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R-MC Students Present Paper at Conference
R-MC Students Present Paper at Conference
Vi Mai '12 and Katie Daisey '12 presented their paper at a conference in Indiana.
Katie Daisey ’12
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 campus.
“As part of the growing educational movement to counter climate change, students enrolled in
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 Small Planet.
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
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