Mae Manupipatpong

Philosophy and political science alumna explored passion for environmental law

Mae Manupipatpong ’14 notes Wooster community surrounded her with the right people and opportunities

February 3, 2020   /  

Mae Manupipatpong ’14, who majored in philosophy and political science at The College of Wooster, came to the school knowing she wanted to study pre-law. The College’s strong Moot Court program drew her attention. “I joined the team as a first-year student and had the opportunity to compete in two national tournaments,” Manupipatpong said. Mark Weaver, emeritus professor of political science, coached Moot Court when Manupipatpong participated, devoting time to helping students improve their oral argument and brief writing skills. Manupipatpong credits Weaver for teaching her what she knew about legal writing and argumentation going into law school. With Moot Court training and support in the law school application process from John Rudisill, associate professor of the pre-law program, Manupipatpong went on to study environmental law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Manupipatpong is now an associate attorney in the International Program at Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest organization dedicated to litigating environmental issues. She assists international partner organizations with their fight against construction and expansion of coal plants and use of hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract oil and gas. “What I enjoy most about my job is knowing that I am using the law to help communities protect the natural resources that are important to them,” she said.

Manupipatpong explained that Lee McBride, professor of philosophy, started her on the path of critically examining the impetus behind environmental protection by piquing her interest in philosophy. As a political science and philosophy double major, Manupipatpong’s Independent Study analyzed the environmental ethics motivating wilderness advocates and Gwich’in Natives in Alaska to speak out against oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “The two-year research and writing process confirmed that I was passionate about protecting the environment and finding the best ways to protect it,” she said.

Both inside and outside the classroom, Manupipatpong also learned from the friends she made at the College. “I have never been surrounded by so many good-natured, intelligent, passionate, and earnest people. My friends from Wooster were and are unapologetically true to themselves,” she said. While at Wooster she also met her husband. “I met the love of my life at Wooster through our shared love of justice, lively debate, and environmental protection.” Manupipatpong is incredibly thankful for support, guidance, and warmth of the Wooster community, saying “Wooster will always have a special place in my heart.”