Seniors 2023


2023 Environmental Studies Seniors


Becca Burks

Hometown: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Second Major: Biology
About: Becca's interests in environmental studies stem from her love for the outdoors and her love for people. Her specific interest is in environmental education and engagement, and after Hendrix, she plans to work as an environmental educator and potentially pursue a master's degree in environmental education or herpetology. Becca completed two internships while at Hendrix. The most recent was in the summer of 2022 when she helped design amphibian survey methods for the Children's Eternal Rainforest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Her first internship took place in summer 2021 when she worked for the Mississippi State University Extension office and the Urban Wildlife Information Network on a project to increase citizen knowledge of urban wildlife in Jackson, Mississippi. Working with MSU gave her insight into the inception of land-grant universities (LGUs), and for her senior thesis, she is evaluating the relationship between the inception of LGUs and current Native American students, whose ancestors inhabited the land that funded LGUs.


Rail Gilliam

Hometown: Cabot, Arkansas
About: Rail interned at the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH) in the summer of 2022. His time at CTEH inspired his thesis topic, which explores the benefits and costs of preventing environmental disasters versus containing and cleaning up these disasters. His thesis focuses on these questions regarding wildfires in the American West.


Kayla Grabinski

Hometown: Hot Springs, Arkansas
Second Major: Biology
About: Kayla was drawn to the environmental studies program because of how well it complemented her her biology major. After graduation, she plans to do seasonal field work for a while before pursuing a master’s degree from a biology program. During the summer of 2021, she interned for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) during which she edited the Division of Energy’s weatherization manual. For her thesis, she is exploring how to implement agroecological practices in Arkansas agricultural sectors. Her hobbies include keeping plants and fish, as well as hiking in the forest.


Grace Holmquest

Hometown: Bentonville, Arkansas
About: Grace is interested in ecology and big mammal conservation. After Hendrix she would like to pursue field ecology work with the National Park Service or a conservation-based NGO. In summer 2021, she was a primate care intern at Lincoln Children's Zoo in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her thesis is explores restoring biodiversity to the Great Plains by replacing industrially raised cattle with free range bison. She is an active rock climber and hiker. 


Josie Krueger

Hometown: Saint Louis, Missouri
Minor: Neuroscience
About: Josie's environmental studies interests are rooted in plant and animal conservation, as well as sustainable forms of energy production. After graduation, she would like to work in conservation for a few years before obtaining a master's degree. In the summer of 2022, she worked at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) as the Assessment and Remediation intern. Her thesis explores the presence of polyfluoroalkyl substances' (PFAS) contamination in Arkansas drinking water and develops an action plan to address this contamination. Outside of environmental studies, she is involved in Campus Kitty as the Donations and Fundraising co-chair.


2023 Seniors having fun in the leaves!