Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Farewell to the Seniors of the Sustainability Office

The Sustainability Office has about 30 student employees, 11 of whom are seniors this year. The office wants to celebrate their accomplishments and give them a farewell as they journey into the beginning of their post-graduate life. A few of the seniors wanted to share some things about themselves.

"And then the day came, when the risk of remaining tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" -Anaïs Nin

Here are their stories:

Jamison Czarnecki, Carbon Neutrality Fellow, Environmental Studies/Sustainability Studies minor. 2016 

  • My best memory of working in the sustainability office is coming in during the week and seeing people laugh and have fun while they work hard to help make positive changes to the campus. We've helped each other to do better and be better, both personally and professionally. The SO has such a conscious and respectful culture that I think is something I will miss a lot. Everyone assumes the best in each other when we have discussions and work with each other. It's something I hope to carry on afterward wherever I go.
  • How do you think you've changed since you've started working here? I've been able to highlight some strengths I had before and work toward improving on some of my weaknesses. Being a carbon neutrality fellow, I've been able to have some great discussions about what carbon neutrality actually means and to be critical about it. I think that's an important lesson I'm taking away is thinking deeper about what a goal is and how an entity is getting there (what does it include, how much will it cost, why does it matter, what does it not include, etc.) I'm still very optimistic for UC's goal for carbon neutrality by 2025, but I now understand more fully how difficult of a goal it is and the big changes that need to happen to get there. It's a sense of optimistic realism that has become more apparent to me.
  • What is the most difficult part about being a senior? The most difficult part of being senior is taking the time to enjoy your last year and celebrate your hard work with your friends while you frantically work to get everything done that you wanted to accomplish. It's realizing that you actually are coming to the end of it and making sure you continue to work to the best of your abilities so that you can look back one day and say you gave it your all.
  • Is there anything you want to do before you graduate? Before I graduate, I'd like to take some time to relax in the redwoods. Smell the uniqueness of the forest, hear the birds, and enjoy the solitude. It's something I never really got to do as much as I wanted to because of my extremely busy schedule and living off campus. 
  • What are your next plans? My plans are still evolving. I interviewed for a position for a sustainability coordinator back in my home state of Indiana and if I get that, I'll be heading to IN in a month or so. If I didn't, I'm going to take some time to work and travel for a bit while working on some of the weaknesses I've identified over the last year. I'm gonna work on my family's farm and visit everyone back home for a bit and then hopefully travel outside the states which I've not yet done! I'm excited for the next chapter of my life and am grateful to everyone at UCSC and the program I was in that has helped prepare me for whatever's next. 
  • Is there anything else you'd like to say? One thing I'd like to say is, thank you. Thank you to everyone who has helped shape me become a better person both personally and professionally. I am excited for my friends that have a couple years left as I know they are going to help make this campus the best it can be. I also want to give a sincere thank you to Silas, Chrissy, Shauna, Melissa, and Elida for being a great group of supervisors that have helped me along the way in my professional career. There are so many things they've taught me. I look forward to seeing how the office expands on our programs and how they are implemented more fully within the campus.

Rebecca Sale, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Environmental Studies, 2016
  • The best thing about being a part of the SO is the fact that everyone working there is so supportive of each other. If the students have an idea for a project, the staff will help them and guide them towards the resources for success. The students also seem eager to assist the staff with their higher level work.
  • How do you think you've changed since you've started working here? I've definitely grown a lot since working here on a very personal level. This position gave me exposure to solutions to environmental problems instead of just pointing out everything that's wrong with our system.
  • What are your next plans? My very short term goal is to intern with an architect and civil engineering company to design  and implement a rainwater harvesting system at Bay View Elementary this summer. I hope this will lead to a career with sustainable city planning. 
Here are the other seniors:

  • Christian Monzon
  • Alexis Roney
  • Lily Urmann
  • Jaric Sawatdee
  • Will Watson
  • Rissy Mathias
  • Mitch Mastroni
  •  Christine Ongjoco
  • Amanda Roletti
  • Lauren Lehrer
  • Edwin Colon

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