Paige Pappianne, Ph.D., is a 2019 graduate of the Doctoral Program in Environmental Studies at Antioch University, New England.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Jimmy Karlan, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Joy Ackermana, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Michael Mueller, Ph.D., Committee Member


Bangladesh, Participatory Action Research, Grounded Theory, Narrative Inquiry, Earth Champions Program, Environmental Youth Leadership, Environmental Youth Leaders, Youth Leadership Development, Environmental Consciousness, Pro-environmental Behavior

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Can environmental youth leaders affect meaningful positive change in the global fight to reign in climate change? While the academic literature contains a vast array of youth leadership materials, there is a gap in the research of the effect environmental youth leadership programs have at the community level, and specifically how these effects can contribute to environmental sustainability of that community, region, or country. This mixed methods qualitative study narrows this gap by employing grounded theory and narrative analysis to determine how five Bangladeshi environmental youth leaders understand their role in influencing their school and communities’ efforts to adapt to and reduce their contribution to climate change. The purposes of this study are to: (a) describe and understand the experiences of five Bangladeshi environmental youth leaders as they engaged in participatory social engagement as Participant Action Researchers (PARs) during their environmental youth leadership roles (b) understand the conditions necessary for these five environmental youth leaders to experience success in their leadership positions; (c) define environmental youth leadership and environmental youth leaders in this Bangladeshi context; (d) explore environmental youth leadership as an educative process that can facilitate widespread environmental literacy and engagement in Bangladesh, and throughout the world and; (e) contribute a new grounded theory analysis to environmental youth leadership theory. The findings of this study reveal that certain conditions need to be present for these five environmental youth leaders in Bangladesh to experience success in their roles. These conditions include the ability to `convince’ others, the presence of other youth to support them, and the experience of individual transformation in worldview and character brought about by the development of an environmental consciousness and pro-environmental behavior. These findings might be valuable to a variety of stakeholders involved in environmental youth leadership, environmental leadership, youth leadership development, environmental education, leadership education, place-based education, community organizing, youth development, and national and international science education, among others. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


Paige Pappianne, Ph.D.

Paige is an education management professional with a broad array of experience both nationally and internationally. She is currently a Senior Education Specialist for The Research Foundation for SUNY where she designs, develops, and leads training teams to deliver training programs for New York State employees. For the last two years, she has been working on several initiatives to train NYS employees on the effects of poverty and trauma on brain development and executive function.

Paige's academic work is focused on the intersection of education, environment, and youth leadership. Specifically, she is interested in how environmental youth leaders can effect positive environmental change in their schools, communities, and nations. She has spent time in Bangladesh, where she participated in the first Earth Champions Program designed to train and deploy Bangladeshi youth to be environmental youth leaders in their schools and communities. Paige found these young environmental youth leaders' spirit and zeal for the environment and leadership prodigious and vital. While working abroad, she has seen some of the devastating effects of global climate change first hand.

Paige was a Senior English Language Fellow through the U.S. Department of State where she served as a curriculum consultant in Sri Lanka. She was also a Senior Lecturer at Northeastern University where she taught environmental science to English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) students in the Global Pathways Program. Paige holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England, a M.A. in Interdisciplinary Teacher Education from the University of Northern Colorado, and a B.S. in Biology with Secondary Science Licensure from Appalachian State University.

ORCID Scholar ID 0000-0003-1754-6459