Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Agnes Scott College has continued to advance its sustainability initiatives, and students working with the Center for Sustainability have been highly involved in supporting these efforts. Each semester, the center hires work-study students and interns, and for each academic year, it selects environmental residents from a pool of applicants. Student staff are assigned to do a number of different projects, while environmental residents act as sustainability ambassadors within their residence halls and the wider campus community.
In adapting quickly and efficiently to being in a remote environment, they are successfully staying on task and helping the college reach its sustainability goals. Some student staff projects include the following: physics major and environmental and sustainability studies minor Nimco Vuusu ’22 is conducting a greenhouse gas inventory, collecting and analyzing data; environmental and sustainability studies major Shar Dallis ’23 is working on green purchasing; mathematics and economics double major Brittany Judson ’20 assisted with the completion of the climate resilience plan; and sociology and anthropology major and environmental and sustainability studies minor Fayola Waithe ’22 is exploring ways to incorporate environmental justice in the center’s work.
And this year’s environmental residents, Damaris Billups ’23, Eliza Edwards ’22, Mina Goldsman ’23, Laura Kuehl ’22, Zoie Moore ’21, Grace Payne ’23, Grace Phinney ’22, Carol Thomas ’21 and Jordyn Wood ’23, are working on a number of projects ranging from coordinating a “Sustainability Fridays” social media series with the Center for Student Involvement to developing an educational guide to environmental justice for beginners.
“It was and still is incredibly impressive to watch how our students pivoted to the remote learning and working environment,” says former Sustainability Fellow Emma Dufresne ’19, “They have shown creativity and leadership in making the transition while continuing to successfully perform their responsibilities.”
Dufresne says that the students have remained connected to the center through weekly individual and all-staff meetings that have helped them continue to grow and strengthen their relationships with each other.
While they are committed to making a difference at Agnes Scott, the student staff and environmental residents feel that sustainability is vital not just for the college but also for them personally and the larger world.
“I grew up in coastal Virginia and would always go out to the beach or fish markets with my family. When I got older, I saw how the changing environment was impacting coastal life negatively, so sustainability is important to me because we all live on this planet and have the right to clean water, food and a place to live,” says Waithe.
“I believe everyone should experience the best life possible, and sustainability can help ensure that,” says Edwards.
Visit agnesscott.edu/sustainability to learn more. Follow and stay connected with the Center for Sustainability on Facebook (facebook.com/sustainableasc) or Instagram (@sustainableasc).