SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Determined to protect the world’s forests from over-logging, John “Jake” Kreilick has never shied away from challenging situations since graduating from Wittenberg University in 1984. Now, after a decade of global study, peaceful protests, an arrest, trial and imprisonment related to his environmental conservation efforts, Kreilick will again return to his alma mater, Nov. 14-16, as a prestigious Wittenberg Fellow.
Awarded in recognition of significant accomplishments in a chosen field, Kreilick’s Wittenberg Fellow designation places him among an elite group of Wittenberg alumni, including humanitarian Tatsuya Tanami, director of international affairs for the Nippon Foundation; foreign policy expert Lee H. Endress, director of the College of Security Studies at the Asia-Pacific Center; entrepreneur Charles Ramsey, formerly of Ramsey/Beirne Associates Inc., actor James Rebhorn; Chicago Tribune sports columnist Fred Mitchell, and award-winning photojournalist Lois Raimondo, among others.
Two to five Fellows are named each year by the Wittenberg Board of Directors, and those named are asked to spend a few days on campus to interact with students, faculty and staff, offer career counseling and serve as a vocational role model.
During his two-day visit, Kreilick will discuss the ethical and political dilemmas he faces as an environmental activist in classes, meet informally with students and at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, serve as the keynote speaker for a history department colloquium titled “National Forests and Federal Public Lands in the 21st Century: Private Interests or Public Trust?” in the Ness Family Auditorium, Hollenbeck Hall. Prior to his presentation, Kreilick will receive a citation naming him a Wittenberg Fellow.
A history major at Wittenberg, Kreilick went on to earn his M.S. in environmental studies from the University of Montana in 1990. Following a six-month internship with the National Wildlife Federation in its international program, he completed and defended his thesis on the “Tropical Forestry Action Plan” before traveling to Australia to work for the Rainforest Information Centre in Lismore, New South Wales.
Forest issues and campaigns around the world have kept Kreilick busy for more than 10 years. In addition to working for a variety of non-profit organizations in the United States and abroad, Kreilick also co-founded the Native Forest Network (NFN) with two Australians in 1992 and has worked as a volunteer and paid employee for NFN for eight years. He began work as the Campaign Coordinator of NFN’s Western North American Resource Center in Missoula, Montana, in 1994, and was hired as the National Forest Protection Alliance’s campaign coordinator in the spring of 1999.
Today Kreilick divides his time between the Alliance’s Missoula office and organizing in the field.
- Phyllis Eberts
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