Education and Leadership Fellows (ELFS) in Sustainability are a group of premier campus student leaders who are committed to educating and engaging their peers, working to cultivate a culture of sustainability at UB, and having a positive impact in our region and beyond. In doing so they will prepare themselves and their colleagues to become the next generation of globally-minded, sustainability literate leaders.
Student leaders will elevate the conversation about sustainability by developing and delivering programs and projects that engage, inspire and empower themselves and their peers to take action and live sustainably, both through their studies and long-term thinking.
Program areas for the ELFS fall into different themes or focus areas. Each area is an integral component to training students to become leaders in sustainability initiatives. Every ELFS student will need to fulfill a set of requirements that is exemplary of each of these themes.
Service or Stewardship
At the root of the environmental movement is stewardship and service. The igniting factor for getting involved with sustainability is typically an interest in taking care of the planet and one another for future generations. For the ELFS, this theme will focus on engagement both on and off campus.
Advocacy or Justice
Looking at the deeper social, economic, and racial impacts on climate change is a practice that has steadily gained more attention and study. ELFS should not only be focused on how to combat and mitigate climate change, but the people that it currently is impacting. UB Sustainability will provide the resources to the ELFS to engage with communities on the front lines in WNY, as well as communities globally.
Leadership and Change Management
The ELFS program’s main goal is to develop strong leaders that have built a broad and deep foundation of change management and sustainability. The students will develop their leadership skills through working on a project that they will complete by the end of the school year. This will entail hosting meetings, communication, group work, and taking initiative. ELFS can attend workshops through other campus departments, like Career Services, to supplement their training.
Research or Discovery
Ultimately, the University is a place for students to learn and grow academically. The ELFS initiative provides a space for students to take a deeper dive in sustainable research topics. They will be given opportunities to participate in practical and impactful work through on campus and community programs.
This year, the ELFS have formed two groups to tackle two different projects. One cohort is looking at how we communicate our sustainability initiatives on campus and how we talk about climate change to a broader audience. The second group is working on promoting clean energy education and awareness as part of our Localizing Buffalo's Renewable Energy initiative.