Three UC Berkeley graduate students are among only 20 U.S. environmental leaders who have been named 2018 Switzer Fellows by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. Berkeley’s Regan Patterson, Jesse Strecker, and Candace Youngblood were each awarded a $15,000 merit-based fellowship to help them further develop skills and expertise to address today’s environmental challenges.

Regan PattersonRegan Patterson is a PhD student in Environmental Engineering. Her dissertation research focuses on the impact of diesel truck emission-reduction strategies on environmental equity. She employs a dispersion model to estimate the air pollution benefits of control technologies and quantifies the health and environmental equity benefits. Regan is interested in using her research to support the inclusion of a formal analysis of equity implications in the design and implementation of mobile source policy. Her work as a volunteer with Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice and as an intern with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District have inspired her interest in co-produced, community-centered policy.

Jesse Strecker is a student at the Energy and Resources Group and the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. His research is at the nexus of climate policy, labor economics, and equity, focusing on the political economy of efforts to address climate change. By looking at how different strategies to transition to a low-carbon economy create different political alignments, his works seeks to find policy approaches that can forge new alliances between environmental advocates, workers, and environmental justice organizations. As a researcher at the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s Green Economy Program, he worked on a state-commissioned study examining how California climate policy can be structured to ensure that workers, low-income communities, and people of color share in the benefits of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Candace Youngblood attends Berkeley Law as a Switzer Fellow, Berkeley Law Dean’s Fellow, NAACP LDF Earl Warren Scholar, and the inaugural California Bar Foundation Deborah J. Broyles Memorial Scholar. Her passion lies in environmental justice, air quality, and administrative and regulatory law. Candice’s academic research focuses on air quality in California, with a focus on the environmental justice implications of indirect source pollution at California ports. She has drafted policy recommendations calling the state to adopt an indirect source pollution rule for ports and intermodal yards, which has been circulated amongst academics and regulatory decision makers.


Over the last 30 years, more than 600 Switzer Fellows have been selected nation-wide for their environmental leadership, scientific and policy skills, and collaborative problem-solving approaches. From diverse academic, social and economic backgrounds, they are deemed to be on the leading edges of environmental and social change through their work in environmental policy, conservation, environmental justice, public health, economics, journalism, urban planning, business, law, and more. Fellows are committed to interdisciplinary and cross-sector work, applied results, and collaborative leadership.

Policy makers, environmental organizations, government agencies, and academic centers can access Switzer Fellows as experts in their respective fields. Many have proven policy, media, and senior leadership experience and are available for interviews, presentations and as an expert resource.

For more information about leadership grants and the fellowship program, visit the Switzer Foundation.