Rabb Graduate Center 347
Laura Goldin is Associate Professor of the Practice at Brandeis University, former chair of the Environmental Studies Program and Director of the Environmental Internship Program. Her courses have helped lead the way in developing hands-on experiential learning that engages students directly with local communities. Her students have worked with community organizations and local residents to minimize toxic exposures in low income housing, assess toxic exposures to immigrant nail salon workers, create community gardens with residents of the local public housing complex and educational gardens at the public schools with k-12 children and teachers schools, and other projects and research to promote Brandeis and community environmental health, social justice, sustainability and open space preservation.
In Ms. Goldin’s “Greening the Ivory Tower” course, students design and implement sustainability projects that create long-term improvement to the campus and community environment.
The Brandeis/WATCH Housing Advocacy Clinic, established in 2007 by Goldin with students in her Environmental Law and Policy and subsequent community-engaged learning classes and the Martin Luther King Scholars student group, is an ongoing free drop-in service for the low income and immigrant community in the Waltham area. The Clinic prevents evictions and homelessness, helps individuals and families find affordable and fair housing and addresses poor living conditions in high-risk low-income housing such as toxic exposure to lead, asbestos and mold. It also often provides the first critical point of contact for referral to other needed services, from food and fuel assistance to medical care and job training.
Ms. Goldin also offers the integrated, full-semester “Environmental Health and Justice” JBS, a hands-on, multi-disciplinary, community-engaged learning program.
A small group of students become deeply immersed in the law, policy, social impacts and science of current environmental health issues challenging individuals, families and communities today. We work directly with the community groups and agencies tackling the issues in the communities most vulnerable and affected, from low-income immigrant neighborhoods of Boston and Waltham to the mountain townships of Kentucky suffering from mountaintop removal for coal. The fall 2012 program’s Nail Salon Air Quality Study examining toxic exposures to Vietnamese immigrant salon workers has been invited for oral presentation at the Academy of Sciences 2012 International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology.
Ms. Goldin came to Brandeis with more than 20 years experience as an environmental attorney in government, industry, public interest, and private law practice. Her work has addressed a broad spectrum of environmental issues, from hazardous waste and air and water pollution to occupational health and safety, toxic exposure, and land use regulation. She has argued precedent-setting environmental case law, and has helped to craft a number of emerging environmental protection laws and regulations. She continues to consult pro bono on a number of environmental justice, wetlands protection, land preservation and other matters. Prior to Brandeis, Laura served as General Counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, where she was the chief environmental lawyer for the state and managed an office of 50 attorneys and administrative law judges. She received her B.A. from Yale University, and her J.D. from Cornell and Harvard Law Schools.