We want to extend a special congratulations to all of our current and former intern and assistant graduates from the class of 2020. From leading Campus Garden volunteers in regenerative agriculture practices to telling the story of sustainability at Wake Forest and everything in between, these passionate students have been integral in our sustainability efforts.
Watch our Class of 2020 senior video (below) to hear from some of our graduating seniors and keep scrolling to read about the impact they’ve each made on our campus and in our lives.
Alice Romanov graduated summa cum laude with a degree in sociology and minors in international studies and neuroscience. She joined the Office of Sustainability staff in spring 2020 as the green business network intern with the Piedmont Environmental Alliance (PEA) and a graphic design assistant on the communications team. In January, Alice will move to San Francisco to pursue a career in business sustainability, starting with a rotational management program at Gap, Inc. She hopes to continue teaching yoga and one day get her MBA in sustainable solutions.
“Getting to know Alice this year has been a true joy of mine. The level of intentionality I’ve seen her bring not only to her work, but to her friendships, mentorships, and studies, is nothing short of inspiring. Of the many things I admire about Alice, it is her thoughtful leadership that strikes me most. She uses her voice to lift others up and her movements to support them – something unique to her character and exemplary of the terrific person she is.” – Erin Stephens
Briana Roberts graduated with a major in health and exercise science and a minor in environmental science. Briana joined the Office of Sustainability staff in spring 2019 as a waste reduction intern and has been with the team ever since. Briana’s hard work in this field of sustainability sparked a new passion for clothing waste reduction — a field that she hopes to explore professionally.
“Briana has always been a beacon of positivity for the Office. With an ever-present smile and a can-do attitude, she really came into her own this past year and set a great foundation for reducing clothing waste at Wake Forest. With a unique ability to connect with others and problem solve, Briana’s future is extremely bright and I can’t wait to see the impact she’ll be sure to make on the world.” – Brian Cohen
Ellie Bruggen graduated summa cum laude with a degree in politics & international affairs with minors in biology, Latin American & Latino studies, and environmental studies. She has been awarded the Donald O. Schoonmaker student prize for community service. Ellie has been a long-time leader as both a volunteer and the sustainability theme house theme program advisor. She officially joined the Office of Sustainability team in spring 2020 as a plant-forward dining assistant. She will transition from Wake Forest student to staff member this summer when she takes on a role as the Presidential Fellow for the Office of the Dean of the College.
“After playing hard to get for 7 semesters, I was thrilled that Ellie finally decided to join the team. Her innovative thinking and penchant for turning ideas into action, along with her cheery personality, will be impossible to replace. We’re so lucky that she’ll be spending even more time in Reynolda Hall next year as a Wake Forest Fellow, and I’m sure that her sustainability leadership will continue in her new role.” – Brian Cohen
Haleigh Schultz graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biology and a minor in environmental studies. She has been with the Office of Sustainability since 2018, first as a waste reduction intern (fall 2018) and then as a Campus Garden intern (2019 – 2020). As an intern, she’s seen firsthand how the Campus Garden cultivates not only plants and organisms – but also friendships, resilience, and celebration. Haleigh will continue her passion for hands-on service working in the education sector in the Philippines, as part of the Peace Corps.
“I have loved working alongside Haleigh during her time with the office. Whether she was going out of her way to craft a new outreach opportunity or sharing her sustainability story with incoming Wake Forest students, she always carried herself with the grace and humility of a true leader. I couldn’t think of anyone better-suited to join the Peace Corps and can’t wait to see where all of her adventures take her.” – Erin Stephens
Isla Bint graduated cum laude with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. As a plant-forward dining assistant starting spring 2020, Isla worked alongside Ellie Bruggen to create engaging, informative campaigns that taught members of the campus community the benefits of a plant-rich diet. As a student athlete herself, Isla used her experience as a member of the Wake Forest Field Hockey team to tap into the roots of the plant-forward dining initiative on campus, which began through a focus on performance dining for student athletes.
“I’m so thankful to have had the chance to work with Isla. The leadership skills that she developed on the field hockey pitch translated to plant-forward dining seamlessly. Isla is the first student-athlete to have joined our team, and hopefully not the last. If future student-athlete interns and assistants can be half as great as Isla, we’re in for a treat.” – Brian Cohen
Julia Stevens graduated magna cum laude with honors in English and minors in environmental science and linguistics. Julia has been a member of the OoS team since spring 2018 and has held three positions: first as a waste reduction & diversion assistant (spring – fall 2018), then as a zero-landfill assistant (spring – fall 2019), followed by her final role as the residence hall organics intern (spring 2020). Julia will begin her post-graduate career this summer as an editorial intern with Academic Medicine, the journal at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C.
“Seeing Julia grow from a passionate student into a true professional reminds me why I do the work that I do. She has left her mark on waste diversion at Wake Forest and will forever be linked with the successful organics collection program on campus. I feel like I’m losing a colleague rather than seeing an intern graduate, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Julia will be going on to bigger and better things.” – Brian Cohen
Kat Boulton graduated cum laude with a degree in politics & international affairs and a minor in environmental studies. Kat joined the team as a content development assistant in fall 2018 and has been a member of the team ever since. During her time on staff, Kat helped the communications team cover stories about sustainability on campus, write profiles about the members of the campus community leading the way, and helped ensure that sustainability events ran smoothly.
“Whether she was bringing leftover birthday cupcakes to our office staff or just stopping by to say hello between classes, Kat always filled our space with laughter and positivity. I am going to miss her can-do attitude and her ability to make anyone feel at ease tremendously. She has been a bright light on our team and I have no doubt she will continue to radiate joy wherever she goes next.” – Erin Stephens
Kate Redding graduated magna cum laude in fall 2019 with a degree in communication and minors in journalism and environmental studies. As a content development assistant spring – fall 2019, Kate created compelling stories about environment and sustainability through writing as a member of the communications team. Kate hopes to continue using her creativity to help inspire and educate others to take action for the planet, whether it’s through her writing, work, or both.
“Though Kate graduated a semester early, saying goodbye again doesn’t feel any easier. Her insightful ideas for creative communications campaigns were incredibly valuable and I knew I could count on her to be at any event we hosted — ready to lend a hand and asking how she could help. I’ve loved having her by my side the past few years and know she will be an asset to any team that is lucky enough to have her.” – Erin Stephens
Layla Ghiai graduated with a major in biology and minor in interdisciplinary writing. Layla joined the office of sustainability staff in spring 2020 as a social media assistant with the communications team. Using her previous social media management expertise, Layla helped create compelling ideas to highlight the unseen heroes of campus sustainability and engage audiences through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
“It was a privilege to work with Layla to reinvigorate our social media presence this spring. Every week she came to our meetings with new ideas, dedicated to telling the untold stories of sustainability on campus and asking thoughtful questions. It was a delight to work together and I only wish our time together could have been longer.” – Erin Stephens
Mariam Alsorogi went from the Greeks Go Green representative of her sorority to the Greeks Go Green intern starting in spring 2019. In her role she empowered social and service organization representatives to incorporate sustainable practices and ideals into the lives of their members through direct action, discussion, and peer-to-peer leadership. Mariam graduated magna cum laude with a degree in health & exercise science and a minor in biology. She will join the Wake Forest University School of Business Masters in Management program cohort this fall.
“Seeing a student find her inner confidence is one of the most rewarding parts of my job, and Mariam took that to a whole new level. Becoming the Greeks Go Green Intern helped her discover what the rest of us already knew: that she is a talented leader who is poised to make a difference in the world. I feel honored to have been a part of Mariam’s growth and can’t wait to see where it takes her.” – Brian Cohen
Monet Beatty graduated with a major in biology and minors in environmental studies and dance. Monet joined the office of sustainability staff in fall 2019 as an environmental education intern for the Piedmont Environmental Alliance. Monet used her gift for choreography and directing dance productions to her advantage while crafting engaging ways to recruit and train volunteers for environmental education programs in local public schools. She will begin a position as the Presidential Fellow for the Wake Forest Business School this summer and hopes to enroll in the Wake Forest Sustainability Graduate Program.
“Monet truly exemplifies what it means to take initiative. Her passion for engaging new audiences in sustainability was evident in her hard work to develop and choreograph her dance production “Breathe” this year. It was inspiring to watch her build something from the ground up and bring others into the fold along the way. She is an innate leader and I’m so glad she isn’t saying farewell to Wake Forest just yet.” – Erin Stephens
Natalie Alms graduated summa cum laude with honors in politics & international affairs and a minor in journalism. She joined the communications team as a beat reporting assistant in the spring of 2020 to cover the undergraduate environmental program at Wake Forest, which is celebrating its 25th year as well as the recent announcement of two majors in environment and sustainability. Through in-depth interviews she dug up the timeline of the environmental program, tracking its leadership and milestones over the last quarter-century. Natalie hopes to continue sharpening her stellar reporting skills through a career in journalism.
“Though I’ve known Natalie for many years as a friend and fellow a cappella aficionado, it has been such a joy to get to know her in a professional capacity this spring. It did not take long to recognize that she is an incredibly talented reporter with a true knack for tracking down sources and telling powerful stories. I cannot wait to cheer her on as she continues to do so.” – Erin Stephens
Nathan Allen graduated magna cum laude with an interdisciplinary major in environmental studies. Nathan joined the Office of Sustainability staff in spring 2018 and served as the dining intern for three consecutive semesters. He transitioned to a new role as the functional design intern starting in the fall of 2019. In both positions, Nathan intertwined has passion for sustainability and artistic expression, creating campaigns and designs that compelled audiences to engage with plant-forward dining, pedestrian way-finding, and other sustainable practices in innovative ways.
“As the longest-tenured student member of Team Susty, Nathan has left a legacy. I remember him first getting involved with the Plant-Forward Dining Committee early in his Wake Forest career and have loved seeing him grow both personally and professionally ever since. The depth of his creativity and intellect is surpassed only by the size of his heart, and I’m proud of the person he has become.” – Brian Cohen
Oliver Hawkes graduated with a degree in business and enterprise management with a concentration in new business development. Oliver served as the re-cycle bike share intern during the 2019 – 2020 academic year. During the final semester of his internship Oliver helped oversee the transition of the program’s full leadership to the Outdoor Pursuits staff in Campus Recreation.
Oliver’s passion for the environment was evident not only through his work with our office, but also his leadership positions with the Ocean and Marine Conservation Club and Outdoor Pursuits. It is always inspiring to see a student so holistically engaging with opportunities on campus to protect, preserve, and celebrate the living world, and Oliver is no exception.” – Erin Stephens
We also extend our congratulations to all of our former interns:
Caroline Bosch, who served as the public art intern during spring 2018. Caroline graduated magna cum laude with a degree in interdisciplinary environmental studies and a minor in studio art. Her passion and skills as an artist helped engage broader audiences in conversation about environmental issues.
“It was a pleasure to have a true artist among us. Caroline’s creativity and ability to connect new audiences with sustainability proved invaluable in the Office’s efforts to engage the entire campus. I’m excited to see her further develop her unique skill set and spread her gifts to the world outside the Wake Forest campus.” – Brian Cohen
Lauren Davidson served as the dining intern in spring 2018 and graduated cum laude with a degree in interdisciplinary studies that incorporated classes in the sciences, studio art, psychology, and environmental studies to understand how spaces – both indoor and outdoor – shape people. During her tenure with the intern and assistant team, she worked to raise awareness about the sustainable dining initiatives on campus.
“Lauren was instrumental in starting the storytelling process for sustainable dining initiatives on campus. From creating a sustainable dining-focused Instagram account to conducting plant-forward outreach, Lauren’s efforts helped pave the way for the success we’ve had in influencing food choices on campus. I know that her insightful nature will serve her well moving forward.” – Brian Cohen
Isabella Kornitsky was the athletics fan engagement intern during fall 2019, and graduated cum laude with a degree in business enterprise management with a concentration in marketing and a minor in journalism. Isabella developed the athletics carbon footprint outreach and helped draw attention to an overlooked issue of sustainability, gender equality, through a partnership with the Women’s Center and Wake Forest Athletics.
“Isabella really helped advance our athletics fan engagement efforts. She created new, thoughtful outreach activities, and her communication skills–both in person and through her journalism–helped us reach new audiences and tell compelling stories. I’m excited to see where her multiple talents take her.” – Brian Cohen