Archive by Author

Exploring the Intersection of Environmental Justice and Engineering

8 Mar
EIgwe

Eleanor Igwe (’17) jots down potential project ideas during a rapid brainstorming session.

Over the past 5 months, CEEDS intern Brittany Bennett ’16 worked together with Athena Sofides ’19 to plan and carry out the Northeast Regional Conference of the Engineers for a Sustainable World at Smith College. Building upon Smith’s reputation as a place to explore all kinds of issues related to feminism and social justice, the two decided to organize the conference around the theme “Environmental Justice and Engineering”.

Pitches

Students give their 30 second pitches for their project ideas.

Over 45 students were excited to attend the Saturday, February 20th conference. In addition to Smith, the student attendees represented chapters from the University of Rhode Island, Union College, the Stevens Institute of Technology, and UMass Lowell. Participants had the chance to sharpen their spatial analysis skills through a hands on workshop in GQIS, gain insight into the world of sustainable transportation, get an introduction to radical, intersectional climate justice, and explore the many ways engineers can apply solutions to issues in the developing world.

Carbon

Laura Lilienkamp (’18) and alum Maya Kutz (’15) act out an activity demonstrating carbon emissions from industrialization.

-Brittany Bennett ’16 is a senior engineering major at Smith. In addition to her acadmic studies in the Picker Engineering Program, she is also the Senior Adviser to the Smith chapter of the Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), and the Deputy Director of the national ESW organization.

Student Spotlight: Julia Graham ’16

14 Dec

Julia Graham ’16 has a lot going on. She is an environmental science and policy (ES&P) major, a sustainable food concentrator, and potentially a Latin American studies minor. Graham is interested in how indigenous cultures and the environment in Latin America have been impacted by colonialism.

When JGraham.jpgshe transferred to Smith from Warren Wilson College her sophomore year, she decided to change directions, and instead of continuing to focus on Latin American studies, she jumped with two feet into ES&P. This jump was guided by Graham’s experiences during her year off, when she worked on two farms, including one associated with the Heifer International Program.

Julia Graham has undertaken a range of environmental work during her time at Smith. Her sustainable food capstone course has her scoping out the potential for a biogas reactor at Smith. Her special studies with professor Bob Newton (geosciences) involves exploring the relationship between vegetation, environmental history, and geochemistry. Graham even used to coordinate the House Eco Reps. She currently works as a MacLeish intern at CEEDS and as an intern for ES&P.

As part of fulfilling her sustainable food concentration requirements Graham went to Ecuador to work in a permaculture biosphere with Third Millennium Alliance. Since then she has earned a permaculture design certificate and even designed a permaculture garden in her parent’s backyard.

After Smith, Graham would like to work with a trail crew. She built trails in Alaska and the Colorado Rockies during her junior and senior years of high school, and she would love to continue the work after college. Ultimately, she would like to wind up in environmental education.

The one piece of wisdom Graham would like to pass on is how important it is while you are a student at Smith to realize that there is life beyond the Smith campus. Take a step back from academics, get off campus, see what is happening in the rest of the world.

– Brittany Bennett is a senior Engineering Science major and hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She hopes to educate engineers on how to best create a more sustainable world.

Cider Pressing with CEEDS

2 Nov

Over Family Weekend this year students and their families gathered outside the Campus Center to celebrate Fall with CEEDS faculty, staff and student interns by pressing cider, tasting apples, eating freshly made cider donuts and sampling cheese. Attendees got to press their own fresh cider the old fashioned way via hand-cranked cider presses. More apples were consumed at the heirloom apple tasting table where seven very different local apple varieties were available for tasting. Dining Services partnered with us to offer some tasty aged local cheeses to pair with the apples.

Click through the gallery to see some photos from the event.

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– Brittany Bennett is a senior Engineering Science major hailing from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She hopes to educate engineers on how to best create a more sustainable world.