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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Abigail R.X.P. Thiel

Abigail R.X.P. Thiel Abigail R.X.P. Thiel

School of Environment and Natural Resources
Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability - Honors
Upper Sandusky, OH 

2023 Distinguished Senior Award Recognition Reception Program (.pdf) 

2023 Distinguished Senior Award Recipient Reception Poster (.pdf) 

Abigail Thiel recalls her years in the SUSTAINS Learning Community as her most enjoyable undergraduate experience. Living alongside likeminded scholars in Scott House, she explored and engaged with questions of sustainability, seeking solutions for the human-driven causes of environmental problems. She helped further develop a composting program for the community’s residence hall, learned from a variety of guest speakers, and travelled to Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. to learn how sustainability is practiced in government. “SUSTAINS acted as the catalyst to my involvement in sustainability at OSU,” Abby shares. “It introduced me to many other sustainability-related opportunities at Ohio State, and it instantly connected me with peers who shared my interests and would later become lasting friends.”

As a four-year member and current President of the Time for Change Week planning committee, Abby was instrumental in expanding the reach of the student-led sustainability event. Her tenure on the committee saw the event gain official university sponsorship, the culmination of a years-long effort. While stepping into multiple leadership roles on the committee pushed Abby outside her comfort zone, she proved capable of orchestrating the large-scale collaboration between student organizations, university offices, and external partners required for this major annual event. 

Through the SENR Honors Program, Abby has had the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate research thesis under advisors Drs. Maria Manta Conroy and Jeremy Brooks. Her exploratory study, funded through the CFAES Internal Grants Program, 
investigates the inclusion of green infrastructure in stormwater management considerations across midwestern universities. Her time at the City of Hilliard Planning Division by way of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s Local Government Summer Internship program cemented Abby’s interest in public sector work. In the role, she cultivated an all new set of professional skills, gaining literacy in public ordinances, familiarizing herself with engineering and architectural plans, making presentations to the public, and learning the decision-making processes that guide development and land use at the municipal level. 

Abby names SUSTAINS Learning Community Director Matthew Griffin as her mentor. She shares, “Matt is someone who I’ve looked up to as both a mentor and work partner. He has looked out for me in so many ways over the years, and he’s helped me become a more confident and capable leader at OSU. He inspires me to be someone who can emanate his ambition and professionalism, and I’m so grateful to have had him support me throughout my college career.”

A first-generation college graduate, Abby distinguished herself by being named to the Dean’s List every semester of her undergraduate career. After graduation, she will seek a career that allows her to support communities on the local scale. 

Service, involvement, and accolades: Time for Change, president, treasurer | Net Impact OSU, VP of National Programming | SENR Ambassador | SUSTAINS Learning Community | 

Abigail Theil - Press Release