Wake Forest University

Sustainability at Wake Forest

Five Ways Wake Students Impacted Sustainability in 2016


Five Ways Wake Students Impacted Sustainability in 2016

January 8th, 2017

Wake students are instrumental in crafting, launching, and nurturing campus-led sustainability initiatives. These efforts—both big and small—contribute greatly to creating a culture of sustainability at Wake Forest University.

To learn how you can be part of the action in 2017, browse our website or email sustainability@wfu.edu. Below are just a few examples of the many sustainable initiatives undertaken by students this past year.

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Writing Resistance with Terry Tempest Williams

January 7th, 2017

From February 6-9, Terry Tempest Williams will visit Wake Forest University. Williams is a well-known writer, naturalist, and advocate for wild places. Throughout her life, Williams has published books of numerous genres, including poetry, nonfiction, documentary, essay collections, as well as children’s books. On top of this, Williams was a Guggenheim Fellow, and has won a number of prestigious conservation and literary awards.

During her visit, Williams will host a four-day writing workshop, deliver a public lecture and reading, and engage with interested faculty.

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Art Speaks a Universal Language

December 9th, 2016

Noella Luka is adjusting to living life in a foreign land—Winston-Salem.

Luka, a documentary film student, recently made the move from her home in Kenya to her “home away from home” at Wake Forest University.

From over 7,700 miles away, Luka continues to seek creative means of communication to teach communities in Kenya, and around the globe, about conservation and environmental stewardship. She describes herself as a storyteller who crafts local stories with global resonance.

“Storytelling gives me an unnerving responsibility to be an opinion leader, to evoke reactions and stir up conversations,” Luka said. “Through words, sounds, and images I attempt to portray a reflection of society, the importance of our actions, and possible solutions.”

In 2015, Luka joined the Laikipian—a youth movement that uses creativity to highlight conservation solutions from an African perspective. Through art, the Laikipian seeks to inspire a generation of informed conservationists. With the primary audience of kids and youth in mind, the Laikipian has successfully fused conservation education into board games, educational posters, a comic book series, and even a coloring book.

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Sowing Seeds of Sustainability at the Campus Garden

December 8th, 2016

by Office of Sustainability News Intern, Suzanne Mullins

Have you visited the Campus Garden? Located on Polo Road, the Campus Garden draws student, faculty, and staff volunteers to aid with crop cultivation and maintenance. Managing the garden are three Wake Forest students and Office of Sustainability interns—senior Akua Maat, junior Megan Blackstock, and junior Nick Judd.

But, what responsibilities come with being a Campus Garden intern? How does the Campus Garden aid in educating volunteers? And lastly, why are these three individuals so invested in a sustainable future? I sat down with each of them to find out.

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Sustainability Is An Interdisciplinary Study

November 18th, 2016

by Kellie Shanaghan

Environmental studies and sustainability are fields that overlap with nearly every major, degree, and career.  Improving Earth’s climate so that humans can continue to live here should be on the forefront of the minds of educators, politicians, students, and everyday citizens.

Yet, even at institutes of higher education, such as Wake Forest, a majority of the student body lacks both knowledge and initiative to make sustainability a priority.

“Even though I realize that climate has a large impact on the world, I as an individual do not feel as though I can help or harm the environment in any way,” said Sierra Burick, a sophomore pre-dental student.

On a campus where the general public shortsightedly lacks both knowledge and initiative to enact change, there are alumni from Wake Forest who have gone on to have significant roles in environmental protection and sustainability.  There is also an increase in sustainability careers, as well as an increasing interdisciplinary application of the subject.

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From Piano Keys to Georgia Trees

November 16th, 2016

One of the most respected keyboardists in the world of rock’n’roll visits Wake Forest to speak about environmental stewardship and conservation

When you think of living a double life, the action-packed escapades of professional spies, secret agents and undercover cops come to mind. For Chuck Leavell, living a double life is simply a way to combine his passions and talents—and it certainly is action-packed.

Leavell has spent over half of his life performing with bands and artists such as the Rolling Stones, the Black Crowes, the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and John Mayer. Living on tour buses, waking up at noon in foreign cities and playing music for millions of screaming fans differs greatly from Leavell’s other life as a Georgia tree farmer.

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Student-Run Coffee Shop Supports Local Food Industry, Supporting Sustainability

November 5th, 2016

by Julia Sawchak

While student’s taste buds are happy about upgrades to the Campus Grounds menu, its stomachs aren’t the only ones benefiting from these menu additions.

Campus Grounds initiative to include more local products heavily reduces their carbon footprint and boosts the Winston-Salem economy.

Conventional food distribution is responsible for five to 17 times more carbon dioxide than local and regionally produced food, meaning local purchases drastically reduce our carbon emissions through shorter drives to purchasers, according to research from Columbia University. Many individuals are now choosing to purchase local as a part of their personal sustainability practices.

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The Pit Celebrates Local Farmers

November 1st, 2016

Diners at the Fresh Food Company were treated to a taste of the local community on Tuesday, October 25, as Wake Forest Dining celebrated local farmers and suppliers.  Representatives from Henderson’s Best (Hendersonville, NC / apples and more), MicroGreen King (Boonville, NC / microgreens), and Milkco (Asheville / milk) set up displays in the Pit to provide information and samples to students, faculty, and staff.

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A New Way to Recharge

October 4th, 2016

Five and a half hours. That is the amount of time it takes for Powersol charging umbrellas on Reynolda Patio to fully recharge. Two hours. The total amount of time it takes for solar-powered umbrellas to charge an iPhone from zero to 100 percent—the same amount of time it takes your typical wall socket.

dsc_4380Over the summer, the Office of Sustainability, Hospitality & Auxiliary Services, and Facilities & Campus Services teamed up to bring five solar-powered patio umbrellas to the Reynolda Hall patio, allowing students to charge their small electronic devices with renewable energy from the sun.

“The solar shades are a wonderful way of creating a charging source without doing major infrastructure work. The shades are movable with the furniture, allowing for enjoyment of the outdoors.” John Shenette, Associate Vice President for Facilities & Campus Services said.

The Powersol charging umbrellas were developed by ZON, a company that provides solar-powered outdoor power solutions, to fill a void in the market and create a product that meets the demands of today’s typical mobile user.

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Where are they now: De’Noia Woods

September 29th, 2016

De’Noia Woods (‘13) grew up on an island in the Caribbean surrounded by lush beaches, wilderness and a rich cultural history. As a child, Woods watched her father appreciate the environment for what it had to offer in terms of diversity and recreation. Her values are grounded in a desire to preserve the wonders of the environment for future generations.

denoiawoodsWhen recalling her childhood, Woods speaks of her father: “He never believed in altering nature’s gift for greed but only in utilizing a small footprint that mirrored need not want.” By observing her father’s philosophy of living, Wood’s passion for sustainability and environmentalism grew.

While at Wake Forest, Woods studied anthropology and studio art, while serving as the creative liaison intern for three years at the Office of Sustainability. In this internship, Woods photo documented events and developed various sustainability themed public art exhibitions.

“I believe I gained the most from being under Dedee’s leadership for three years. She taught me how to be an accountable person in the workforce, encouraged free flowing creativity and allowed me to fail. With this guidance, I learned how to own projects from cradle to grave and within failure, I grew,” Woods recalls from her internship with the Office of Sustainability.  “I felt empowered to follow my passions by navigating the current opportunity to my next goal. I also trusted the process which allowed me to adapt, change direction and refine what I saw myself accomplishing in the short and long term.”

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