Leadership Fellows (ELFS)


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


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.


Some of our 2018 ELFS at their leadership retreat.

  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 yearThis 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.


2018 Projects

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. 


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. 

Snaphot of scheduled events

  • November 11th: Leadership retreat 
  • Throughout Fall and Spring Semester: REV Campus Challenge initiative
  • Throughout Fall and Spring Semester: Occasional lectures and/or workshop events
  • April 2017: Earth Month program/activity/event
  • April 20th:  ELFs Recognition Event & Professional Networking Opportunity
  • May 12th to 27th: UBReUSE move-out event