SUNY Geneseo has hired a recent alum as its first sustainability fellow to help the college’s sustainability efforts and guide sustainability interns in expanding their work.
Lauren Goulet ’22 will spend Spring and Summer 2023 in the pilot role, funded through the Frank Vafier ’74 Ambassador in Leadership award in part because of marked student interest in the sustainability studies major and sustainability efforts across campus.
“The sustainability fellow program gives a highly effective new graduate the opportunity to get hands-on, professional work experience in an environment and with people that they are familiar with. This gives them the opportunity to be competitive for better jobs earlier in their career,” says Dan DeZarn, Geneseo’s director of sustainability. “In addition, sustainability studies and the Campus Sustainability Leadership program are growing at an incredible rate. The sustainability fellow helps the Office of Sustainability build capacity to handle the ever-increasing number of students we serve. Also, having a recent peer serve in a leadership role models success and gives current students something to strive for. "
The Campus Sustainability Leadership program is an integrated and applied learning class based in the campus eGarden and connected with the sustainability studies major. Students help run campus sustainability initiatives, such as composting, sustainable food production, and Roemer Arboretum projects, to gain hands-on experience and insight into the breadth of sustainability work in a large institution.
In her role, Goulet, supports interns in the sustainability office in their professional development, projects and initiatives, and managing social media, and is identifying ways to better document sustainability related efforts by students and groups across campus, and create an efficient, sustainability communications hub. She is also continuing to manage the campus food forest project and will lead plantings in the eGarden and volunteer work days. Last year, Goulet received the John A. '87 and Mary Grace '84 Gleason Ambassadorship in Student Affairs with Brendan Shortt ’23 to create the food forest, an area of shrubs, herbs, perennial vegetables and other species that provide food and is easy to maintain.
Goulet was a transfer student and served as a sustainability intern for nearly three years before graduation in December. She is a member of the President’s Commission on Sustainability and chair of the engagement committee. She was very involved in student-led outreach efforts and eGarden management. She also completed internships with Second Nature, a national, climate action higher-education organization, and worked last fall to support the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health through The Wave Foundation.