Sustainability Leadership Group (SLG)

The Sustainability Leadership Group (SLG) is an opportunity designed specifically for sustainability-minded first-year students to gain leadership experience early on in their Wake Forest careers. The inaugural SLG team, formed in the fall of 2019, was composed of 29 first-year students from the class of 2023 who served as peer leaders in their respective residence halls. In the fall of 2020, a new cohort of 29 passionate first-year leaders came together to form SLG ’24.


SLG’s mission is to infuse a culture of sustainability within the first-year class and cultivate it through networking, enhancing the knowledge of SLG members, educating others, and changing social norms.

Leadership, Education, Outreach: The Three Pillars of SLG

SLG members develop leadership skills through workshops, guest panels, group discussions, and–most importantly–action. While the program sets the foundation for your development, you’re encouraged to take the next step on your own (with the team’s support, of course). Step out of your comfort zone, discover your leadership style, and gain first-hand experience in a culture where there are no failures, only opportunities to improve.

No prior sustainability knowledge or experience is required! We take the time to bring everyone up to speed on the latest science on the climate crisis, sustainability at Wake, and the psychology behind social change efforts. Even if you already consider yourself a seasoned expert, you’re bound to learn something new. SLG is a great way to discover your passion and chart your path forward at Wake Forest.

SLG members work together in teams based on residence hall and in committees based on their specific areas of interest to engage their peers in sustainable behavior change. Educational outreach, sustainability-themed events, coordination with RAs, orchestration of a green room challenge, and many other initiatives are all hallmarks of the program. This past year’s areas of focus included climate justice, clothing, waste, youth outreach, and food and agriculture.

Interested in SLG ’25?

SLG members are selected through an application process that is made available to incoming first-year students each summer. If you have questions or would like to learn more about the program, please contact Brian Cohen, Assistant Director for Sustainability Engagement, at, or our two SLG ‘25 student coordinators, Meredith Power (‘23) ( and Dan O’Connell (‘24) ( 

Applications for SLG '25 are now open!

All interested first-year students are encouraged to apply, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups. Applications will be accepted through September 5, 2021, but priority consideration will be given to those received by August 16, 2021.
Apply for SLG '25

Meet Your SLG ’25 Student Coordinators

Meredith Power (‘23)

Hometown: Hillsborough, CA
First-Year Res Hall: Luter
Majors: Environmental & Sustainability Studies; Communication
Minor: Film Studies

My name’s Meredith and I’m a First-Year Leadership Intern for the Office of Sustainability. I have worked this past year as a mentor for SLG ‘24 and I’m delighted to come back to help with the program in the fall. In a climate crisis that is only intensifying, it’s important that we have skillful leaders working to incorporate sustainability into all walks of life. SLG is the perfect crash course on all things leadership and sustainability and gives you the unique opportunity to take charge of your own impact. For me, it was a launch pad to a position within the Office of Sustainability and started my journey towards a sustainability-focused career path. I highly encourage you to apply and look forward to meeting you in the fall!

Reach out for anything you may need:!

Dan O’Connell (‘24)

Hometown: Wyckoff, NJ
First-Year Res Hall: Johnson
Majors: Economics; Politics and International Affairs

SLG is a great way to learn how to get involved in sustainability projects here at Wake and meet other great people. Not only can you work on projects within your residence hall, but you can definitely feel like you’re involved in the Wake community as a whole.

Have questions about SLG? Email me at!

Hear From SLG Alumni!

Camille Murashige (’24)

Hometown: Plano, TX
First-Year Res Hall: Angelou
Major: Environmental and Sustainability Studies
Minor: French Studies

Hey, y’all! SLG has been such an awesome leadership and outreach opportunity for me and has given me a platform to mobilize my peers and build community surrounding my passion for sustainability. I had the privilege of serving as the Social Events chair and on the Climate Justice Committee, both of which were a perfect fit for me personally. On the Climate Justice Committee, my teammates and I were able to produce a really cool product promoting education and activism towards solving climate injustice in each of the fifty states. SLG is so welcoming and fun! No matter your knowledge or experience, I encourage you to apply for an awesome experience!

Questions? Email me at!

Aditya Jamwal (’24)

Hometown: Morrisville, NC
First-Year Res Hall: Bostwick
Major: Biology
Minor: Neuroscience

SLG has provided a way for me to meet peers who are just as passionate and excited about sustainability as I am. Through this group, we have been able to share our unique ideas on tackling sustainability issues and work together to implement them in Wake Forest and the greater Winston-Salem community. Whether it was organizing a campus-wide sustainability dorm challenge or working with local nonprofits to provide sustainability education to Winston-Salem youth, through SLG we have been able to accomplish so much more than any of us could’ve done alone. I’m excited to see the initiative that future students will bring to SLG; hopefully we will be collaborating on projects in the future!

Email me at!

Emy Yamamoto (’24)

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil
First-Year Res Hall: Johnson
Major: Psychology; Business

SLG ’24 allowed me to pursue my passion for sustainability and connect with peers with similar interests and values. Even though my year was mostly virtual, we were still able to engage in discussions about sustainability, create projects and find opportunities to get involved on campus. If you are an international student passionate about sustainability, I recommend you to not feel discouraged and apply! It is a great opportunity for you to share your own values, opinions, and experiences. I was able to learn with my peers but also share my country’s environmental issues (for example the Amazon and deforestation) and engage in educational projects about sustainability!

Please feel free to email me at!

Nick Dowling (’24)

Hometown: Wyomissing, PA
First-Year Res Hall: Collins
Major: Environmental and Sustainability Studies
Minor: Chinese; Economics

If you are interested in anything related to sustainability, this is for sure an opportunity to pursue. SLG provided me with all the tools to explore various initiatives that are already taking place on campus, as well as create new programs with my peers. Not only that, we could engage with local schools and environmental organizations to create community wide initiatives. In terms of leadership, I found myself being pushed to work alongside my peers, balancing my own ideas with the thoughts of others. There are not many other groups where you are not only taught about sustainability and leadership, but also are given the platform to engage with both of these concepts as a first-year. 

Feel free to reach out at!

Khushi Arya (‘23)

Hometown: New Delhi, India
First-Year Res Hall: Luter
Major: Communication
Minors: Entrepreneurship; Journalism

Hey, I’m so happy you’re coming to Wake (it’s my favorite place in the world)! As a member of SLG, I was able to use my leadership skills towards something meaningful. I’ve always had a passion for practicing and promoting sustainability and SLG gave me a platform to work with wonderful people who share the same energy and passion as I do. It is truly a unique opportunity that enabled me to be a leader my very first year. I would love for you to join us in making the Forest greener! As always, Go Deacs! 

Want to learn more? Email me at!

Christian Lee (‘23)

Hometown: Garner, NC
First-Year Res Hall: Angelou
Majors: Chemistry; Mathematics

Being a member of SLG allowed my college experience to be greater and more meaningful than it would have been otherwise. This group allowed me to be part of something that made a difference. SLG enabled me to meet and become friends with people of diverse experiences and backgrounds who shared my passion for sustainability and work with them to try to make a change on campus that students will carry out across the world.

I’d love to hear from you! Email me at


Gretchen Castelloe (’23)

Hometown: Oakboro, NC
First-Year Res Hall: Babcock
Major: Environmental and Sustainability Studies
Minor: Dance

Hi, I’m Gretchen and I’m so excited you’re coming to Wake (Go Deacs!). Being a part of SLG helped me discover my passion for sustainability and even decide I wanted to make it my major! Taking on a leadership role as a first-year student was awesome, and I can’t wait to see what your class will do! 

Questions? Email me at!


Jordan Bramley (‘23)

Hometown: Wilmington, NC
First-Year Res Hall: Bostwick
Major: Psychology
Minors: Environmental Studies; Philosophy

The Sustainability Leadership Group provided the perfect opportunity to continue pursuing my interests in environmental protection while also doing the necessary work of educating others of sustainable living on campus. No matter your knowledge or past experience in sustainability, please do not hesitate to apply if you are interested! Welcome to the Forest, can’t wait to see you all this fall! 

Questions? Feel free to email me at!


am Lowenhar (‘23)

Hometown: Belle Mead, NJ
First-Year Res Hall: Babcock
Majors: Biology; Chemistry

Being a member of SLG impacted my Wake Forest experience by giving me another angle to view sustainability and meet new people. Before coming to Wake and joining SLG, I knew very little about sustainability but I was very interested in it. Joining SLG taught me how to help make my whole residence hall more sustainable. Additionally, SLG’s projects helped me become closer with resident advisors and staff in my res hall. 

Happy to tell you more! Email me at


Lydia Evans (‘23)

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
First-Year Res Hall: Luter
Major: Anthropology 

Being in the first class of SLG was such a great opportunity to meet other sustainability-minded students and work together on sharing sustainability with the campus community. I am excited to meet you all and I’d be happy to tell you more about SLG! 

Questions? Feel free to email me at!

Residence Hall SLG ’24 Members
Angelou Hall Judy Assaad (Selma, AL)
Daryna Lapomarede (Orlando, FL)
Camille Murashige (Plano, TX)
Babcock Hall Spencer McKenzie (Queenstown, MD)
Mary Elizabeth Pifer (Irmo, SC)
Emy Yamamoto (São Paulo, Brazil)
Bostwick Hall Natasha Heisenberg (Mount Kisco, NY)
Aditya Jamwal (Morrisville, NC)
Erin Maxwell (Hixson, TN)
Collins Hall Maggie Cowher (Concord, NC)
Mel Donnelly (Oakwood, OH)
Nick Dowling (Wyomissing, PA)
Sevi Solares (Lighthouse Point, FL)
Johnson Hall Maddy Mayr (Dublin, OH)
Dan O’Connell (Wyckoff, NJ)
Ashlyn Segler (Marietta, GA)
Luter Hall Georgia Cowie (Palo Alto, CA)
Rebekah Lassiter (Collierville, TN)
Sofia Maldonado (Winston-Salem, NC)
Poteat/Huffman Hall Evelyn Corbett (Dillingham, AK)
Clarkson Graham (Charlotte, NC)
Khalil Gueye (Wake Forest, NC)
South Hall Alyssa Dendle (Dallas, TX)
Carolina Gonzalez Gutierrez (Star, NC)
Ty Zanders (Baton Rouge, LA)
Taylor/Efird Hall Pedro Bravo (Old Greenwich, CT)
Mia Pagnani (Washington, NC)
Ellie Weber (Bainbridge Island, WA)
Una Wilson (Winston-Salem, NC)
Residence Hall SLG ’23 Members
Angelou Hall Owen Bell (Oak Island, NC)
Madeline Boyd (Beverly, MA)
Christian Lee (Garner, NC)
Babcock Hall Karly Bruder (Hanover, MA)
Gretchen Castelloe (Oakboro, NC)
Julia Lauterbach (Columbia, SC)
Sam Lowenhar (Belle Mead, NJ)
Josie Luizzi (Brookfield, CT)
Kelly Templeton (Winston-Salem, NC)
Bostwick Hall Michaela Barrett (Cape Town, South Africa)
Jordan Bramley (Wilmington, NC)
Katie Bullock (Kansas City, MO)
Gaby de la Vega (Miami, FL)
Mac Grosscup (New York, NY)
Lainey Markman (Tampa, FL)
Sebastian Pauli (San Juan, PR)
Ben Wilcox (Greensboro, NC)
Collins Hall Lucy Owen (Columbia, SC)
Ellie Proffitt (Covington, GA)
Caroline Zack (Sewickley, PA)
Johnson Hall Sanford Miller (Westfield, NJ)
Charlotte Ramirez (Marietta, GA)
Malindi Whyte (Brookline, MA)
Luter Hall Khushi Arya (New Delhi, India)
Lydia Evans (Winston-Salem, NC)
Meredith Power (Hillsborough, CA)
South Hall Amanda Gage (Chatham, NJ)
Sarah Kirby (Bethesda, MD)
Brian Wong (Fresh Meadows, NY)

First-Years Demonstrate Sustainable Leadership

February 3rd, 2020|Comments Off on First-Years Demonstrate Sustainable Leadership

Students in first-year residence halls can participate in a self-assessment of their sustainability efforts. By: Caroline Walker ('22), Graphic Design Assistant for the Office of Sustainability. This article was originally published in the Old Gold & Black. With the issue of climate change increasingly capturing the attention of the public, more and more first-year students arrive on Wake Forest’s campus [...]