Nearly 300 students worked on CSF projects or with the CSF Office last year! In the interest of highlighting these committed students, each month we will be interviewing select CSF project leads, volunteers, alumni, staff and committee members.
Kayla Schick, Alumni
UW Graduation Year: 2015
Education: Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a Certificate in Environmental Management, B.A. Environmental Policy, B.A. Political Science
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Hiking and gardening
Former CSF Position: CSF Committee Chair
What inspired you to get involved with the CSF?
I wanted to be involved with the CSF because being around creative student ideas is one of the biggest learning opportunities you can have outside of your classes. You can learn so much about sustainability and the different projects and tools out there for addressing environmental problems and can begin to see how there is a sustainability component within everything.
I first learned about the CSF when I was an undergraduate at the University of Colorado; I had been very involved with the CU environmental center where students could help with sustainability planning, programs, and the Sustainable CU Grant Fund, which funded student projects with student money. As part of the Sustainable CU grant review committee, I worked on doing some benchmarking of other college sustainability funds throughout the country to see what we could be doing better; one of the programs I researched was the CSF and since I was starting grad school at the UW the next year—I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.
As soon as I got to the UW to start my Masters, I was determined to track down the CSF and learn how I could get involved. I ended up talking with the CSF Outreach Coordinator and learned about being a part of the Committee. I became a representative for the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) and spent an awesome two years as part of the CSF Committee!
How did the CSF help you get to where you are now?
My last job was with King County where I worked on the Rainwise Rebate program for rain gardens and cisterns. My involvement with the CSF had already given me an understating about what rain gardens were, because we had reviewed student proposals about bioswales, rain barrels, and water filtering, so this it was a helpful background to have when starting my new job.
Because of my experience from the CSF with managing and reviewing grant funds, I also started working on a couple grant programs that King County had. A big project popped up in our division, which required developing a new $1 million a year grant program and since I had a background working on grants, I was one of the people who was selected to lead the development of that program. Helping build this new program from the ground up was a huge career opportunity for me. We had to develop rules and criteria for it, create application materials, think about what questions to ask, and how the projects would be vetted. There were times where I would pull from CSF application materials, reflect on what was really valuable in reviewing CSF projects, and how we could incorporate those lessons into this new program. There was so much I learned from the CSF that gave me valuable examples of things that worked well and I was able to use that in developing the new program.
jo Blake, Project Lead
UW Graduation Year: 2017
Major: MFA Dance Program
Hometown: Everywhere and nowhere
CSF Project: Ballo Conservatio, meaning Dance Conservation.
What inspired you to get involved with the Campus Sustainability Fund?
I have worked with Steve Korn, the photographer, in the past and I thought the CSF would be a perfect opportunity for us to create a conversation about campus sustainability with the dancers from the dance program. The images that you see in our project deal with and offer ideas about our over-indulgence with natural resources.
What is something that you have learned going through this process?
With the help of a village dreams can become a reality.
Explain the ideas behind your images.
We have overindulged with the plastic and the paper and cardboard boxes and compost. In the image titled “Debris,” you will see that the twins, Patrick and Kirby McDermot, our models, are contained within the debris. It shows that we are a piece of this, we have all added to it and the only way to get out of this is to put a hold on it. “Erosion” is this idea again, that because we have over-indulged in our water resources what we are left with is barren lands. Barren trees and soil that cannot take care of any vegetation that we need to survive. “Plastic” is us caught up in the plastic that we have created. This idea that we are trying to get out of our own mess and madness and what has happened is that the plastic is confining.
What message do you hope to convey in your work?
We were able to start this conversation with one another and really talk about what is sustainable. Why are we doing this? How can we keep this going? I think this is also a great way for this project to keep growing and growing and intensifying and seeing where Ball Conservatio can go. I’m really excited and proud and thankful for this project.
What is a challenge or reward you have experienced in implementing your project?
Time is ALWAYS a challenge, and time it ALWAYS the reward. NOW is that time to realize our difficult challenges and faults so that we can create change.
Raye Evrard, Project Lead
Major: School of Marine & Environmental Affairs, Shellfish Aquaculture Specialty
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Hiking!
Dream job: Own a Shellfish Business
CSF Project: Engaging Students and Public in Marine Conservation Through Sustainable Shellfish Aquaculture
What inspired you to get involved with the CSF?
Washington has a large shellfish industry. I really wanted to go to the University of Washington to further explore this industry. And the School of Marine & Environmental Affairs does a lot of regulatory education - there’s a lot of permitting. It’s a place to learn about people that are more involved in this industry.
How did you hear about the CSF?
They are funding the project I’m currently in. Dan Guillen, he started the UW shellfish farm and applied for all the funding in order to hire me as their researcher. I have been a researcher for about a year and a half.
Piece of advice for students interested in CSF?
Get involved as soon as you can in CSF activities. Because that’s the best way to get your project out there and get students interested and involved and participate in a sustainable project!
My greatest challenge has been physically figuring out where to get started on this project because we just started with an idea. Who to talk to? Where to go? How to get more people interested from the school in this project? It’s such a large scale. The greatest reward was when I participated in the UW Sustainability Fair this past fall and got to showcase the shellfish farm and see the amount of interest from undergraduate students. The amount of people interested was amazing and it was a great opportunity to teach people about aquaculture. Overall, it was very rewarding.