By Madeline Bertagnolli ’22
I am a graduating Senior majoring in business analytics supply chain and environmental policy. I have had the pleasure of working for the Office of Sustainability for the past two years. I first began working with the office doing research my sophomore year on the Greenhouse Gas Audit. I was then hired as a student intern my junior year to continue my research and join other projects within the Office of Sustainability, and since then, I have been promoted to Greenhouse Gas Student Specialist. Throughout the years, I have coordinated the Climate Teach-in, am a member of the Green to Gold Fund and a member of the joint Climate Action subcommittee, and completed three annual Greenhouse Gas Audits. Working on all these different projects allowed me to expand my interests within sustainability, but also gain valuable skills.
Myself (left), Josh (middle), and Zoey discussing with President Rowe the Greenhouse Gas Audit and William & Mary’s Climate Neutrality.
This was the first year for the Climate Teach-in. It was very impactful as it started the conversations on climate change, beyond climate science, and discussions on the larger role of injustice within climate change. Within my role coordinating this event, I learned more about climate justice, and specifically about the climate refugee crisis. I also was able to gain valuable skills regarding event planning and coordination.
As one of the few student representatives on the Green to Gold Fund, it gave me a voice to help decide how William & Mary funding should be allocated regarding sustainable innovations and energy efficiency. Also, as a student member on the joint Climate Action subcommittee I helped plan a joint Zoom webinar with other students on the committee. This webinar was held to talk about the W&M and UVA Climate Partnership and how students can live more sustainably on campus. This allowed the students on the subcommittee to talk about all the great work our offices are doing, while also engaging in an open conversation with students on what climate neutrality looks like on a campus. Lastly, completing the Greenhouse Gas Audit every year has taught me the skill of communicating high level climate science and reporting to a non-expert. Doing this annual report has taught me a lot about climate reporting and sustainable efforts large institutions make to reduce their climate footprint.
In addition to working for the Office of Sustainability, I have been involved in numerous other activities on and off campus. I have been a member of my sorority Chi Omega’s executive board for two years, a member of Tribethon’s executive board, and a yearlong researcher with the Institute for Integrative Conservation. However, my greatest achievement and passion has been working with the Office of Sustainability to make William & Mary more sustainable and allow me to make an impact within my community. After graduation I will be moving to New York City and working a consulting job with KPMG’s procurement and business services unit. I’m excited to begin my career and continue to grow professionally as I navigate my way towards creating sustainable solutions within the supply chain.
Cheesing after spending 3 years working with the Office of Sustainability.