Dear Future Deac,

I’m Haleigh Schultz, a senior biology and environmental studies student from Centennial, Colorado. I traded the Rockies for the Appalachians to pursue an education in the sciences at Wake Forest. 

When I’m not in class, I spend much of my time 400 steps away from the edge of campus harvesting vegetables, planting cover crops, and leading student volunteers at the Wake Forest Campus Garden.

As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, I’ve seen firsthand how the Campus Garden cultivates not only plants and organisms – but also friendships, resilience, and celebration.
Whether I’m trying my not-so-green thumb at growing sweet potatoes with my co-intern Sakina or helping first-year biology students catch one of our five chickens, every day is a new adventure.

These adventures have taken me from those 400 steps off campus to 4,000 miles across the globe, expanding my learning through my study-abroad experiences. My ecology course came to life as I explored Venice’s vast lagoon. I learned the importance of cross-cultural leadership as I taught in rural elementary schools in Morocco. Lake Winnipeg even became my own living laboratory as I kayaked across algal blooms and hiked through Canada’s provincial parks.

These experiences wouldn’t mean nearly as much to me without the community of fellow interns, peer leaders, and friends I’ve found along the way. Whether it’s laughing over soil-covered hands with Sakina, supporting Kat in their leadership of the Compost Crew, or helping Peter create a cycling culture through our Re-Cycle bike-share program, my friends inspire me to make meaningful change every day.

I never would have guessed that I would be trading late nights at the library for spaghetti nights at the Sustainability theme house, enjoying pumpkin painting in the Campus Garden, or engaging in meaningful conversations with other interns in our weekly meetings with sustainability staff. 

From inspiring courses and research to planning Earth Day and parasailing over the Swiss Alps, all of these experiences have enriched my learning beyond what I could have imagined for myself. 

As you’ll soon find out for yourself, life doesn’t only happen in the classroom; thankfully, at Wake Forest, learning doesn’t have to either.

Sincerely,

Haleigh Schultz (’20)