American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

A Professional Partner of The

Alexander von Humboldt - Foundation



Yasmin Bowers (2013-14)
In 2009, Yasmin Bowers founded YB Green upcycled glass jewelry in New Orleans Louisiana. The impacts of Hurricane Katrina caused the city to end the glass recycling program. Bowers took this as an opportunity to raise awareness on environmental issues by collecting and recycling glass into jewelry. Her background in Environmental Health Science and experiences working in post-Disaster communities was a great foundation to become a social entrepreneur. YB Green is expanding into other communities and raising awareness on their unique environmental challenges. During her fellowship, Bowers was able to create a special collection using glass shards collected from the East German city of Halle. After the end of the Cold War, Halle became more abandoned, and in 2014 was the emptiest city with over 300K inhabitants in Germany. Fortunately, there are countless social and artistic projects that are brightening up and redeveloping this community. One of which is Halle im Wandel, a cooperative that aims to recycle the Alter Schlachthof into cooperative living and working space. Upon returning to the States, Bowers plans to bring her experiences back to New Orleans and Washington, DC–where she resides full time. Please visit to get the latest information and adventures in recycling, fashion, and community. (7/3/2014)

Daniel Eisenbeis (2014-2015)
As a German Chancellor Fellow, Daniel is examining brownfield redevelopment and urban planning policy while hosted by the Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung GmbH) in Dortmund, Germany. Prior to his fellowship, he served as the State Government Relations Manager for the City of Portland, Oregon. Daniel previously worked as a policy analyst, land use planner and lobbyist in the public and non-profit sectors. He was named one of “35 Innovators Under 35” by the land use advocacy organization 1000 Friends of Oregon. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Macalaster College.

Jen Jack Gieseking (2010-11)
Jen Jack Gieseking is an urban cultural geographer, feminist and queer theorist, environmental psychologist, and American Studies scholar. He is engaged in research on co-productions of space and identity in digital and material environments, with a focus on sexual and gender identities. Jack’s work pays special attention to how such productions support or inhibit social, spatial, and economic justice. He is working on her second book project, Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queer Women, 1983-2008. He is Assistant Professor of Public Humanities in American Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Jack’s first book is The People, Place, and Space Reader, co-edited with William Mangold, Cindi Katz, Setha Low, and Susan Saegert, and recently out with Routledge. He has held fellowships with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as German Chancellor Fellow; The Center for Place, Culture, and Politics; The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies; and the Woodrow Wilson Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellows Program. Jack also writes about his research as a blogger with the Huffington Post Gay Voices. (7/15/15)

Joshua Hagen (2000-01)
Since completing his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003, Josh has been a professor in the Department of Geography at Marshall University. As a German Chancellor Fellow, he spent the year researching the intersection of historical preservation and national identity in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria. The book based on this research, titled Preservation, Tourism, and Nationalism: The Jewel of the German Past, was published in 2006. Josh has also published several journal articles on geopolitics, international borders, nationalism, historical preservation, urban planning, and architecture, with an emphasis on Germany. He is currently finishing co-editing a book titled Borderlines and Borderlands: Political Oddities at the Edge of the Nation State. In addition to general editorial duties, Josh also co-authored the volume’s introductory and concluding chapters. The book is being published by Rowman & Littlefield and should appear in late 2009 or early 2010. As this project nears completion, Josh has begun work on two new book projects. The first, titled Borders: A Very Short Introduction, discusses the historical development and contemporary forces of international borders with a focus on the evolution of the modern state system in the early twenty-first century. The book is under contract with Oxford University Press. The second book project examines the wide ranging construction programs sponsored by the Nazi regime. This book, titled Building Nazi Germany: Place, Space, Architecture and Ideology, is under contract with Rowman & Littlefield. (6/26/09)

Dale Medearis (1994-1995)
Dale Medearis is a Senior Environmental Planner for the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. In that capacity, he co-leads the NVRC’s regional climate mitigation and energy programs and manages NVRC’s international environmental partnerships – among the few problem-focused, goal-oriented and geographically-specific transfer of lessons from abroad to the US. He helped co-launch the first formal climate and energy partnership between the 40 largest U.S. and European metropolitan regional councils, co-initiate the Transatlantic Climate Bridge, co-launch the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s “Cities and Climate” Network and co-develop the Transatlantic Urban Climate Dialogue with the Freie Universitaet of Berlin. (6/9/15)

Karen Till (1992-93)
Karen E. Till is Senior Lecturer and Director of the MA in the Department of Geography at Maynooth University in Ireland. She is also Director of the Space&Place Research Collaborative (Ireland), and founding co-Convener of the Mapping Spectral Traces international network of artists, practitioners and scholars. Karen’s geo-ethnographic research in Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Dublin, Minneapolis, and Roanoke examines the significance of place in personal and social memory, and the ongoing legacies of state-perpetrated violence. Her curatorial work invites artists, practitioners, community leaders, scholars and publics to explore how creative practices might enable more responsible and sustainable approaches to caring for places, shared environments and cities. In addition to numerous articles and chapters, her publications include The New Berlin: Place, Politics, Memory (2005), Mapping Spectral Traces (2010), and the co-edited volumes Textures of Place (2001) and Walls, Borders and Boundaries (2012). Karen’s book in progress, Wounded Cities, highlights the significance of place-based memory-work and ethical forms of care at multiple scales that may contribute to creating more socially just futures. Karen received her Ph.D. in cultural-historical geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.A. in ecosystems-geography at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). (6/8/15)