Frizzell Family Speaker and learning series

2016-17 Frizzell Series Committee Members


The Frizzell Family Speaker and Learning Series (the “Frizzell Series”), is a year-long, student-organized series of events that engages the fields of agriculture, environment, health, and best practices drawn from social science inquiry. Administered by the College and the Program on Global Environmentthe series aims to better enable students to interact with thought-leaders, alumni, faculty, and advocates in order to build skills, knowledge, and confidence through problem-solving related to a major theme addressing agriculture, environment, and health.

The Frizzell Series is meant to commemorate the life, accomplishments, and aspirations of Alexandra Frizzell. A young woman whose boundless curiosity about the world fueled audacious learning and strong ties to friends and family alike, Alex exemplified the undergraduate for whom wisdom builds upon intelligence. For her, life knowledge, the inspiration of community, and enhancing the chances of others fueled commitment to learning, as well as joy in life. It is intended that her legacy can affirm and encourage undergraduates coming after her to celebrate the value of education that strengthens the building of community, along with the edification of self.

As a tribute to Alex as friend, student, and advocate, annual planning for the Frizzell Series is led by student leaders from areas of campus life that mattered most to her: social and health advocacy; student-centered learning in areas such as the environment, economics, and public policy; and the Greek system.

Remembering Alex Frizzell

I was blown away by Alex when I met her two years ago through a research project on enhanced geothermal systems. Her enthusiasm for bringing environmental solutions to life was inspirational and her love of Boise and the outdoors was beautiful. Driven, ambitious, poised, grounded, and caring, Alex had so many talents and so much to offer the world and I will always admire her.


Beth Brown, Chicago

Remembering Alex Frizzell

Alex, you were such an incredibly loving person. You were fiercely intelligent and witty, but also so warm and caring. I didn’t always feel this way about you, back when we were young. I’ll never forget when I was four you jumped off the playset we had and landed on my leg, breaking it, or how one time you and I both wanted to sleep in the comfier bed on vacation, so you scratched me and I conceded it. I guess that was your way of say you loved me as a brother, but you were never going to take any crap from me.


Will Frizzell, Alex’s brother, Portland

Remembering Alex Frizzell


was kind.

admired nature.

embraced science.

loved and was loved.

Tyler Frizzell, Alex’s father, Portland


Annabella Gong

Annabella Gong is a second-year student from Chapel Hill, NC who is majoring in Economics and minoring in French. On campus, she is on the Executive Board of Phoenix Sustainability Initiative and is involved with the Trott Business Program, Women in Business, and SASA. Aside from her passions for sustainability and the environment, Annabella loves meeting new people, studying foreign languages, and going to Zumba at Ratner. She is very excited to be serving on the Frizzell Committee this year!

Caitlin Piccirillo-Stosser

Caitlin is a third year in the college double majoring in Economics and Public Policy. She is from Ossining, New York, and she is passionate about environmental and health policy. On campus, she likes to play intramural sports, and she has been involved with EAF since her first year. She is considering a career in health economics, and is very excited to contribute to the Frizzell Committee this year!

Elaine Yao

Elaine Yao is a fourth-year Economics student originally from Farmington, CT. Her primary interests lie in economic research and its applications to governance and policy. She is currently working with Prof. Jeffrey Grogger at the Harris School of Public Policy on topics including urban crime, migration and intergenerational mobility. In the past, she researched Chinese environmental governance and China’s energy industry with Prof. Dali Yang at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing. On campus, she has been involved with the Institute of Politics and music performance program. In her free time, she is a voracious consumer of articles on environmental policy, and the environmental and cultural impacts of agriculture and food. She can typically be found in an urban garden, in her kitchen, or practicing music.

Elizabeth McClafferty

Elizabeth McClafferty is a third-year undergraduate student from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the University of Chicago, she is pursuing a double major in Art History and French. On campus, Elizabeth is a member of UChicago Student Action, a network that advocates and organizes for social justice. She rows for the UChicago Crew Team, and has held the position of Vice President on its Board, and is an active member of the Phi Chi chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi. Elizabeth is passionate about the environment, sustainability, as well as environmental and political activism. As a member of AOII, she is dedicated to the remembrance of Alex Frizzell and her values, and is looking forward to the continued development of the Frizzell Committee and Fund.

Fatima Khan

Fatima Khan is a third-year undergraduate student in the College, majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Latin American Studies. She has a particular interest in environmental and social impacts on health and nutrition.

Outside of the committee, Fatima conducts cancer research, works for the Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab through the Harris School of Public Policy, and is a teaching assistant for the Biological Sciences department.

Lauren Poulson

Lauren Poulson is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago, where she is double majoring in Linguistics and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. On campus, she is currently a student consultant through the Green Economics Group and a member of the executive boards of both Active Minds and The Music Forum.

Lauren has been passionate about environmental issues for as long as she can remember, having grown up on a forested mountain in Washington state. Because she is passionate about other languages and cultures, she is interested in pursuing international development and hopes to research effective, innovative agricultural practices on an international scale.

Leigh Alon

Leigh Alon is an alum of the College who earned her BA in biology. During her time as an undergraduate, she participated in the Green Economics Group, an environmental consulting student group as well as the Calumet Quarter program, an interdisciplinary academic program to study the environment of the Calumet region. She now works in HIV Prevention at the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination at the University of Chicago.

May-May Chen

May-May is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Economics. Though originally from Taiwan, she has previously lived in Swaziland, St. Kitts, and Belize. Outside the committee, she is a research assistant at the Urban Energy and Environment, serves as the student coordinator for the Environment Agriculture and Food Group, and works as a student assistant for the Program on Global Environment. She is passionate about economic development and environmental sustainability, and is excited about serving on the committee again this year!

Megan Verner-Crist

Megan Verner-Crist is a third year in the College majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about environmental issues, with a particular interest in sustainable agriculture and environmental justice. On campus, she organizes around environmental justice issues with UChicago Student Action and runs for the Cross Country and Track and Field teams.

Alice Li

Alice Li is an alum of the College who majored in Economics with a minor in Physics. One of her favorite undergraduate memories is riding shotgun in Alex’s bright blue ’73 VW Squareback. She now works at AppNexus, an advertising technology startup in New York City. She is humbled by the impact of Alex’s legacy on the College, and is excited to support the Frizzell Series in continuing to build a community of thoughtful people interested in the intersections of health, economics, and the environment.


Dr. Sabina Shaikh

Sabina Shaikh is the Director of the Program on Global Environment and a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies and Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago.

“I was so fortunate to know Alex Frizzell, who was a student in three of my classes. She was committed to environmental, agricultural and health related inquiry, and we strive to honor her dedication through the events curated by this committee.”

Alex was always interested in the connections between our health, the environment, and the economy. She drew connections between topics I had always thought existed in different planes. Her legacy and these talks/events aim to inspire others to make these connections, to challenge the norm, and to hopefully produce a greater understanding of ourselves and the different factors that impact our daily lives.

Victoria Winogora

Friend of Alex Frizzell & Class of 2014, History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HiPS)

I’ve had many chances to organize events on campus, but none quite like serving on The Frizzell Fund. I worked with students possessing backgrounds very different than those I was used to. Even more interesting was the chance to work with faculty and staff very closely for a broad period of time — a rare and valuable opportunity. My ideas were discussed very seriously and implemented much of the time. Most importantly, though, the end goal is always to honor the memory of a cherished member of the UChicago community and that gives a very special meaning to the work we do.

Rishi Sriram

Class of 2016, Economics and Mathematics

Being involved with the Frizzell Fund is a fantastic way to move from the classroom and delve deeper into contemporary issues within economics, the environment and public policy, and health. As Alex had  a broad array of interests, yet was able to find commonality among them is a testament to the Life of the Mind at UChicago which this program seeks to develop.

Alice Li

Friend of Alex Frizzell & Class of 2013, Economics

Evaline Bai

Class of 2016, Public Policy and Environmental Studies

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