When Sara Woodward ’16 left the Red Brick Wall after graduation in May, she didn’t go far. The environmental science major was recently hired as the College’s sustainability coordinator and assistant to the director of the Department of Buildings & Grounds.
“I feel truly honored to work alongside the passionate faculty and staff here,” Woodward said. “Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging as well; I definitely feel welcomed back. I’m also grateful that I get to stay and enjoy this beautiful campus and see the mountains every day.”
In her new role, Woodward’s responsibilities range from supervising each of the College’s sustainability and environmental initiatives to taking care of chickens in the Organic Garden. She was highly involved in Randolph’s sustainability efforts as a student, serving as a student representative on the College’s Sustainability Council, a member of the Environmental Club, and a tutor for multiple environmental studies courses. She received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Outstanding Environmental Studies Senior Award and the Maude Huff Fife Award for highest GPA in the senior class. She also graduated with honors in environmental science.
Woodward follows Ludovic Lemaitre ’11, Randolph’s first sustainability coordinator. Lemaitre recently took a position as a prospect recruiter in the College’ Office of Institutional Advancement.
Karin Warren, the Herzog Family Chair of Environmental Studies, said hiring Randolph graduates has many positive aspects.
“Sara is one of our own, so we know first-hand how well-prepared she is academically and what a pleasure she is to work with,” Warren said. “Sara has only been on the job for a month, and already is brimming with recommendations for updating and advancing our Sustainability Plan, improving our outreach programs, finding new ways to highlight our achievements, and much more. We’ll see great things from her, and her efforts will benefit our entire campus and help us continue to pursue the goals of a sustainable community.”
Woodward is already seeing the value of her work.
“A focus on sustainability just makes sense for Randolph,” she said. “Conserving energy and water will save us money that we can put towards scholarships or renovations. Purchasing food and materials will strengthen the community and our relationships beyond the Red Brick Wall. Randolph’s reputation as a sustainable college will no doubt draw young people seeking to create positive change.”
Woodward also plans to push personal engagement with students as well as faculty and staff. “We’ve all heard the ‘every little bit counts’ line, but in a small community like Randolph individual efforts make a significant difference,” she said. “My goal is to continuously generate interest and to establish an environment where sustainable actions are simple and fun. I also hope to help students develop the skills to become the sustainability leaders we need.”