Where Are They Now!?
by Adam Smith - Sustainability Intern
Over the years, many interns have walked in and out of The Office of Campus Sustainability doors. These interns have made major contributions and impacts that have marked successful milestones for the Office of Campus Sustainability. We wanted to know what these interns have been up to and how the work they did as an intern has impacted their lives. Therefore, we have started the new newsletter series “Where Are They Now?”.
This month, The Office of Campus Sustainability caught up with Lance Kruse.
Lance graduated with a B.S. in Secondary Education, Integrated Mathematics (May 2015). Since his time as a Sustainability Intern he has gone on to earn an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching (Aug 2016 ) and a Ph.D. in Foundations of Education: Research and Measurement (Dec 2019) from the University of Toledo. Lance is currently a Research Scholar at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University – on the STEM Education Policy Research team.
Lance Kruse | Campus Sustainability Intern 2012 – 2015
Lance worked as a sustainability intern for Dr. Nick Hennessy (Sustainability Manager) between 2012 – 2015. At the same time, Lance was also an RA on campus. Lance recalls many memories of his time with Campus Sustainability. He began as an intern with Dr. Nick assisting with general programming. For example, he supported Friday Night Lights, Green Game Day (back then called Green Tailgating), WYMO, and other student-led initiatives.
During this time, he was also a member of a student organization called Net Impact BGSU. During his time with Net Impact, he began a petition of support to encourage BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey to sign the American Colleges & Universities President’s Climate Commitment (PCC). In total, they obtained more than 5,000 student signatures and endorsements from USG, many Greek life organizations, and every hall council on campus! During the spring semester in which he was Dr. Nick’s intern, President Mazey presented the PCC to the Board of Trustees, who in turn gave the green light for an exploratory committee to be created to determine the feasibility of signing the PCC. Subsequently, in the Fall of 2012, the PCC was signed by President Mazey, leading eventually to BGSU’S Climate Action Plan and the move towards carbon neutrality by 2040.
Lance took full advantage of his opportunity to influence and shape sustainable initiatives on BGSU’s campus. He was able to attend meetings with Dr. Nick and together they began to draft plans for moving the university even closer to carbon neutrality through more rigorous programming such as pre-consumer composting at the Oaks, the creation of the Green Office Program, and the university’s new single-stream recycling program. Lance also played a vital role in redesigning the Campus Sustainability website. Not only did Lance have a major contribution to our university’s stance on sustainability, but his sister, Brooke Mason, who was the first Sustainability Intern in the Office of Campus Sustainability, wrote the Green Fund proposal for the Oaks Green Roof!
Lance recalls, “My work with Dr. Nick was my first experience working in a professional office setting…as a first-year student, it provided me invaluable opportunities to learn how to interact professionally with administrators, faculty, and staff to work towards a common goal of improving the sustainability of the university”. Lance went on to describe how these experiences are impacted his professional work today. In addition, Lance gives Dr. Nick much credit for his current passion and purpose in life, “My work with Dr. Nick sparked a passion to live a life that makes a net positive difference in the world, which coalesced with my degree in education”.
Some of Lance’s favorite memories working with Campus Sustainability were during WYMO. Lance recalls the many laughs they had at the unique items that were donated. He spoke about the life-sized chicken costume they found! Lance enjoyed seeing how items were diverted away from the landfill and went to many non-profits to be put to good use.
Outside of school and work Lance enjoys traveling with his partner and three-year-old pup, Velma. Together they have traveled to Thailand, Spain, Greece, Mexico, and many other places around the world!
Lance left our interview by giving the advice to present and future students pursuing sustainability-related fields, “We have really important work to do in the coming years to combat climate change and we need people both on the outside demanding change, but perhaps more importantly, individuals on the inside working to make those changes when the opportunity presents itself. It is crucial that individuals learn how to make changes from within an organization so that over the years, we can continue to progress as a nation towards a more sustainable society.”
Do you have any special memories of Campus Sustainability interns? Let us know at Greenbg@bgsu.edu.