Leadership Fellows (ELFS)- Application Open!


Ready to make Change?

Looking to leave your mark on UB's campus? From food systems, to bicyling, the 2020-2021 cohort of Change Agents will choose from one of the following projects to work on throughout the school year.  


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.

This Year's Project Ideas


A growing issue of global concern is waste, how much is generated and what is and can be done with this waste in order to divert refuse from landfills that are reaching storage capacity. The University at Buffalo has a sophisticated  recycling program in conjunction with external partners and contracts in order to appropriately handle waste products, particularly recycled materials including papers, plastics, cardboards, and glass.

The purpose of this project is to effectively apprise students, staff, and faculty of the recycling process, do’s and don’ts of recycling, and overall consumer responsibility pertaining to product consumption and waste. It is the intention of the Change Agents to spur the necessary changes at UB by targeting peers and leveraging specific opportunities to educate and engage others to recycle.

Green Area Certification.
Food Systems.

The food system is a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption. Issues concerning the food system include the governance and economics of food production, its sustainability, the degree to which we waste food, how food production affects the natural environment and the impact of food on individual and population health.

To improve nutrition, food access, sustainability, and reduce food waste; this project aims to develop a comprehensive campus garden to be run by, managed, maintained, and for students to consume. Also, campus researchers estimate approximately one quarter of the student population struggles to have consistent access to nutritional and affordable food, which this food system could improve.

At the campus level, laboratories, on average, consume five times more energy when compared to office spaces or classrooms. Laboratory equipment require energy and other resources such as water at larger quantities for longer periods of time than the typical technical equipment utilized in many other campus environments. Other supplies and products used by laboratories have inherent hazards as they may be chemical in nature or intended for one time use.

These metrics are not limited exclusively to laboratory spaces and there is opportunity for offices as well as classrooms to also green operations and resources to reduce emissions across all UB campuses. This green space certification pilot program at the University at Buffalo, SUNY is intended to provide staff, faculty, and students with the opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts of their labs, offices, and classrooms.

Other new projects involve:

  • Sustainability during COVID-19
  • Environmental Justice and Sustainability
  • Material Reuse
ELFS.2016.Retreat .

The 2016 class of Leadership Fellows having fun at their leadership training.

Program Overview

  1. Professional experience: Fellows will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working collaboratively to implement projects during Spring Semester.
  2. Leadership Training: Fellows will have an opportunity to participate in an intensive, off-campus leadership development retreat, along with the chance to network with sustainability professionals and participate in ongoing skill development by working with local, regional and national leaders.
  3. Rigorous selection: Students will work with fellow top preforming students with a strong interest in and/or experience with community engagement and an interest in developing their leadership skills.
  4. Commitment: Fellows are expected to contribute to projects during Spring Semester and to Earth Week events. Time spent as a fellow may, in some cases be used to fulfill other experiential learning requirements where appropriate. 

Some of our 2018 ELFS at their leadership retreat.

Snapshot of scheduled events

Check back soon!