Our Fall 2020 Sustainability Communications student assistant, Marian Mejia, graduated in December with a BA in Geography, Environment, and Planning. Couldn't let her get away without shining the spotlight on her and finding out about her hopes, goals, and what she enjoyed about her time at SSU.
How has your time with SSU changed/shaped your ideas regarding Sustainability?
SSU provided me with a welcoming and unique environment to explore my ideas on sustainability, and people's relationship to the natural world. Through my lived experiences and experience at SSU--whether it was researching in our preserves, convening in the campus garden, hosting sustainability club meetings, or just having discussions with my peers and faculty-- I've been able to expand my understanding of sustainability beyond what may be initially taught.
What would you like to see SSU do more of in relation to Sustainability?
I think I would like to see SSU lead more conversations and efforts with students surrounding the intersections, and importance, of social and environmental sustainability. I think our campus is also in a good place to continuously strengthen our sustainable food system, promote food sovereignty, and collaborate with our North Bay community on any related sustainable food developments or projects. Additionally looking forward to witnessing the rest of SSU's journey to becoming carbon neutral, and the lasting impacts it'll have on the entire campus!
What has been a highlight of your time at SSU?
Becoming a Face of SSU in 2019 and being president for Students for Sustainability Club for almost three years!
What great things do you hope to do next?
I'm hoping to continue my exploration and share ideas on socio environmental relationships, and pursue work that involves the development of equitable and regenerative spaces. I also hope to work within environmental and/or outdoor education for low-income and minoritized youth.
Who are the professors/people on campus that you want to acknowledge?
Most definitely my advisor and professor Jeff Baldwin in the Geography, Environment, and Planning department, and Libia Marquesa-Castro in Associated Students. And of course, all my friends!
What's one thing you would like to tell someone starting in their college career?
It'll be challenging, and perhaps more difficult depending on who you are. But, be open to finding community and lean on them when you need it; trust in yourself and your capabilities--you deserve the opportunity at higher education.
What is your hope for 2021 and beyond? What is up for you next?
I'm hoping that in 2021 we can all process, heal, and learn from what 2020 gave us and use those lessons for long term community-wide prosperity. Since just graduating, I'm on the lookout for a first post-grad job, but I'll also be taking some time for myself to rest, delve into some art hobbies, and continue my position as a council member for the non-profit, Earth Guardians.
Marian is to be commended for her dedication and work to assist Sustainable SSU this past semester. Our gratitude for the work she has done, and contributions she has made to Sustatinable SSU are vast. She helped us clean up our social media accounts, has provided recommedations for improvements to our webpages, created legacy notes for our next, to be hired, student to follow, has actively participated in the President's Sustainability Advisory Council (PSAC) and the Communication, Strategy and Advancement Working Group of PSAC. Her suggestions, enthusiasm and diligence have only helped to improve our group.
Best of luck to Marian and we look forward to seeing what you accomplish next!