Lauren Newman, an environment and sustainability major, chemistry minor from Washington, DC first became a Sustainability Fellow her sophomore year. Back then, the office was much smaller and the Fellows program was a lot different, but she didn’t let that hinder her from pushing for the revival of the Environmental Residents (ER) program from day one. When Lauren started as a freshman at Sewanee, there were some students who were trying to get the ERs back in dorms, but they were seniors and the flame quickly extinguished for them as the pressure of comps, graduate school admittances, and job applications loomed over their heads. So, naturally, once they graduated, she took up the challenge as the lone wolf.
Lauren decided to approach the ER program through the lens of waste diversion. She connected with Facilities Management, which was then called PPS, and learned more about Sewanee’s waste stream. She also reached out to Carolyn about the University Farm’s new composting projects. At the end of the year Lauren thought she was ready to launch a pilot version of the ER program, but several obstacles prevented its success. At first she was discouraged, but it forced her to go back to the drawing board to reenvision a better, stronger Environmental Residents program.
With full backing from Residential Life and Facilities Management Lauren has full confidence in the potential of the ER program to thrive this year and continue even after her graduation in the spring. As Head Environmental Resident, Lauren works with 11 ERs educating the student body through fun and interactive events throughout the school year.