This week’s Student Spotlight features Missouri State University graduate, Sara Longley. Students featured in the Student Spotlights show characteristics exemplified in each of Missouri State University’s three pillars: Ethical Leadership, Cultural Competence, and Community Engagement. They also exemplify what daily practices of sustainability look like. You can find these students educating, volunteering, and pushing for a more sustainable future. Please read on to see how Sara practices the three pillars, sustainability, and what it means to be a bear.
Name: Sara Longley
Hometown: Ozark, Missouri
Graduation Year: 2017
What is your favorite vegetable?
What career options are you thinking about and why?
I basically just want to save the world so if you know of any places that are hiring for that, let me know.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Sleeping is top of the list but I also love camping and hiking.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I don’t know if I could pick just one place! Europe has always been on my mind and I’ve even thought about planning a post-grad trip there. The culture and history of Europe has always seemed magical to me.
How are you involved in sustainability on campus and/or in the community?
I’m an Eco-Rep and I’m also a part of the sustainability minor which has opened my eyes to how sustainability is needed everywhere and in all parts of life. I’ve taken psychology, geography, biology and even a political science class that incorporated sustainability into the curriculum in very interesting ways. I recycle at home, have a compost bin in my yard where I compost all my food scraps, and have a vegetable garden. I try my best to be as environmentally friendly as I can and am learning new ways every day.
What motivated you to get involved?
Since I was a kid, science was my favorite subject in school. Being outside, getting dirty, and climbing trees was my idea of fun. As I got older and became aware of the facts about climate change and human impact on the planet, it scared me to think that down the road, some kids wouldn’t enjoy the outdoors the same way I did. I didn’t really know how to help until I got to college and realized I could make a difference, I just needed to step out of my comfort zone and find my place. I decided science was the best way for me to get involved and then I found the sustainability minor and then Eco-reps. Being a part of the science community at MSU has allowed me to meet other people who think like I do and who care about our planet, which makes me hopeful and excited about my future and the future of the Earth.
What advice would you give other students who want to live more sustainably?
It’s easier than you think to be sustainable. Using a reusable water bottle or coffee mug, turning off the lights in your apartment, riding your bike more. Get on the Missouri State website and learn about things we do on campus to be more sustainable and find out how you can help! We have a campus garden, solar panels, clubs and organizations to help you get involved.
What is one thing that makes you unique?
I think that just me being me is unique. Everyone has their own ideas, dreams, and thoughts and that makes each person unique.
What is your favorite quote?
“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” – Buddha
Anything else you want to share with the world?
Don’t hold back, don’t be afraid, and be yourself.