One hallmark of a Smith education is the opportunity for students to take concepts they’ve learned in the classroom and apply them in the real world. For students interested in sustainability, these experiences can include Smith’s Campus as Classroom program, on- and off-campus internships, research with a professor, projects in conjunction with one of Smith’s academic centers and even green campus jobs.
Students involved in sustainability can pursue that interest through academic centers and special programs at Smith.
With environmental sustainability an increasingly dominant issue of the time, CEEDS exists with one purpose: to graduate women who excel at integrating knowledge across disciplines in support of environmental decisions and action. The center connects students to green initiatives and academic pursuits and supports faculty who desire to deepen their understanding of salient environmental issues of today.
The Jandon Center engages faculty, students and community partners on social-change projects that tackle community-driven goals. Through experiential learning and scholarship, students build essential capacities in critical thinking while providing significant leadership on urgent, complex issues facing communities and society.
The CIEC is an intellectual hub where students receive the tools to think expansively and develop innovative solutions to pressing problems. The center hosts and facilitates a slate of programs and activities focused on creative thinking, problem solving, interdisciplinary teamwork and development of business, personal finance and entrepreneurial skills.
Julia Franchi Scarselli
The Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center helped turn my sustainable olive tree startup dream into a reality. When I visited my father in the Italian Sabina region, I noticed the prevalence of family olive oil cultivation. Frequently, these groves did not generate revenue, and an increasing number were being abandoned. In the United States, there’s a demand for organic non-GMO products and an interest in food education. I saw an opportunity and wrote a business plan in my microeconomics class for a sustainable olive oil company, Libellula, which means dragonfly in Italian.
Class of 2018
Environmental science and policy and architecture double major
Campus as Classroom
In Smith’s Campus as Classroom program, staff and faculty work to connect students with a variety of campus construction projects and initiatives. By working on these projects, students see firsthand their direct impact on the Smith community.
Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is an innovative, cooperative educational venture between Smith College and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. This school-based project helps facilitate community awareness of reef ecology and supports and encourages reef preservation. An interdisciplinary team of Smith undergraduate students serve as the teachers for the program.
Class of 2018
Astronomy and environmental science & policy double major
Praxis stipends are designed to help students pursue opportunities that expand their education but which cannot or do not pay a summer salary. These internships help students build on their academic studies, make decisions about their careers and acquire the experiences and skills desired by employers and graduate schools.
Smith students have numerous opportunities to participate in research projects related to sustainability, with faculty, staff, outside organizations and fellow students.
Through Smith’s Student Research in Departments (STRIDE) Program, high-achieving students during their first two years are teamed up with Smith faculty as paid research assistants.
Campus as Classroom
“In the summer after my sophomore year, Emma Harnisch ’18 and I spent our days surveying and sampling Paradise Pond in pursuit of a better regime of sediment management.”
“The most interdisciplinary course I've taken at Smith was the [Critical] Design Thinking Studio. Our final project was a prototype of a new waste receptacle. After, I was hired by the sustainability office to refine, rebuild and test the new design.”
Maia Erslev ’18