Megan Keene

Colleagues and professors alike describe Megan as “hard-working, intellectually curious, and resourceful” and note her “loyalty,” “passion for learning,” and “sharp intellect.”

Megan Keene is a resilient and dedicated parent and first-generation student earning her bachelor’s degree in earth and environmental science at the University of Michigan. Growing up in Detroit and struggling with untreated substance use disorder, pursuing higher education was not a readily available option for Megan. Yet Megan demonstrated remarkable persistence through these years, and in 2016, she entered long-term recovery and began to consider continuing her education. Above all, Megan sought a path anchored in service, fostering community and safety within herself and others, and practicing compassionate discernment. Soon a course in ecology reignited her love for nature and the planet and pointed her toward a career as an environmental scientist.

As a native Southeast Michigander, Megan witnessed firsthand the impact of rapid development in the region on freshwater resources, zoning laws, and working communities. Megan intends to use her U-M education to contribute to research pertaining to PFAS and microplastic contamination in and around the Great Lakes, as well as the development of community-driven policies to educate consumers, manufacturers, and farmers on sustainability practices rooted in science.

Megan is already making an impact at U-M, where she has been recognized as a James B. Angell Scholar and Phi Theta Kappa honor society member in addition to conducting research in the Earth & Environmental Sciences Microbe-Mineral Lab. At the same time, she has maintained her long-term recovery, raised a teenager, and served her community as a mentor to young women seeking treatment for, and recovery from, substance abuse disorder. Her colleagues and professors alike describe her as “hard-working, intellectually curious, and resourceful” and note her “loyalty,” “passion for learning,” and “sharp intellect.”
CEW+ applauds Megan’s persistence in her education and commitment to making a difference in Michigan and names her an AAUW: Mary Elizabeth Bittman Memorial Scholar.