Miami Scholar Kelly Cox Continues Her Passion for Environmental Law at Department of Transportation


Kelly CoAvid environmentalist and Miami Scholar Kelly Cox, did not anticipate that her passion for this field would lead her to the Department of Transportation for a summer externship.

“Environmental law seeps into every area of practice and the DOT gives me an opportunity to work on numerous issues of land use,” said Cox. “Learning about how land use, property and environmental issues all intersect has been fascinating and broadened the range of issues to consider in my pursuit of environmental justice.”

When she is not working at the DOT, this dedicated student is conducting research with Professor Anthony Alfieri, the Director of Miami Law’s Center for Ethics and Public Service, and she is also training for triathlons and teaching swimming and pool safety to young children. “It has been a busy, but phenomenal summer and I am thrilled that I have been able to participate in the externship program with the Department of Transportation.”

A graduate of North Carolina State University, Cox was able to develop her public interest involvement on campus as a Park Scholar and a University Scholar. A former varsity soccer player for the Wolfpack, Kelly founded a North Carolina non-profit organization known as the Red and White Soccer Classic. This yearly soccer tournament has raised several thousand dollars for the V Foundation for Cancer research and has engaged hundreds of students since its inception in 2010.

Through her studies in Natural Resources and Political Science, Cox was able to identify several environmental justice issues that she became passionate about. As a National Councilmember for the Student Conservation Association, she was able to coordinate and facilitate environmental and conservation-based service events within her community. Prior to law school, Cox served as an intern with the Environmental Defense Fund where she explored energy efficiency in public housing.

An outdoors enthusiast, she is focusing her studies at Miami Law on Marine and Coastal Law and how the use of these resources affects the distribution of benefits and burdens placed on local communities. She is pursuing a joint J.D./M.P.S. degree at Miami Law and the University’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

“I am looking forward to my fall courses, which blend my commitment to justice with my passion for environmental issues,” said Cox.