Alumni Testimonials        


Here are some of our past KELP graduates’ thoughts on this program and how it has contributed to where they are in their careers today.


As a KELP graduate from the class of 2010, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the opportunity to learn about Kansas’ environment.  Across the state, there are many different watersheds, geographic features, and cultural political climates, and with them comes unique environments.  Participating in KELP has given me firsthand experience in learning about these many great features all over Kansas. 
We learned valuable leadership skills that have helped develop me into a better citizen.  In fact, since I began the KELP class, I’ve applied and earned [a new] position working with local governments in South Central Kansas to address water quality and quantity issues.  I attribute the success of earning this position from the many skills and lessons learned in developing my personal leadership skills during KELP. 
In a world that continues to grow and consume natural resources at unprecedented rates, I hope that the Kansas Environmental Leadership Program can continue to develop leaders out of hard-working Kansans that are looking to protect and sustain the environment in which they live, work, and play. 
-Dane Baxa, KELP Grad ‘10
As a recent graduate I can attest to the significant role this program has played in enriching my role as the Water Quality Coordinator for the Cowley County Conservation District. 
In five sessions I have improved my leadership skills by identifying my strengths and weaknesses through the different modules.  It was extremely interesting to learn about the surface and groundwater issues statewide and come back with some ideas that may benefit my local watershed groups and communities.  We also were given an opportunity to experience work at the state capitol that enlightened me to exactly how issues can be resolved.
The diverse group of attendees provided a perspective to all the various issues studied that allowed each of us to learn.  We developed a network of individuals with different backgrounds that we can call on as we go about our respective jobs.  The collaboration demonstrated by our group for an Applied Leadership Project for the City of Chapman provided an opportunity to make a difference in a small community by educating interested citizens and creating something that will be seen for years in the local park.
  -Jenni Carr-KELP ‘10
In my opinion, KELP enabled me to work collaboratively with individuals from different agencies to solve a real-world problem. Our Applied Leadership Project forced members to work outside of comfort zones to help a community that didn’t have the resources necessary to improve water quality. The professional relationships and friendships gained were immeasurable. Great program!
-Christopher Lavergne, KELP Class 7 Graduate
I truly believe that the KELP class in 2005 was the best training I have ever received… Anywhere!  It was an awesome experience and I applaud you for all of your efforts in trying to educate us all on the water quality issues of Kansas. 
-Keena M. Privat, KELP Class 6 Grad
My KELP experience was a turning point in my water quality work.  It allowed me to see the broader picture of water quality and the various water issues around the state.  It offered me to first experience in working on a large-scale, multiple agency water quality project (the Rock Channel Crossing in Russell County), which gave me confidence to take on larger water quality projects on my own.  It also provided experience in working with the various agencies and understanding what they could provide and how to coordinate expertise and resources to accomplish a specific goal.  The networking opportunities provided by my KELP experience were unparalleled and provided me with a state-wide network of contacts that proved very useful in later projects.  I appreciate so much the opportunity I had to participate in the KELP project and feel that it offers a unique water quality educational experience that can't be obtained by any other existing method.
-Carolyn Blocksome, KELP Class 7 Graduate
One of the bigger things I have done with the experience I gained in KELP was to serve on the Sanitary Code Revision committee for Reno County. I was invited to serve because of my job responsibilities, however, I was actually useful because of many of my KELP experiences.
Due to my KELP training, I had a working knowledge of the positions and issues, and because of my role as an agent, I was neutral.

-Barbara Lillyhorn, Class 1

KELP 2012 has been a growing experience for me. I am an environmental scientist and a wetland scientist at a large engineering firm in the Kansas City area.
KELP has enabled me to gain a better perspective regarding water issues statewide. After growing up on a farm in north central Kansas, I moved to the KC area in 1998. From working for engineering firms since then, I have learned a lot technically about water quality and water quantity issues in this part of the state at a professional level. It has been very beneficial to me to learn about the other water issues facing Kansans across the state, and to learn how those issues are being addressed.
I was able to share my technical expertise with others, while gaining a broader knowledge of water issues, and how they are being addressed. KELP is a unique program that provides educational opportunities outside the traditional classroom by bringing in other classmates who are experts on various water quality issues to discuss current issues and their experiences. A very informative list of speakers and facilitators has made this a great experience for me as well.
-Devin Wilson, environmental scientist and KELP 2012 Class future graduate