Vi Mai '12 and Katie Daisey '12 presented their paper at a conference in Indiana.
Randolph-Macon students Katie Daisey ’12 and Vi Nguyen Thuy
Mai ’12 presented a paper, Making the College’s Footprint Fit: First Year
Students’ Steps toward Sustainability, at the 8th Ball State University/Association
for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Greening of the
Campus Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, from September 20-23, 2009.
Based on their 2008 First-Year Experience (FYE) course, Gauging Randolph-Macon’s
Ecological Footprint: Steps Toward Environmental Sustainability, taught
by Professors Reber Dunkel, Ph.D. (sociology), and Brian Moores, Ph.D. (environmental
studies), the paper, written by the students and Dunkel, reviewed the "Yellow Jackets
Go Green!" proposal and evaluated the FYE students’ challenges and successes in
implementing the year-long campus-wide environmental conservation agenda.
On May 7, 2009, seven members of the Gauging class presented their final report,
titled "Yellow Jackets Go Green!," to the President’s Cabinet. The report reviewed
the accomplishments of the students and the college regarding the implementation
of earth-friendly technologies and policies. It also recommended several new initiatives
that R-MC could pursue to systematically reduce the environmental footprint of the
“As part of the growing educational movement to counter climate change, students
enrolled in Gauging were responsible for collecting baseline data in measuring
the campus’s footprint, comparing other college greening initiatives, conducting
research on the growth of the college and developing a survey of campus stakeholders,”
says Dunkel. “They entered the data into a carbon calculator, prepared an application
for an environmental management system program administered by the Virginia Department
of Environmental Quality, and conducted a Web-based survey of faculty, staff and
students. The paper that Daisey and Vi wrote is an evaluation of the ‘Yellow Jackets
Go Green!’ student proposal and it examines the difficulties and successes in implementing
campus-wide environmental programs.”
Over 750 conference attendees, including physical plant environmental staff, administrators,
faculty, students, Environmental Protection Agency officials, non-profit leaders,
and green-products representatives, engaged in a wide variety of panels and workshops
and listened to featured keynote speakers such as Jerome Ringo, former chief of
the National Wildlife Federation, and Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a
Daisey and Mai participated in the Student Summit hosted by AASHE and the National
Wildlife Federation. “The goal of the summit was to allow students to collaborate
on projects taking place on their campuses, to share best practices, to learn about
new and innovative initiatives, and to give students an opportunity to develop solutions
to climate change on their campuses and in their regions,” says Dunkel.
Both Mai and Daisey were extremely enthusiastic about what they learned at the conference.
Mai hopes some of the ideas she learned about can be applied to Randolph Macon.
“I think the Student Summit was an outstanding part of the conference because students
were able to talk about what they think is best for their campuses,” she says. “For
example, during a brainstorming session, I talked with other students about a ‘green
fee’—something that a lot of schools are implementing in order to finance the installation
of renewable-energy technologies and energy conservation measures.”
R-MC will join over 500 other colleges and universities, including seven Old Dominion
Athletic Conference (ODAC) schools, by participating in the RecycleMania competition
January 17 – March 27, 2010. During a ten-week period, participating schools can
report recycling and trash data, which will then be ranked in various categories.
The RecycleMania Competition is a project of the College and University Recycling
Council (CURC), which promotes increased recycling participation and waste reduction
on college campuses. Partnership support is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency’s WasteWise Program.
The students’ paper was also published and distributed to all conference participants
on thumb drives. To learn more about the conference, please visit