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Loni Silva, George Washington Law Student

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George Washington University is the largest private, coeducational university in Washington, D.C. Congress chartered the university in 1821 as The Columbian College in the District of Columbia. George Washington University Law School was founded in 1825 and is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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Silva originally attended Elmira College in upstate New York where she received her undergraduate degree in anthropology and political science. She worked for a year in a small city of Poland as a teacher. She moved on to teach business English to executives and corporate groups in Istanbul, Turkey. While there, she attended Bosphorus University and earned her master's degree in critical and cultural studies.

Silva worked in the public schools of California then moved to Portland, Oregon to work on low-income home weatherization with an energy-conscious non-profit. On the project she said, ''Green innovations are often expensive, and lower-income households can be left out. This program not only gave them a way to be more comfortable in their homes and save money, but it gave them an opportunity to be part of the green movement.''

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The experience in Portland piqued her interest in environmental issues and justice and she soon began work with the associate dean for environmental studies, Lee Paddock, at George Washington University. She became interested in the Gulf Coast oil spill and the legal issues surrounding it. Silva has also worked on complex civil litigation at the District of Columbia Superior Court. She serves on the Executive Board of George Washington University's Environmental Law Association in an effort to further her experience with energy law and eventually pursue a career in the field.

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