Lindsay Randall Named as Purchase College’s First Sustainability Coordinator

Upon graduation in May of 2007, Lindsay Randall left a legacy of accomplishments that showcase her efforts to make Purchase College more environmentally conscious and green. As a student, Lindsay led an environmental awareness movement among students, administrators, faculty, and staff. Moreover, her leadership engaged the campus in action to help reduce Purchase’s footprint on the world. In her time at Purchase, she reached not only the Purchase community, but the higher education community in the Hudson Valley region. Upon arrival at Purchase College as a transfer student, Lindsay was undecided about which major to pursue. But when a new environmental studies major was introduced, Lindsay knew it was exactly what she was looking for in a career path. After graduating earlie this year, Lindsay accepted the inaugural position of Environmental Sustainability Coordinator at Purchase College.

Growing up in Oneonta, NY, in the foothills between Binghamton and Albany, Lindsay attributes her passion for the environment to her love of nature and her outdoor experiences. Having a family that was environmentally conscious fortified her beliefs and passion for protecting the environment.

And, Lindsay is no stranger to the Environmental Consortium. She served as the first Consortium intern during the Spring 2006 semester. In her time with the Consortium, she was instrumental in the organization of its first Student Summit which was held in April 2006 at SUNY New Paltz. At the Summit, Lindsay described her successful campaign to have the water heaters on the Purchase campus lowered several degrees to reduce energy consumption, and in turn save the college money - a projected $80,000 savings in one year!

This successful initiative was featured in the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Yearbook and appears in the energy section of their website. Lindsay also continued her work with the Consortium as a member of the conference planning committee and local host for Greening the Campus: Exploring Practices, Curriculum, and Management in Higher Education which was held in November 2006 at Purchase College.

At her home institution, Lindsay’s accomplishments were plentiful. She successfully petitioned Purchase College’s student government to form a new club, Purchase Environmental Activists (PEA), which was formally recognized in October 2005. Lindsay served as the president from the club's inception through her senior year. PEA held events to help raise awareness among the campus community about environmental issues, and educate the campus community about how individuals can lessen their impact on the environment. Among the educational events was Sustainable Living Week, which has become an annual event at the college, and in 2006, received pledges of support from more than 350 students! PEA handed out canvas bags that contained information on living more sustainably, including environmentally friendly products to help students become aware of choices they can make in products less harmful to the environment. Lindsay’s advice for students working to make an impact on their campus is to become an ally of facilities and maintenance staff, introduce yourself to administration, avoid dwelling on problems while focusing on solutions, and most importantly, stay positive.

As a student, Lindsay also chaired the Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC) for the 2006-07 academic year and continues as chair this year through her new position as Sustainability Coordinator. The Committee consists of a diverse group of staff, students, and faculty, and includes representatives from Academic Affairs, Facilities, and even the Library. The Committee’s greatest accomplishment this past year came when College President, Thomas Schwarz, signed the President’s Climate Commitment on April 25, 2007. According to the Commitment website, "Presidents signing the Commitment are pledging to eliminate their campuses' greenhouse gas emissions over time." President Schwarz joins over 325 other college president’s who have signed the Commitment.

Proud that the college has signed the President’s Climate Commitment, Lindsay adds, "people at the college are now taking sustainability into consideration when making decisions - and that is more valuable than any document any president can sign."

Academically, Lindsay was a solid student, as evidenced by her various commendations. Because of her outstanding academic achievements and leadership on campus, she was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in 2007. Lindsay was also the recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence two years in a row, and won the Ingram Roth Award for Natural Sciences for the 2005-06 year. Foreshadowing her future position at Purchase College, Lindsay’s senior project focused on the importance of sustainability in higher education and outlined a plan of action for sustainability at Purchase College. All of her hard work and dedication has prepared her well for the position she accepted as the college’s first Environmental Sustainability Coordinator.

The main focus of her new job will be working to implement the President’s Climate Commitment, beginning with a comprehensive energy audit of the campus. With her undergraduate college experience behind her, Lindsay is ready to dive into this pioneering role at Purchase College. Reflecting on her undergraduate career, Lindsay says, “my efforts to promote sustainability at Purchase have shown me the power of persistence, and that doing work within the environmental field doesn’t always have to be a battle. I learned a great deal in the classrooms about what needs to be done, but my experiences outside the classroom taught me that these things can be done and how to do them.”