proved to be an asset to me as I developed my career as a technologist in the biomedical field,” Clarke says. “At VCU, I was exposed to Unix/Linux-based computer platforms, taught myself Perl and most importantly, I learned how to better communicate scientific information to a broader audience.”

Amy Ewing

Amy Ewing

Environmental services biologist and program manager, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
M.S. in Environmental Science, 2002

Amy M. Ewing came to VCU to merge her background in wildlife management with her passion for environmental protection. Through the support and guidance of the Center for Environmental Studies program and its faculty, Ewing made her goal a reality.

As manager of the Fish and Wildlife Information Services program, Ewing reviews projects, policies and permits for impacts upon wildlife, habitats and other department programs. This includes looking out for threatened and endangered species.

Ewing represents the Game and Inland Fisheries department on several committees and works to oversee wetland and stream mitigation banking, water quality standards and forest conservation. She also chairs the department’s safety team and works with Team WILD, an agency leadership team, to prioritize the agency’s land acquisitions.

Ewing’s career allows her to be in the field learning about the wildlife she loves while working administratively to conserve their habitats and environs.

V’lent Lassiter

V’lent Lassiter

Principal environmental planner, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
M.S. in Environmental Science, 2007

V’lent Lassiter obtained her first environmental position before she graduated from VCU. She worked full time and took evening classes to complete her environmental studies.

“It was actually through one of my professors that I heard about and was recommended for the position which launched my career in Virginia state government,” Lassiter says.

As an environmental planner, she assists local governments in implementing programs required under two of the state’s most important environmental regulations: the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, which protects environmentally sensitive lands from development, and the Stormwater Management Act, which regulates the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff.

“I appreciated the interdisciplinary nature of the program, which fostered a comprehensive understanding of environmental issues as a whole,” Lassiter says. “Many of my classes were focused on timely environmental issues, and I found the professors at VCU to be extremely accomplished in their fields and dedicated to the success of their students.”


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