Katherine England (Beam)

Katie made the most of her time while at Alma College. She was always in a flurry of activities, classes and special projects. She managed to balance a full load of studies and lots of college fun while working at the library, too. Katie impressed everyone with her research on and advocacy for, the Pine River Superfund site in St. Louis, MI. It’s no wonder she has used her Alma College education to develop an impressive career in Environmental Science and state government.

My hometown when I was a student was

Oxford, MI

I graduated in


I studied

Majors in History and Political Science and a minor in Environmental Studies

I currently live in

Indianapolis, IN

I am now

Manager, Performance Metrics and Federal Project Closeout, Indiana Department of Transportation

Since graduating from Alma

I attended the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University in Bloomington and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Policy Analysis in 2003. Then I spent the next 8 years working in the environmental field, first for EPA, in Chicago and then for the State of Indiana, in Indianapolis. While I learned a lot about program evaluation and process analysis at EPA, I wanted to be closer to the “customer,” so I began looking for a job in state government. In 2007, I moved to Indianapolis to be closer to friends and family and took a position as an Environmental Manager with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). While I was there, I worked with small businesses to help them understand and comply with environmental regulations, conducted site visits, provided assistance via phone and email, and helped update IDEM’s website and guidance documents. About three years ago, I decided I wanted to focus on performance management, in particular, how government agencies establish, track, and report performance metrics. I missed that aspect of my first job with EPA—analyzing how programs work, how results are measured, and looking for ways to continuously improve. I had to leave the environmental field to do so, but it’s a risk that I am glad I took. I love working for the Indiana Department of Transportation because it is a high performing organization committed to continuous improvement. Our agency has nearly 3,500 dedicated staff and an annual budget of approximately $2 billion. Every day, I get to work with professionals in all different areas of the agency (road and bridge design, transit and rail, environmental and permitting, etc.) who are dedicated to using data to drive improvement efforts and finding ways to preserve, improve and expand our current infrastructure with limited funds.

My Alma education

helped me learn how to think critically and approach issues from a wide-variety
of perspectives. Getting an education from a liberal arts college like Alma
exposed me to different cultures, religions, worldviews, and opinions. I
graduated from Alma with a love of learning and an appreciation of societal

My favorite place(s) on campus included

The library, SAGA, Gamma Phi Beta house

My favorite professors(s) included

I had several favorites! Prof. Murray Borrello, because he taught me how to
think analytically, but not to take myself too seriously at the same time.
Prof. Patrick Furlong, who made history interesting and relevant, and
provided guidance and instruction as my Advisor. Prof. Ed Lorenz, who has
such a fascinating mind and a love of learning that was infectious.

My off-campus study experience(s) included

As a sophomore, I spent Spring Term in London with Prof. Furlong and 10 other
History majors, where we conducted research at the Public Records Office and
visited many historical sites in England, Scotland, and Wales. We spent several
hours each day reviewing primary sources at the PRO, taking the Tube from our
flat in Maida Vale, in West London, before sight-seeing. We visited so many cool
places—Westminster Abbey, the Royal Theatre (where we saw Phantom of the
Opera), the Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus, as well as Oxford University,
Conwy Castle in Wales, and Loch Ness and Edinburgh, Scotland. It was one of the
best trips I’ve ever been on, a true cultural experience!