Bessie graduated from Western Michigan University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science, double majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies. During her college years, she found one of her true passions while working for the Kalamazoo Nature Center doing ecological management and restoration work. Controlling the spread of invasive species was a tough but highly satisfying job. She started her career with the City of Kalamazoo as a Wastewater Operator/Maintainer for two years, then transferred to the Wastewater Plant in Battle Creek. She has been with the City of Battle Creek since 2015 and in those few years she has spent time as an operator at wastewater, mason tile layer, vactor helper, lift station mechanic, in-plant mechanic, and finally resting into her current position as the Environmental Program Coordinator. The past three years in this position have seen a flurry of activities, including revolving river cleanup projects, invasive species removal along the shoreline, stormwater education, kayaking fun, and coordinating the Children’s Water Festival. She is active in the Battle Creek Area Clean Water Partners, Sustainability and Wellhead Protection Committees for the City of Battle Creek and the Lake Allegan/Kalamazoo River Watershed TMDL committee. She looks forward to building a stronger foundation on stormwater education within the local schools and solidifying the importance of protecting and preserving our local waterways within the younger generations.