Citizens' Environmental Commission Members

Stephen Honeywell (Chair), M.A. (Northern Illinois University-DeKalb). Steve is an Assistant Professor at Rasmussen University, attached to the Wausau, Wisconsin campus. His environmental interests include sustainable agriculture, energy conservation and food insecurity.

Nick Newman, (Vice Chair), B.S. (Northern Illinois University-DeKalb). Nick Newman is the Management/Environmental Analyst at the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District. He oversees the District’s native pollinator habitats, helps to coordinate intergovernmental partnerships, and is responsible for maintaining the District’s GIS system. Nick graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Studies and Nonprofit Management and has particular interests in reintroducing native habitats, self-sustaining food systems, and environmental civic engagement.

Rachel Farrell

Julie Jesmer
, Julie is an Executive Assistant who has worked in that role for over 25 years at various companies. She moved to DeKalb in early 1999 in order to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Russian Language & Literature at Northern Illinois University, which she did in 2003. With her husband Kevin she has raised 5 children and served the community by being Treasurer of both the DeKalb Music Boosters and Sunrise DeKalb, an Environmental/ Social Justice group. Last year she founded Trash Squirrels together with Laura Adkins, and organized 24 clean up events in 2021 which inspired local volunteers to pick up over 3 tons of trash from the streets of DeKalb. She is an avid bicycle rider and hiker, and credits those interests for her desire to beautify the city. 

Clare D. Kron, M.S. (Northern Illinois University-DeKalb). Clare Kron is a biology instructor at NIU, teaching Fundamentals of Cell Biology, Genetics, and Molecular Biology, and she is also a Faculty Fellow for the Honors Program. She is active in addressing hunger issues and solid waste reduction and recycling in the city and county. She has also co-chaired the annual local National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger food drive for many years and she promotes sustainable organic gardening for nutritional benefits and climate stability.

Kyle Moore, B.S. (Northeastern Illinois University). Kyle graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Linguistics. His studies focused mostly on poverty and discrepancies in social stratification. He’s interested in community growth through having and maintaining a more clean environment.

Dakota Burke (Ex-Officio Member)

Mat Emken (Ex-Officio Member), B.S. (Western Illinois University-Macomb). Mat is the Superintendent of Parks and Development for the DeKalb Park District. He has worked in the field of parks and recreation since 1995.

Sarah Fox (Ex-Officio Member), B.A. (University of Oklahoma), J.D. (Georgetown University Law Center), L.L.M. (Georgetown University Law Center). Sarah Fox joined the NIU Law faculty in 2017. Her primary research and teaching interests are at the intersections of environmental law, property and land use. Before coming to NIU, she worked as a clinical teaching fellow in the environmental law clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where she represented numerous non-profit organizational clients and supervised student work on cases addressing environmental issues in state and federal court. She was also a litigation associate in the New York offices of Jones Day and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, and clerked for the Honorable Claire V. Eagan of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Professor Fox is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, from which she was also awarded an L.L.M. in Advocacy, with honors. She holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Oklahoma in International and Area Studies. 

Mike Holland (Ex-Officio Member), B.S. (University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign), M.S. (Northern Illinois University-DeKalb). Mike Holland holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University.  He worked for 9 years as an engineering consultant with Trotter and Associates, Inc. before coming to work for the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District in 2013 as the District Engineer / Asst. District Manager.  Mike is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois and Wisconsin and a Class 1 Wastewater Operator.

Barb Larson (Council Liaison) Barb Larson serves on the DeKalb City Council as the Second Ward Alderwoman.

re D. Kron, M.S. (Northern Illinois University-DeKalb). Clare is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Kishwaukee College. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in biology at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb where in addition she serves as a teaching assistant. Her environmental interest is in waste management. Clare has been a member of the Citizen Environmental Commission since 2015.