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Environmental Writer, Michelle Nijhuis, to Deliver Reed's Commencement Address

Michelle Nijhuis, a 1996 Reed College graduate, will be the 94th commencement speaker for her Alma Mater during its graduation ceremonies on the south lawn of the Reed campus. Reed College President Colin Diver will join Nijhuis in leading the commencement procession at 11 a.m. on May 19.

PORTLAND, OR (March 17, 2008) -- “It’s an honor to be chosen as commencement speaker,” said Nijhuis. “I particularly like Reed’s tradition of inviting alumni back to speak to graduates. Really, only other Reedies can fully understand how hard you work and play to get in that seat on graduation day.”

Nijhuis is a contributing editor of the environmental journal High Country News and a correspondent for Orion Magazine. Her writing appears in publications such as Smithsonian Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and Audubon magazine.

Nijhuis’s work has been selected for The Best American Science Writing anthology, and has won her recognition with several national journalism awards, including the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism and an AAAS Science Journalism Award.

In 2006, Nijhuis, supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, traveled to Southeast Alaska to gain first-hand perspective on climate change. She joined legendary glaciologist Maynard Miller and his research team for 10 days on the Juneau Icefield where she saw the evidence of warming: bare cliffs that were covered with ice just a decade ago or icy fissures prematurely exposed by early snowmelt.

Nijhuis majored in biology at Reed. She currently lives off the electrical grid in Western Colorado with her husband, Jackson Perrin.

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Kevin Myers, Reed College Spokesperson, 503/517-7815