Students Graduate, New Leaders Rise

The end of another year is upon us and that means another class of Office of Sustainability Associates will be graduating. The WashU Sustainability Alumni Network will be adding 6 names to its list. Our graduates were asked to share their post-graduate plans and some words of wisdom as they reflect on their time at WashU and their time working at the Office of Sustainability.

Colin Keating, an Environmental Earth Science major and a Computer Science minor, will be working for a year before he applies to graduate school. He hopes to spend his year away from school working in a hydrology or geochemistry lab. Colin was particularly appreciative of his co-workers in the office noting that during his time at the Office of Sustainability he was continually impressed by the enthusiasm, cheer, and support of the people around him. Additionally, he noted how grateful he was to have been allowed to work on exciting, real world projects through his position on the Green Rehab team.

Shannon Driscoll, a Marketing major, will be moving to Los Angeles after graduation. Shannon spent her semesters as an Associate providing stunning graphic design services for many of the Associate teams within the Office of Sustainability. She mentioned that her work at the Office taught her that if you care about what you’re doing, even the most menial work can be extremely rewarding. She also emphasized the importance of attending as many office-wide events as you can. She said that these type of events were some of her favorites in her time with the office and that it is a great way to meet student associates not on your team.

Amber Krisp, the Office’s only law student, will be staying in state to clerk for the Missouri Court of Appeals. Her role at the Office allowed her to interact with the undergraduate student population and get a better sense of the sustainability culture on campus as a whole. She says that her experience on the highly intersectional Environmental Justice Team taught her how passionate WashU students are in a variety of topics. She also emphasized how open everyone she meets is to learning about new experiences and different perspectives. These conversations and interactions were some of her favorite experiences while working as a Student Associate.

Taylor Blevin, a Chemical Engineering and Economics major, will be staying on campus next year to complete a Master’s in Chemical Engineering Degree with a certificate of specialization in Advanced Energy Technologies. As a part of the Office of Sustainability team, Taylor said she has benefited most from the opportunity to work on impactful projects that she can see implemented around campus. She also reflected that the ability to work across disciplines has allowed her to learn many skills that she could have never gained in the classroom. Taylor hopes to use her master’s degree to continue to do the influential work that she is passionate about later in her career.

Nick Annin, an Environmental Policy major and Writing minor, will be staying in St. Louis and will either be completing a Master’s in Finance at the Olin Business School or working for a local financial firm. As a member of the Office of Sustainability team for five semesters, Nick said that he learned an invaluable amount about sustainability on campus both through his work directly and through the connections he has made through the Office. He also noted the leadership and professional development opportunities were incredibly valuable benefits of the Student Associate experience.

Armaan Shah, an Architecture student, will be attending Yale’s Architecture program as a graduate student. Armaan reflected on how his time at the Office of Sustainability, particularly the summer where he worked as a full-time intern, has been very influential. The experience has shaped his worldview and given new meaning to the opportunities he will have to contribute to sustainability through landscape and the built environment.

Deko Ricketts, who is graduating from the School of Engineering & Applied Science with a degree in electrical engineering, looks back at his time at the Office fondly. He recognizes the benefit of constant collaboration with staff and the administration, suggesting that it stimulated his engineering education through various energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across campus. Best of all, he landed his current job as an engineer at Azimuth Energy through a connection created during his internship at the Office last summer. Deko’s unique story landed him a Class Act profile, where you can learn more about his journey.

While the graduation of this year’s senior class will be bittersweet, it provides opportunities for younger students to fill the positions they leave behind, both within the Office and elsewhere on campus. The new line up of sustainability leadership within Student Union was recently announced: Ingrid Archibald, previously a member of the Waste Team, will be entering her senior year as the Executive Advisor of Sustainability (EAS). This position is responsible for creating opportunities for students to engage with sustainability on campus and for promoting the vision of a more sustainable campus. Sarah Greenberg, a former Student Associate on the Green Office team, will be assuming the role of Student Green Council Chair and will lead the community of student-run green groups on campus. Lastly, Clayton Scott will be the next president of the Student Sustainability Board which works closely with the Office of Sustainability to allocate funds to support student-led sustainability initiatives.

We wish all of our graduating seniors and the next generation of sustainability leaders the best!

Students Associates celebrate the end of the semester as they jump on a trampoline at the year-end picnic.