Major: American Studies
Hometown: New York, NY
Sustainability is the idea of expanding your circle of compassion outside your immediate community. When you’re taking that extra 10 seconds to hold onto a bottle and take it to a recycling bin, take off a cap, recycle paper, or think twice about it, you’re thinking about the planet, but you’re also realizing that your actions impact someone on the other side of the world. It’s about recognizing that you’re a global citizen, and that every little thing you do does matter in a bigger context.
I’m mainly involved through ECO, Kenyon’s Environmental Club Organization. This past school year I was ECO’s co-coordinator, and I’ve been a member since my first year. ECO works to raise awareness about sustainability, shows students what it means to be environmentally conscious, and helps Kenyon to make environmentally friendly changes. I go down to Wiggin Street Elementary weekly to help them with their recycling program, and I’ve also helped build the hoop house, which is something that ECO is building with the sustainability grant we were awarded last year. And as an American Studies major, I’m thinking of doing my senior comps on green urban spaces as a way to build community.
My interest in sustainability and environmentalism started in high school when I went to a semester school program in Maine called Chewonki. That changed me. I got involved with environmentally related things in high school, and since then been all about the environment. This summer I’m doing an internship with Greensulate, which is a start-up company that works in green roof and sustainable construction consulting. I will be helping to design, plan, and install green roof gardens on top of buildings in New York.
Hands down one of the best classes I’ve ever taken at Kenyon is solar energy. Professor Cummings cares so much, and he makes it so accessible. I learned a lot and felt so powerful because I had this knowledge and could see how it could actually be applied. It is such a good course, and I recommend it to anyone, environmental or not, just to take it.
In a dream world I’m all about renewable energy. I would love to see Kenyon implement some form of solar panels. Also, recycling bins all around campus would be great. Academically, I’d like to see the environmental studies concentration become a major. I’d also like to see there be more overlap between the office of sustainability and the rest of campus, so that sustainability and environmentalism isn’t something that Kenyon is just doing, but something that students want to be doing and engaging with. For example, the energy competition is something that people get amped for and care about, and it would be awesome to see more connections in that way.