Meet the Student Workers

Rick BeckelRick Beckel '15
Job: Sustainability Student Worker
Who I Am: : I study Biology and am pursuing minors in Environmental Studies and Political Science. I have been interested in environmental issues all my life and am particularly interested in grassroots climate change activism, environmental policy, and conservation issues. When I'm not studying or in the Sustainability Office, I am either buried in a book, listening to music, or playing outside.
Projects: I have primarily worked on composting and bike promotion on campus during my time at the Sustainability Office. Over the summer and this past semester, I worked with Facilities to coordinate and publicize the composting rollout. On the biking front, I help run the Macalester BikeShare program with the Library, write a biking column for the Mac Weekly, and organize a winter bike storage program for students.
Goals: I hope that Macalester students are inculcated with attitudes and habits that allow them to see how their actions as consumers and citizens impact the wider world, and that they take the tenets of sustainability with them wherever they go upon graduation. In the wider sense, my dream is for future generations to have a more biocentric worldview; this is the only way we can truly hope to effectively address many of the issues we're fighting for.

Diana ChaoDiana Chao '14
Job: Sustainability Assistant
Who I Am: I am a Philosophy major and Mathematics minor from New York City.
Projects: Recyclemania and the Campus Conservation Nationals.
Goals: An understanding of how interconnected our actions are and how much we affect not only our local community, but our global one as well.

Leo KendrickLeo Kendrick '16
Job: Bikeshare Coordinator
Who I Am: I’m a sophomore Geology/Environmental Studies major from Minneapolis. My main sustainability interests include transportation (particularly biking) and food. I’m also an avid mountain biker and nordic skier.
Current projects: Winter bike storage, new bikeshare bikes, maintenance of the bikeshare fleet.
Goals: Collaboration with MacBike, increased bicycle use by Macalester students, and a more bike-friendly campus.

Maria LangholzMaria Langholz '14
Job: Sustainability Student Worker Coordinator
Who I Am: I’m a Senior Environmental Studies major, with a core in Applied Mathematics. I was born in St. Paul (and love this place dearly), but I lived on Lake Superior, in a town of 8,000, for most of my growing up. This dichotomy is quite evident in the activities I enjoy: running, cooking, wandering through downtown spaces, talking to new people, traveling (especially through Central and South America), and collecting cookbooks.
Projects: I'm currently working on establishing a framework for understanding the value of sustainability in education, and trying to integrate sustainability into the educational aspects of our Macalester experience.
Goals: Both now and in the future, I want to be a part of creating a better understanding of the benefits to living in a sustainable way. I want to eliminate the often-synonymous understandings of being environmentally friendly versus sustainability minded. I believe creating a distinction between these ideas will help to expand the appeal of sustainability. Sustainability is more than the environment- it is also a matter of being socially responsible (loving people) and economically conscious (being smart with money and saving it when you can!).

Zhe Yu LeeZhe Yu Lee - Dec. '14
Job: Sustainability Student Worker
Who I Am: I am a junior environmental studies and geography double major with specific interests in agrarian change, political ecology, political economy, postcolonial/post-structuralist geography and critical development studies. I believe that mainstream environmental discourse does not adequately attend the role of how the ideology of neoliberal capitalism has placed limits on imagining the possibilities for large-scale change.
Projects: Increasing and justifying the visibility and relevance of systemic sustainability education on the Macalester campus, coordinating the work of the Sustainability Advisory Committee, coordinating Macalester's participation at the UN Climate Change Conference.
Goals: To place myself in positions where I believe I can contribute to meaningful change.

Nola PastorNola Pastor '14
Facilities - Student Network Coordinator
Who I Am: I am a senior WGSS major and Hispanic Studies minor from Madison, Wisconsin whose academic passions include poetry, feminist theory, and sexual and relationship violence prevention. On campus, I am a co-chair of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center and a student rep to the Resources and Planning campus committee. I am also very fond of deep conversation, staying in, and tea.
Projects: I am currently wrestling with waste data, which is a bit of a challenge but oddly fun, like a puzzle. I also coordinate the Zero Waste Committee and Sustainability Student Network meetings.
Goals: While I haven't been directly involved with the activism around it, I am excited about the possibility of fossil fuel divestment. I am also a huge proponent of reducing resource use through awareness-raising. I want to see an overall culture shift, especially in more economically privileged parts of the world, towards seriously valuing natural resources; seeing the connections between our most taken-for-granted behaviors and the global environment; and acting in ways that honor our interconnection with other peoples (as well as all living things).

Annie SerraAnnie Serra '14
Job: Sustainability
Who I Am: I am a senior biology major and environmental studies and Chinese minor.
Projects: I'm currently working on updating Macalester's STARS data.
Goals: Do all I can before graduation to help Macalester be one step closer to its goals of zero waste and carbon neutrality.

Emily SylvestreEmily Sylvestre '16
Sustainability Student Worker - Communications
Who I am: I am a sophomore Environmental Studies and Geography double major from Minneapolis, MN. I am interested in land cover change and land use change as they are influenced by climate change. In my spare time I sing in the Macalester Concert Choir, read books, canoe, run, bike, backpack, and duke it out with fossil fuel companies.
Projects: I write the newsletter and help plan and publicize outreach to the macalester community.
Goals: I want Macalester to be a community leader and a laboratory of sustainability innovation. My goals for the world include acting on the climate crisis and addressing environmental inequality.

Sabrina UpadhyaySabrina Upadhyay '14
Sustainability Office Student Worker
Who I Am: Hi there! I am a senior, environmental studies major, dance and applied math minors. I grew up in Geneva, Switzerland but am half nepali and half filipino. I love to dance and enjoy traveling.
Projects: I collect data for our annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and for our Stars reports. I also plan events like film screenings and excursions that relate to Social Justice.
Goals: I would love to see Macalester become a school of zero waste and be powered by renewable energy. It would be a dream come true for it to be applied to the world.

Karen WeldonKaren Weldon '14
Food and Agriculture Coordinator
Who I Am: I’m a senior Environmental Studies major from Norman, Oklahoma who loves food! If I’m not eating curry, baking granola, or taking out the compost, chances are you’ll find me browsing cookbooks, shopping at farmers’ markets and Asian groceries, reading Michael Pollen and Julie Guthman, or advocating for a more just and sustainable food system. Aside from my great appetite for everything food, I also enjoy visiting temples in Japan, herding sheep in Mongolia, taking walks with friends, and collecting postcards.
Projects: This year, I’m working to write and implement the Real Food Campus Commitment - Macalester’s commitment to purchase 30 percent ecologically sound, fair, humane, community based food by 2020. In addition, I’m working to unify food organizations across campus through the development of Macalester’s Food Hub. I also support student food sustainability and justice projects on campus and facilitate regional food justice/sustainability collaboration amongst schools in Minnesota and the upper Midwest.
Goals: I envision Macalester as a place where all food comes from sustainable, fair, and humane sources. Solar ovens and wind power will cook our meals and power our dishwashers. Food packaging will all be reusable. Food waste will be minimal, and will be used to feed the resident pigs. Side lawns will be converted into “eat the lawn” veggie gardens, and rooftops will sprout orchards.