TU partners with NWF program to advance the next generation of conservation and sustainability leaders.
When you usually see Towson University graduate student Daniela Beall around campus, she’s more than likely involved with a project that helps the environment.
Beall graduated from TU in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and studies. During her time at TU, Beall partnered with the Office of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility to start both the Eco-Reps and Students-4-Sustainability programs.
Last fall, Beall, now a graduate assistant for the environmental initiatives department and earning an MBA, attended a conference about sustainability. That’s where she was first introduced to the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) EcoLeaders Program.
It is a free program that provides access to tools and resources for environmental project and career planning and integrating sustainability into the curriculum. The program also offers project-based certification for students and young professionals who demonstrate their sustainability leadership, which can be shared on resumes and with prospective employers.
Towson University was one of the first colleges to join the NWF as a EcoLeaders Campus Partner, along with George Mason University and Daemon College.
Through her experiences as an undergraduate, Beall knew that TU would be a perfect campus partner for the NWF’s EcoLeader Program.
“What attracted me to it was that a lot of our environmental science students and eco-reps are really passionate about the environment and have these big bold ideas,” Beall said. “But the problem is they don’t have the skills or tools to implement them. The NWF’s EcoLeaders platform has that project management template.
“It shows and guides students through the process for actually implementing a successful campaign.”
Along with joining this new venture, Environmental Initiatives has provided Towson University students and organizations different tools and programs to help them play an active role in developing plans to make TU a “green” campus.
These programs include the Eco-Reps program, the Retreat for Environmental Action, celebrating Sustainability Month and hosting the campus’ annual Environmental Conference.
“There are so many resources at our disposal to help our students better understand their role,” said Luis Sierra, assistant director for the Office of Civic Engagement who also oversees Environmental Initiatives. “What they are doing outside of the classroom, especially when it comes to the things they care about, are things that are truly going to define how they go throughout the rest of their lives, both professionally and personally.
This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: Strategic Plan Alignment