On November 10, 2017, I published my first Student’s Corner article about the scenic Fall in Rochester; 1654 days later, here is my last one. This article is a reflection on my sustainability journey at the University of Rochester.
Having been a member of my high school’s ecology club, I wanted to actively pursue sustainability in college. I enthusiastically applied to become an EcoRep and was thrilled to be admitted to the program. It was such a great experience to learn, work and volunteer with a group of passionate first year students. I had a blast going on field trips with fellow EcoReps to permaculture farms and urban gardens. In addition, I had a fantastic time hosting sustainability-themed events in my Susan B. Anthony Hall. Halfway through the first semester, my EcoReps instructors encouraged me to apply for the Marketing Intern role at Facilities Team Green. I did and that was my best decision with regards to sustainability at the university.
From day one, I was excited to join Facilities Team Green, a group that is super passionate about educating students about the environment. I really enjoyed using my creative skills for a worthy cause by designing posters and hosting campaigns. The highlight of every year is Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania). The competition’s events require extensive planning and coordination, but the end results are always rewarding. After my first year, I decided to stay in Rochester during the summer as a Sustainability Assistant. There were plenty of opportunities to work with Facilities & Services staff and interact with them informally at ice cream socials, picnics, and Shred Fest. Rochester is also vibrant in the summer with no shortage of festivals, carnivals, and outdoor activities. If you’re not a fan of the winter, I highly recommend spending a summer here to discover the better side of the city.
For the next four years, I’ve had a great time as a Team Green member, advocating for sustainability on campus. I have had the chance to educate myself, refine my creative skills and meet wonderful people. In Fall of 2017, I was writing my first blog with colorful foliage outside my window. Today, I am typing this article while admiring blooming Spring flowers. From Fall to Spring, I am also in a new season of my life, getting ready to enter the workforce. I will very much miss Facilities Team Green and I wish this incredible team all the best moving forward!
Written by Kelly Jean, Class of 2022