This week’s Student Spotlight features Missouri State University junior, Rachel Walden. 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 Rachel practices the three pillars, sustainability, and what it means to be a bear.
Name: Rachel Walden
Hometown: Salem, Missouri
Graduation Year: 2019
Major: Administrative Management
What is your favorite vegetable?
What career options are you thinking about and why?
I have always been interested in the business world and after coming to college, I chose management so that I would be able to work directly with people. It’s important to me that a company’s goals and values align with my own so that will be a priority as I start to look for my first full-time job.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Travel anywhere and everywhere! Every four-day weekend tempts me to visit a new city. When my college-student budget doesn’t allow for travel, I love to watch some Netflix with Frank, my cat.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I would love to visit Thailand to experience their food, beaches, culture, and history.
How are you involved in sustainability on campus and/or in the community?
I served as the Sustainability Coordinator for a professional organization at my first college where I coordinated projects with the campus garden.
After transferring to MSU, I was told about a position with the Campus Garden through the Office of Sustainability. Since October, I have worked as an Assistant Manager for our Garden working on the business side of things. Recently, I worked with the Office of Publications to create new promotional materials for the garden to help increase students’ awareness and involvement with the Garden.
What motivated you to get involved?
Being from a small town in rural Missouri, I grew up playing outside and helping my mom in our garden. I love getting away from my phone and laptop to spend time outside and to continue learning about how food gets to my plate.
What advice would you give other students who want to live more sustainably?
Start somewhere! There’s lots of little steps that you or your organization can do to be more sustainable. For example, purchasing water coolers for events rather than buying cases of bottled water or using real silverware instead of disposable plastic. Usually you can save money in the long run and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
What is one thing that makes you unique?
The other students who work for the Campus Garden are Plant Science or Biology majors so it’s fun to be the only business major. I bring different skills and ideas from my major to our projects, but when they start talking about the crop calendar or what type of bug might be attacking a plant… Well, that’s when I listen and learn!
What is your favorite quote?
This is one of my favorite Chinese proverbs which roughly translates to “Love is not about possession, it’s about appreciation.”
Anything else you want to share with the world?
Go STL Cardinals!