campus news

Colby-Sawyer Student Chosen for Environmental

Leadership Position with Green Corps

NEW LONDON, N.H., Feb. 8, 2007 — Stephanie Seavy, a senior in the Community and Environmental Studies Program at Colby-Sawyer College, has been selected to participate in the Green Corps' Environmental Leadership Training Program. Seavy, of Simsbury, Conn., is one of the nation's top student leaders chosen for a one-year paid position with this environmental training and advocacy organization.

Green Corps, a non-profit program affiliated with environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, trains recent college graduates for careers in environmental leadership and advocacy. The program includes intensive classroom training, field experience in running environmental and public health campaigns, and for some participants, placement in permanent leadership positions with leading environmental groups.

“What I really want to do is make change—social justice and environmental change that will better the world,” said Seavy. “This is the kind of program where I can learn the skills and acquire the knowledge I need to be that kind of leader.”

John Callewaert, director of the Institute for Community and Environment at Colby-Sawyer, expressed pride in Seavy's accomplishments.

“I'm very proud of Stephanie's decision to apply for this opportunity and that she was selected from such a large pool of applicants,” Callewaert said. “Stephanie is deeply passionate about environmental issues and this experience will only increase the impact of her activism and advocacy work.”

To compete for 20 to 25 positions with Green Corps, Seavy and more than a 1,000 other college students participated in two days of interviews and public speaking, as well as submitted essays about their strong interests in environmental issues.

Seavy's educational background and direct experience in addressing environmental issues may have given her an edge over the competition. For example, she and eight other Colby-Sawyer students are now engaged in a yearlong project called “GreenROUTES” which seeks to raise awareness in the college community about environmental issues and create a plan to move toward campus sustainability at Colby-Sawyer.

Specifically, the students hope to work with the college community to reduce Colby-Sawyer's environmental impacts by minimizing waste on campus, reducing campus demands for electricity and paper products and improving the quality and efficiency of campus buildings.

“It's such a valuable experience to see how change is made through event organizing and working together,” said Seavy. “GreenROUTES is a multi-dimensional project that will need to involve every person on campus. We really want to empower students to be agents of change and use GreenROUTES as an example of how students can change an institution.”

In summer 2006, Seavy participated in “Change It,” a selective program for college students sponsored by Greenpeace. She and other students spent a week in Washington, D.C., working on “Project Hot Seat,” in which they sought to win champions in Congress in the fight against global warming.

At the end of the project, the 130 student participants formed a big arrow pointing at the Capital building as a way of indicating that Congress needs to be working on climate change, according to Seavy. The students then hand-delivered photos of the arrow and letters to the offices of senators from our own states.

“It was really exciting to be in Congress,” she said. “The experience helped us learn all the components of starting an environmental project at our own schools, which has helped me in the GreenROUTES project.”

Seavy sees the threat of global climate change as the defining challenge of her generation. “Some people think it's too big of a problem, but if everyone cares and gets involved, we can make a difference.”

Seavy's position with Green Corps begins in August 2007 with three weeks of classroom training at the organization's Boston location. Then she and the other leaders will run environmental projects for six to eight weeks at a time with environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. Over the year, Seavy will work on many different projects and hopes to gain the project management and leadership skills that she will need in her career.

Seavy attributes her early successes to her education and professional experience at Colby-Sawyer. Her professors in the Natural Sciences Department and Community and Environmental Studies Program helped her discover her passion for environmental issues. She also credits staff members at the Harrington Center for Experiential Learning for Career Development who helped prepare her for her application to Green Corps.

“Kathy Taylor and LuAnn Ryall at the Harringon Center provided me with so much support,” Seavy said. “I would never have walked in so confident and well prepared for my interviews without all their support.”

To learn more about Community and Environmental Studies at Colby-Sawyer, visit the program's web site. Visit to find out more about the organization's programs for environmental leadership.