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Simran Sethi

When eco-journalist Simran Sethi left New York City for Lawrence, locals viewed the move as confirmation of what they had long purported — that their college town is cooler, hipper and more awesome than any place on Earth, including the Greatest City in the World. Sethi, host of Sundance Channel series The Green and a former news anchor for MTV Asia and MTV India, came to the heartland last fall and has since brought the college town to the national stage. She strolled the aisles of Lawrence's Community Mercantile co-op during a local-food segment for Oprah, landed Lawrence joint Local Burger a feature spot on Sundance's Big Ideas for a Small Planet and mentioned the Greensburg tornado in an MSN interview with Al Gore. For her prolific media advocacy of environmental sustainability and ethical markets, Vanity Fair featured the tiny, striking 36-year-old in its May 2007 green issue, calling her "The Messenger." Lawrence likes what she delivers. So does the University of Kansas School of Journalism, which recently named Sethi a professional-in-residence.

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