This past year, 11 undergraduate students representing 7 NC State colleges helped launch a new professional development program that advances sustainability on campus.
Campus As A Classroom fosters collaboration among students, faculty and staff through on-campus, operations-focused projects that develop innovative solutions to sustainability challenges at NC State. Each project is proposed and led by a university employee with expertise in the project topic to facilitate student learning and project success.
Host departments included Athletics, Biological Sciences, Energy Management, Grounds and Building Services, Utilities and Engineering and the University Sustainability Office. With projects ranging from quantifying savings from the electrification of landscaping equipment to boosting campus energy efficiency, students worked 6 hours per week on their projects throughout the fall and spring semesters.
The impact of Campus As A Classroom is two-fold, including the outcome of the projects as well as the professional experience gained by the students.
When asked about the impact Campus As A Classroom had on them, Tyler Inthavong noted that the program prepared him for a career after graduation by enhancing the skills he has learned in his College of Natural Resources courses.
“Communicating with professionals and learning about [campus] emissions has helped me understand the importance of my field”, said environmental sciences major Inthavong, who worked with the Sustainability Office on data collection and analysis of campus emissions.
Sustainability communications was also a key takeaway for Claire Henson, a Wilson College of Textiles undergraduate student working with NC State Athletics.
“I learned a lot about how to teach others about sustainability. I think this will help me in my future career because I want to make whatever company I work at more sustainable”, said Henson, who was instrumental in promoting a Sustainable Wolfpack game for each sport.
Campus As A Classroom interns also attend monthly meetings together to share their experiences, enhance professional development skills and make connections between the various disciplines.
Applications for the 2022-2023 Campus As A Classroom internship are now open. Learn more about the program and apply at go.ncsu.edu/cac-internships.