Forrest Fleischman spent much of his undergraduate career as an environmental activist, working to protect California’s forests and advocating for various environmental issues. He believed he could change the world, and he still does.
“I would like to do something that will help people,” said Forrest, a native of Amherst, Massachusetts. “I would like to work as a researcher and instructor, teaching people about our resources and how we can manage them better. My SPEA education will help me do all these things.”
While searching for graduate schools, Forrest stumbled upon a book written by 2009 Nobel laureate and SPEA faculty member Elinor Ostrom. He thoroughly enjoyed Ostrom’s work, and was inspired to come to IU partly because of her reputation. Ostrom is now Forrest’s advisor as he pursues the joint Ph. D. in Public Policy. “She makes a commitment to working with her students,” Forrest said. “She’s always willing to set up a time to talk, despite her busy schedule.”
Forrest’s activist spirit is alive and well, albeit more subtle. A longtime supporter of the organic, small agriculture movement, he grows most of his food in his own garden. “It’s more than a hobby to me,” he said. “It’s a way of life.”