Carmen Finken

carmen f
Major/Job Title: 
Program Manager, Green Iowa AmeriCorps

Carmen Finken

I majored in the study of religion, and now I manage an environmental national service program.

I currently manage Green Iowa AmeriCorps, the largest environmental AmeriCorps program in the state of Iowa. My job requires me to recruit and hire 100+ individuals every year to serve with our AmeriCorps program, while simultaneously expanding environmental sustainability efforts in K-12 school districts and communities throughout Iowa. While studying at the University of Northern Iowa and Humboldt State University (as part of the National Student Exchange Program), I came to understand how different world religions perceive and appreciate the natural Earth and our shared ecosystem. As a result, I became increasingly aware of the environmental crisis we find ourselves in. My Religion major is the reason I was able to obtain my current career in the environmental non-profit sector. I gained critical-thinking skills and developed a deeper understanding as to how and why individuals and groups of people cultivate certain beliefs about our environment. Analytical reasoning and writing combined with creative storytelling was what I enjoyed most about my major. Today I rely heavily on both skill sets as I work to hire individuals who are passionate about becoming environmental stewards, write grants to increase funding opportunities, and share our story for others to become motivated to take action.