AlumniCorps: inspiration + unearthed passions for Cathy Malina ’05

Cathy Malina ’05

Cathy Malina ’05, Former PP55 Fellow at the Illinois Lt. Governor’s Office, Chicago

What led you to a PP55 Fellowship?

When I was a senior at Princeton, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in environmental advocacy.  At the same time, I had a clear interest in government and public service.  A Project 55 Fellowship working on state environmental policy and programs in the Illinois Lt. Governor’s Office was a perfect fit.

Which aspect of the Fellowship was most impactful to you and why?

One of the most meaningful parts of my Fellowship was our weekly seminar led by John Fish ’55. Every Wednesday morning, we met with inspiring community leaders and advocates working in different fields across Chicago. Each seminar broadened our perspectives and gave us the opportunity to learn important lessons about service and civic engagement. The seminars also allowed us to share our experiences at our individual Fellowships and helped create an amazing community for those of us who were new to the city.

Do you think your Fellowship had an impact on your chosen profession?

I’m an environmental attorney at a public interest law firm in San Francisco.  Previously, I worked at the Southern Environmental Law Center, focusing primarily on coal mining issues in Appalachia and advocacy for the Chesapeake Bay.  My Project 55 Fellowship had an undeniable impact on my career path by reinforcing my interest in service and guiding me towards law school.

Have you stayed in contact with anyone you met during your Fellowship?

I had a wonderful alumni mentor, Vince Anderson ’65, who welcomed me to Chicago so warmly and offered me great advice at the start of my career.  We stayed in touch after my Fellowship, and I was so happy to see him at Reunions a couple of years ago, when we both returned to Princeton for our 10th and 50th!

Why give to Princeton AlumniCorps?

Project 55 plays such an important role in inspiring civic engagement and encouraging Princeton students to pursue public interest careers.  Continuing support for the fellowship program enables young alumni to dedicate their energy and enthusiasm towards meaningful work and social change, having a true impact in our communities.

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