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  • Sustainability scholars meet in a classroom

    In addition to their partnerships with local organizations, the scholars meet as a group to discuss community-scale environmental issues.

Sustainability Scholars

Our Sustainability Scholars have varying interests, majors and class years. Each is placed with a private, public, or nonprofit community institution to focus on a discrete project during the summer, and we also meet as a group to discuss how individuals and institutions can move the needle at the community-scale on environmental issues, with a particular emphasis on climate change.

2017 Sustainability Scholars

Maria Bravo outside headshot

Maria Bravo '18
Major: Political Science

Sustainability partner: Mecklenburg County's Livable Meck initiative, dedicated to bringing people together to enhance the quality of life in community.

Shelby Cline outside headshot

Shelby Cline '20
Major: Environmental Science

Sustainability partner: Friendship Gardens, a mobile market and community network of backyard gardens whose harvests benefit Friendship Trays, providing more than 750 meals a day to members of the community who have limited access to healthy food.

David Dameron outside headshot

David Dameron '19
Major: Political Science / Environmental Science

Sustainability partner: Trees Charlotte, a public/private nonprofit collaboration to grow and diversify Charlotte's urban forest and promote tree stewardship and education.

Christine Diaz outside headshot

Christine Diaz '19
Major: Environments Science

Sustainability partner: Sustain Charlotte, a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte's sustainability challenges.

Bess McLawhorn outside headshot

Bess McLawhorn '19
Major: Environmental Science

Sustainability partner: Mecklenburg County's Sustainability Office, working to ensure the county offices operate in a manner that conserves and protects our air, water and land resources and become a model of environmental stewardship for local governments, business and industry in our region.

Rosalia Polanco outside headshot

Rosalia Polanco '18
Major: Environmental Science

Sustainability partner: Carolinas Healthcare System, a nonprofit hospital network which operates hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, urgent care centers, and medical practices in North and South Carolina.

Willian Stiefel outside headshot

William Stiefel '20
Major: undecided

Sustainability partner: City of Charlotte

Coraline Xu outside headshot

Coraline Xu '19
Major: Environmental Science

Sustainability partner: Clean Air Carolina, a nonprofit championing a statewide initiative to raise North Carolina's air quality to exceed that of scientific recommendations.

Tina Yuan outside headshot

Tina Yuan '18
Major: Physics

Sustainability partner: Jones Lang LaSalle, a financial and professional services firm that specializes in commercial real estate services and investment management.

Elizabeth Millar outside headshot

Elizabeth Millar '19
Major: Economics / Hispanic Studies

Sustainability partner: Davidson Office of Sustainability, that works to strategically bridge and guide the efforts of students, faculty, staff, and the greater community towards collective, significant impact.

Learning Objectives

Through hands-on experience and dynamic group discussion, sustainability scholars gain unique knowledge and insight as well as applicable skills, including the following.

  • Urgency and agency to make positive change for the environment
  • Familiarity with systems thinking and several sustainability-related examples
  • Knowledge of key climate change drivers, impacts, and policies
  • Knowledge of Charlotte-area sustainability challenges, opportunities, and champions
  • First-hand experience with alternative transportation modes
  • Proficiency in specific tool(s) for measuring and/or engaging sustainability
  • Ability to identify advantages and barriers to community-scale sustainability action from the perspectives of individuals, private-sector, public-sector and nonprofit organizations