It has been a while since I have posted on this great site. I wanted to highlight some of the growth and professional development that the year 2019 has brought. Towards the beginning of the year, I was just finding my footing in sustainability and trying to figure out a specific niche. However, many different experiences have taught me that I can truly live in a world where I can have it all if I put in the work with due diligence. I also learned that this field of mine is all-encompassing and very intersectional which is something that I have grown to appreciate.
At the beginning of the year, I began my Vice Presidency as School of Sustainability College Council and worked with a small cohort to increase student engagement and facilitate events. We successfully executed events that accomplished our goal and even planned a trip to Arcosanti. Shortly after such success, I had the amazing opportunity to be part of a prestigious conservation cohort through the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington. I was chosen to advance the ideals of environmental justice and conservation through the lens of Power, Privilege, Identity, and Agency. This entailed us all working with diverse stakeholders and traveling through the state of Washington. Towards the end of the program, we all had to present a cultural conservation narrative which was very pivotal to my sustainable identity. https://vimeo.com/380072610
Shortly after my summer adventures, I returned to the valley for school and to become a Paraprofessional Program Coordinator for the School of Sustainability in our residential community. This unique opportunity has taught me to serve and care for university residents as well as plan events that foster strong community. Whether it has been tending to our community garden, organizing programs, or taking care of residents it has been an opportunity to advance my sustainability leadership. I also had the opportunity to lead my first Outdoors Club trip to Flagstaff, Arizona in Fall which taught me the importance of outdoor education and reciprocity to the environment.
This year I was given a multitude of support by all my friends, family, mentors, and ASU staff which inspired me to apply for a Changemaker grant. Through this unique opportunity, I will be garnering support for a green space on campus to raise awareness of the Urban Heat Island Effect. I hope to see this come to fruition so that I can motivate others to educate themselves on smaller climate change initiatives.
In the upcoming Spring semester, I will continue the diligent work in my classes, organizations, my job with Sustainability Connect, and all my personal development. 2019 has brought a multitude of blessings and opportunities. They all came about due to the support of everyone around me and my eagerness to learn, My advice to all of you in the New Year is to not limit yourself if you know your capabilities, volunteer, serve the community, find your niche, and explore yourself. Thank you 2019 for all the adventures. Here is a little video that captures some of my experiences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIpFLM3bSUw
William H. Walker VI