The Office of Sustainability is hiring! We have five fellow position openings. Please see the brief descriptions below and check out our website for full descriptions and applications. If you have any questions please email Josh Stoffel at email@example.com
Content Editor and Developer Fellow:
The Content Developer and Editor will serve on the Communications Team and assist the Office of Sustainability in developing the most effective and easy to understand communications with its constituents. The Content Editor and Developer Fellow will work on crafting written work about the office that will appear on the Conn website, sustainability blog, and social media accounts. They may also coordinate with various other media organizations on behalf of the office (The College Voice, CC Magazine, etc)
Lending Library Fellow:
The Lending Library Fellow will be responsible for managing all aspects of the Lending Library in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability. The Lending Library Fellow will manage and organize the lending library, keep account of cataloging and ordering new books, coordinating student volunteers to staff the library, and help brainstorm ways the library can increase its presence on campus.
Sustainable Facilities Fellow:
The Sustainable Facilities Fellow will work with the Office of Sustainability to collaborate with people throughout the community to help expand the College’s existing sustainability efforts related to new construction, major renovations and building maintenance. The Sustainable Facilities Fellow will help to implement and execute the Sustainable Building Policy, collaborating with Custodial Services to formalize a Sustainable Cleaning Program for every building on campus, and assisting in the development of working groups to monitor performance of new and existing buildings – making adjustments to the systems and processes in place to increase the sustainability of each building.
Waste Minimization Fellow:
The Waste Minimization Fellows will work with the Office of Sustainability to collaborate with people across the community to expand existing programs and create new programs that help the College strive for its goal to reduce waste generation on campus by 5% by 2016. The Waste Minimization Fellow will monitor and help adapt the Office Waste Minimization Program, co-manage and advertise the spring Give N’ Go program, and develop strategies to decrease waste in residential houses.
Food Hub Development Fellow:
The Food Hub Development Fellow will work with members of the NLCFPC and collaborate with other members of the community to execute the implementation plan for establishing a Food Hub in New London County. A Food Hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand. The Food Hub Fellow will work on executing the year-one goals outlined in our Feasibility Study, conduct research on behalf of the Food Hub, and contribute to grant writing on behalf of funding parts of the Food Hub.
A few weeks ago, Connecticut College hosted the annual Fall Open House for prospective students. All of the over 700 participants in the Fall Open House attend a luncheon where visiting students and families can meet and talk to Conn College students and professors.
At the luncheon, the Office of Sustainability piloted a new Waste Monitors program. The purpose of the program is to divert food waste from the trash by having student workers stand by waste stations that consist of a trash bin, a recycling bin and a food waste bin.The students who staff the stations instruct luncheon attendees on how to separate their waste. This is an important program because of its environmental, social, and economic benefits. Diverting the food scraps reduces the volume of material entering the waste stream, through which it would be incinerated. Sending food scraps to the incinerator is a waste of energy and money. The food waste collected at Connecticut College is utilized by a local pig farm and thus, is supporting a local business and food producer. Finally, I personally believe it is important to note that this diversion is keeping the food in the food system and is therefore giving value to the time and energy that people put into its production.
During conversations with a number of prospective students and parents, we found that many were interested in the Waste Monitors program and the Office of Sustainability. A number of faculty members were also pleased to see such a program being put in place at such large events on campus. Overall the program ran smoothly! We were able to engage with students, parents, and professors about the importance of limiting the generation of food and other waste. We are very excited to continue this program next semester at the two accepted students’ days hosted by the College each spring, and hope that this type of waste diversion can become more integrated into how waste is handled at other large events hosted by Connecticut College.
It’s a new semester in the Office of Sustainability, so we asked some of our newest fellows to answer the question: What brought you to the Office of Sustainability and what sustainable changes do you hope to foster on campus or in the community this year?
These are their responses:
Grace Finley '16:
I arrived at the Office of Sustainability through my interest in early intervention education, a subject that has driven my PICA scholarship for the last four years. In developing the CamelSprouts program, a nutrition curriculum aimed at preschool students in New London, I hope to provide opportunities for both students and parents to engage with their health and nutritional choices. I am especially excited by the implications of this program for lower-income students, who generally face increased challenges in achieving healthy practices.
Fara Rodriguez '16:
Curiosity initially brought my attention to the Office of Sustainability; however, I have a lot of friends that work or have worked in the office and they shared their experiences with me. Mainly the responses I heard about the office were that it is a very hands-on, flexible but also meaningful experience and I wanted to be a part of that. I also wanted to be more involved with the New London community, which I get to do through my position of Hodges Square Fellow. Lastly, I hope to be support the New London community. I have several skills that I want to improve and I believe I will learn a lot from the people that I will be working with in the Hodges Square Village Association.
Elizabeth Moreno '18:
I came to the Office of Sustainability when I learned that it is an economic luxury to be healthy and live a sustainable conscious lifestyle. I hope to create a more sustainable menu at the Connecticut College Children’s Program that supports local farmers while also promoting consumption of food that uses significantly less resources to produce. I also hope to teach children more sustainable ways to consume a healthy diet and in turn slowly reduce product demand for big food companies that have twisted morals.
Chloe Ocain '18:
My name is Chloe Ocain, and I'm a sophomore at Connecticut College. I wanted to be a part of the Office of Sustainability because it provides students with the support and opportunities to create positive change in their community. As one of the Farm-to-School fellows, I hope to educate children about sustainable agriculture and healthy eating, while providing the means by which students can easily access nutritious food.
Graham Koval '18:
I wanted to work with the Office of Sustainability to help and learn about creating sustainable energy projects on campus. As an athlete, I also want to help bridge the office and athletic teams to possibly work on some initiatives that could potentially benefit both groups and the school as a whole. I am excited to be apart and work on getting a solar system on campus this year.
Selena Pineda '18:
My friend, Kira encouraged me to join the Office of Sustainability and because I wanted to be involved on campus implementing change. I hope this year we are able to advance on the CamelSprouts Nutrition Education Program and Garden and connect more with the New London community.
Midhun Gelder '17:
I wanted to join the Office of Sustainability because I am passionate about being outdoors, and it’s important to me that there are places that we/I can go hiking and backpacking and such into the future. And the way to do that is to get involved with practicing/promoting sustainable practices.
The Office of Sustainability at Connecticut College has been selected to host the first-of-its-kind Student Sustainability Leadership (SSL) Symposium. The symposium will be a two-day event that is focused on holistic sustainability and practical leadership skills and techniques.
On Saturday, November 7, student sustainability leaders from colleges across the Northeast are invited to participate in skill-building, interactive workshops. The symposium is an opportunity for aspiring student leaders to learn and be inspired by one another, while developing practical leadership skills that can be applied to their own campuses and communities. Preliminary ideas for workshops include: Effective Communication, Developing a Systems Thinking Approach to Problem-Solving, Power Mapping, Managing Up - How to Develop the Most Effective Relationship with Administrators, and Planning Ahead by Planning Backward.
The second day of the symposium, Sunday, November 8, is designed specifically for the Connecticut College community. It embodies the tenet of full participation by inviting community members, prospective students and alumni to join current students, staff, and faculty in enhancing practical leadership skills that will help us all develop sustainable communities locally, nationally and globally. To find out more about the symposium, click here.
We were chosen to host this event, despite being up against strong contenders because of our holistic view of sustainability. At Connecticut College we believe that sustainability is a framework by which long-lasting solutions to local and global challenges are developed through understanding the connections among social equity, environmental stewardship, and economic well-being and including all within decision making.
When I came back to campus at the beginning of August, I began working as the student coordinator for the SSL symposium. So far it has already been an amazing experience to be working on an event like this. In addition to being the first symposium that focuses on sustainable skill development in the Northeast region, it is also the first major event that the Office of Sustainability is hosting and planning, so I’m incredibly grateful to play such an important role. What is most exciting is that this symposium has the potential to make a big impact, whether it be on Conn’s campus, or another in the Northeast, or in a local, national or global community. I feel that as a student it is easy to be discouraged when learning about current events and the challenges that surround us, and feeling incapable of generating real change. I want this symposium to make students feel empowered, and to understand that even their work on small scale projects are significant. My goal is that all attendees will walk away from the symposium feeling inspired, feeling confident that they can make a difference, and feeling that they can accomplish something great because of the skills and tools from the workshops that they can continue to develop.
The symposium is rapidly approaching, but I’m confident that with help from all of the other awesome fellows in the Office of Sustainability (Go team!) we can pull off a successful, intellectually stimulating, unique symposium.
Every year, students find that there are things in their dorm room they don’t want or need for the summer or next year. Instead of simply throwing away those items, we encourage students to donate them to Give and Go.
Give and Go is program run by the Office of Sustainability through which students can donate all unwanted items to local non-profit organizations that are connected to the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut.
Items that the non-profits have identified as being useful to them are: - Lamps/Lighting - Housewares and Supplies - Electronics - Clothing/Shoes - Mini-Fridges - Bedding/Linens - no foam egg crates or mattresses - Food - Books
Donation pick-up runs through finals and senior week, so you can start dropping off goods anytime between Saturday, May 9, and Commencement.
All the Give and Go Collection Points are set up in either the lobbies or common spaces of each dorm. Please donate any items that you do not wish to take home or store over the summer! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Sustainability at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our work has entailed three main components. First, we’ve been working to wrap up the project to install the SEAT bus stop at the edge of campus. This project was spearheaded mostly by Hallie Grossman '16 in previous semesters, but was just installed this semester. While the current bench and sign are just smaller placeholders until the bench and sign that were actually approved are installed, we’re ecstatic to have this historic piece in place to better connect the College to New London. Second, we are student representatives on the Dean of Student Life’s Transportation Task Force. On this committee, we work with staff and faculty to define, evaluate and propose improvements to the transportation offerings on campus so as to ensure their sustainability and equitability in terms of access.
Lastly, we’ve crafted a proposal to install electric car charging ports on campus. This proposal calls for a dual port Stage 2 charging station to be installed to significantly increase the usability (i.e. range) of an electric vehicle for any member of the college community wishing to transport themselves in this sustainable manner. We are in the process of trying to move this proposal through the appropriate channels of the administration.
Working in the Office of Sustainability is different than working in any other office or department or center on campus. While there is academic credit given, it is not all about academics. It is about skill development and hands-on praxis with regard to real challenges facing our community. In addition to this, the Office has connections to the wider New London community and a commitment to working with them; as well as working critically to create an open dialogue and a space that fosters inclusion and systems makes us different.
As a content developer and editor of the Office of Sustainability, I have learned a huge amount about working with others and developing effective communication strategies for an organization. With my position, I created a system and schedule for when blog posts are written, I have had to organize my time to ensure that I edit and organize blogs in a timely manner, and I have learned how to use a new computer software program in order to successfully post the blogs. All of these skills were ones I have highlighted in my resume and I have described in detail to potential employers. Only at the office did I have the opportunity to learn these skills and hands on experience using them.
Here are some experiences from other students that have worked and collaborated with the Office of Sustainability:
Julia Goldman ‘15: Through my position as Senior Fellow for the New London County Food Policy Council (NLCFPC), where I manage a team of six student fellows working on various community projects, I experience and interact with the local food system, examining the limitations and potential for growth. I have overseen projects including a double your dollars program for SNAP/WIC at farmers markets, a pilot program for farm to school education for preschoolers, a grow-a-row program with fresh produce to be donated to a local food center, and a food hub feasibility study, funded by a USDA grant. I make sure that each of the fellows are making progress in their area and help to connect them with community partners. This experience has taught me about the political framework which community projects operate and has familiarized me with a wide array of food related government programs and policies.
Soo Cho ‘17: I would say that the most important skill that I have learned while working with the Office of Sustainability, as a Senior Fellow for the Residential Fellows as well as the Children's Center's Garden Fellow, would be how to work with different personalities. People who work in the office come from all backgrounds and fields of study, so working with such a diverse group of students has given me the opportunity to develop a new kind of attentiveness.
Taryn Kitchen ’16: My work in the Office of Sustainability has helped me develop many professional skills: emailing, phone etiquette, website design, political prowess, time management, meeting planning, and so much more, while constantly thinking about how to thoughtfully collaborate with community organizations.
Marina Milan ’17: During my two years in working with the Office of Sustainability, I have learned a great deal about professional communication. I have honed my email writing skills and have learned how to work with other members of our college community in a mutually respectful and beneficial way. I have also learned to write complete yet concise proposals to target certain audiences and achieve my goals.
Check out the list of available positions here: http://www.conncoll.edu/sustainability/student-sustainability-programs/sustainability-fellows-program-/ Let us know what position you are interested in and send your resume and cover letter or questions to email@example.com.
As the Affordability and Access Fellow for the New London County Food Policy Council (NLCFPC), it is my job to coordinate projects that combine both environmentally friendly initiatives with economically friendly policies, making fresh produce available at affordable prices to food insecure families. Currently I am working on developing a double value coupon program (DVCP) at several farmers markets in the county. Farmers markets are great places to get fresh, healthy produce while supporting local organic farmers, but we all know how expensive their fruits and veggies can be compared to supermarket prices. The DVCP is an effort to make this produce more affordable and available to individuals and families that receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
First piloted by the Connecticut-based company Wholesome Wave in 2008, the double value coupon program doubles the purchasing power of SNAP users by providing funds to match any purchase made by a SNAP user at a farmers market. In other words, if a person buys $10 worth of produce on their SNAP card, the DVCP will give them another $10 worth of fruits or veggies. The funds to back this type of program are usually provided by an outside source, like Wholesome Wave or the NLCFPC, and then donated to participating markets. The funds will then be used to reimburse market vendors from whom DVCP purchases are made.
Our ultimate goal is to make farmers markets in New London County more equitable places by making the produce more affordable for food insecure individuals and families. In doing so, we also promote sustainable practices (buying fresh produce from local farmers rather than packaged and processed food from large supermarkets) across a broader range of socio-economic classes. The future of sustainable practices relies on everyone’s participation!
This past summer, I interned with Wellness in the Schools (WITS), an organization that provides health and wellness programming in high-poverty New York public schools. After my summer with WITS, I was inspired to further research the benefits of early childhood nutrition education, which is how I became the Nutrition Education Fellow for the New London County Food Policy Council.
As part my senior integrative project for the Holleran Center, I will be piloting a nutrition education course at Connecticut College's Children's Program, which is located across Route 32 on Nameaug Avenue. Modeled after UConn's Husky Reads program, the main objectives of our Camel Sprouts program curriculum are:
- Provide basic nutrition education and healthy opportunities for preschoolers
- Improve willingness to try and recognize various foods
- Build a foundation for lifelong good health and well-being
- Motivate parents and caregivers to reinforce healthy behaviors
If you are interested in volunteering, please feel free to contact me! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope that our pilot program will become a permanent part of the Children's Program and other preschools within the greater New London County.
The Lending Library started with the purpose to bring new life to used books. Students were giving away books that future students were going to need. The Office of Sustainability saw this as an opportunity. We started collecting books at the end of each academic year and making them available to the whole campus community at the start of the following year for free. This way, students can save money by not purchasing expensive books and the books are not thrown away after only being used by one person.
The Lending Library’s system is simple: once a student checks out a book, it is theirs until the end of the semester. There is no limit to the number of books that a single student can check out; however, it is a library, so students have to return the books at the end of each semester to help the program continue.
We are now working to make the Lending Library both easier to use and more efficient. The first step is reorganizing the books and creating a cataloguing system that makes them easy to track. We are also starting a new system for checking out and checking in books so that the Lending Library is open and available for as many students as possible. In the future, we are looking to know what books people need the most and cater to those needs.