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Among the 1,997 former students and faculty members featured on our Gies College of Business-powered ‘UI at 150 & Beyond’ website: the Class of 2003’s SCOTT TESS, sustainability and resiliency officer for the city of Urbana.

Any doubts Scott Tess was having about his career calling were erased within a few months of enrolling at Illinois.

That’s how captivated the future Urbana sustainability and resiliency officer was by a course called Introduction to Environmental Sciences.

“I recall my first semester of my first year at the University of Illinois where I was quite uncertain about staying with the degree program I had been accepted into, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences,” says Tess (BS ’03). “But one of my first environmental sciences classes committed me wholly to this path. The professor for Introduction to Environmental Sciences spoke with gravity and a touch of indignity about this emerging problem of global existential import, which really activated my interest in undertaking challenging and useful service.

“The weighty problem at issue in my class? Global warming. That was two decades ago, and I’m still working on the problem.

“This professor, and the NRES course of study, have put me on an interesting and empowering career path that has spanned two states and allowed me to travel and collaborate with colleagues on three continents.”

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