Hannah Olson

Thorson Hall
Major(s): Nursing


Heyyrrrrooo! My name is Hannah and I am the sustainability representative for Thorson, the dorm that looks most like Hogwarts. I am from Eagan, Minnesota, the 14th best suburb in the good ole U.S.A and if you can’t tell I’m a proud Eaganite. Although I am a nursing major, (no environmental studies concentration) I have always been a bit of a granola gal. My inspiration to be involved with Sustainabilities stems from my interest in the agricultural practices that are done in the United States. I have taken an invested interest in the various ways our food system can improve to be more ethical for animals, and sustainable to the environment. I hope to inspire people on campus to realize they have the power to create change through consumer choices and eco-friendly practices. If you ever want to find me, I’ll probably be at Skoglund running around the track or cross country course :).

Sarah Bell

Ellingson Hall
Major(s): Environmental Studies, Education

Hi, I’m Sarah, and I’m from the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri. I’m a sophomore, and my major is still undecided, though it will likely be Environmental Studies or Education. As a Sustainabilities rep this year, I’m excited to be helping with: cutting back on St. Olaf student use of disposable paper and plastic products, planning trips to local farms, and making more connections between Sustainabilities and Res life. I have been inspired by what I’ve seen so far from St. Olaf students’ commitment to sustainability, and I’m looking forward to learning more from all of you this year! I work at Makeshift Accessories, a metal shop in Northfield where accessories like rings, cuff bracelets, and belts are made from scrap metal. My work there highlights my vision for how people can live self-sufficiently by making all that they need from what they have–instead of relying on products manufactured and shipped from thousands of miles away. It is through this self-sufficient lifestyle and education of the next generation that I think we can solve the environmental challenges of our time. Last summer, I volunteered at the MO Botanical Garden, teaching kids about where their food comes from, and this past year, I was a tutor in the Northfield schools through the Reads and Counts tutoring program. When I’m not hammering copper or playing with kids in gardens, you can find me running in the St. Olaf Natural Lands, cooking in Mohn or Ellingson kitchens, or playing viola in a Gypsy jazz jam session. I love meeting new people, and am always looking for people to jam with, run with, and cook with–so come say hi if you see me!

Mari McClelland

Larson Hall
Major(s): Environmental Studies and Chemistry

Hello! I’m Mari, rep for Larson and SustainAbilities Information Developer. Besides being a hall rep, it’s my job to work with cycling information and articles on the website and connect with other sustainability related groups on campus (green groups: get at me!) I’m a Wisconsinite but was born in New Mexico and spent my gap year living in Taiwan. My interest in sustainability comes both from my belief that biodiversity and nature are inherently valuable and from a practical belief that humans can’t live well when we aren’t working well with the natural systems we’re part of. I’m especially interested in the topics of consumerism and political action, but I’m excited to see what ideas and opportunities come up as I work with the other reps and my hall this year. Beyond SustainAbilities, I’m a student of Mandarin Chinese, an avid reader of anything and everything and am trying my hand at writing as a blogger for the PoliticOle. The ideas and enthusiasm of other Oles are what inspired me to join SustainAbilities in the first place, so if you have ideas, suggestions or just want to say hi, you can stop me on campus any time!

Aly Young

Ytterboe Hall
Major(s): CIS: Sustainable Communities

Aly will be a senior this fall and is excited to bring her summer experience working in the green economy to the residents of Ytterboe! She hails from Rochester, MN and her life is one big long bike ride interrupted by periodic meals. (Only a slight exaggeration, my friends.) She also loves to garden, ferment things, play music, cook, draw, write, read, and play ALL THE INTRAMURALS. Inspirations include Cloud Cult, bean shoots wrapping around a trellis, the reson mountain sunrises, and colors that don’t have names. This year, she’s looking forward to being an on-campus leader in sustainability, harvesting at STOGROW, and embarking on epic cross-country ski adventures. She sings in Collegiate Chorale, is a leader of Fossil Free St. Olaf, and is an Ytterboe Resident Assistant.

Rachel Lee

Rand Hall
Major(s): Environmental Studies

Hello! My name is Rachel and this year I will set up camp in Rand Hall for first semester. In the spring, I will be taking off for Australia (where I am hoping to sing the song “Waltzing Matilda” nonstop)! I am an environmental studies major and my favorite place to study the environment when not at St. Olaf is at YMCA Camp du Nord where I work in the summers. Spending time in the woods of northern Minnesota helped me realize that how we currently live is causing all the places we love to change dramatically. It’s with that in mind, the fact that we will only help what we love, that I come into St. Olaf’s SustainAbilities program. I love camping and adventuring in the outdoors, carrots, games of all varieties, and mornings (before a lot of people are awake). St. Paul is my original hometown but I also have come to adopt Camp du Nord as a hometown as well. Running or rollerskiing with the nordic ski team is where I spend a lot of time on campus. I am looking forward to learning from everyone in Rand and the rest of campus this fall!

George Brand

Sustainability Rep. Coordinator
Major(s): History, Religion, American Studies, Environmental Studies, Historical Perspectives, Race and Ethnic Studies, Latino Studies, FLAC – Spanish

After growing up in “America’s Hardest Working Town” (aka Columbia, MO), I eventually moseyed north to St. Olaf after applying to 24 different colleges. In addition to my studies on campus, I’ve spent a semester reading books and hugging trees at The Oregon Extension, an interim climbing mountains and exploring caves in Arizona, and an interim wandering the streets and ruins of Italy. Some of my extracurricular activities include ROG Mentoring, TRiO Mentoring, Project Friendship, St. Olaf cycling and triathlon teams, St. Croix Hospice Volunteer, and working for Residence Life. I developed a strict respect and appreciation for nature as a child spending time stuffing my pockets with rocks during storms in order to keep myself from getting swept away by gusty winds. I’m honored and excited to experiment with new ideas and activities with SustainAbilities this year and am also looking forward to embarrassing my brother and protégé Samuel Sidney Brand as much as possible during his first year at St. Olaf.

Amy Waananen

Rand Hall
Major(s): Biology, Biomat

Growing up in a suburb of Minneapolis, my family always recycled and turned off the lights when we left a room. I always thought I was living a pretty environmentally friendly lifestyle. For me, coming to St. Olaf has been eye-opening as the people I meet and things I learn continually urge me to take a closer look at the choices I make and reevaluate how big my environmental footprint is. I know that I have a long way to go and a lot more to learn about what it really means to be environmentally conscious, but I believe that by engaging each other in conversation, we can all take steps to holding ourselves accountable for the choices we make. This fall I will continue to expand my perspective on being a responsible citizen of the world as I go on the Biology in South Asia trip. When I come back, I look forward to hearing new ideas and thoughts on what it means to live sustainably.

Ingrid Garfelt Paulsen

Larson Hall
Major(s): Biology

Hi my name is Ingrid. I’m a student from Norway, studying Biology and Environmental Science at St. Olaf College. I’m passionate about the environment and want to study arctic climate science or ecology when I graduate next year. I was in India last semester, and will be the new rep for Larson hall in the spring. This semester, I live with some really awesome people in the Green House behind Hilleboe. We always have some fun, “sustainable” activities going on, so you should check our Facebook page for updates! My two biggest interests are traveling and the outdoors. I have studied in four continents – Australia, India, Norway and USA. I love any activity that involves being outside, including hiking, biking, skiing, swimming and horseback-riding. A fun fact about me? I hate pickles!

Andrew Wyffels

Mellby Hall
Major(s): Music, Chemistry

Hi, all! My name is Andrew. I am from Plymouth, MN, a western suburb of Minneapolis. I have always loved caring for plants (vegetables, turf grass, trees, etc.) having grown up on and taken care of a large yard. With climate change seemingly at an all-time high given the terrible drought in the Midwest last year and then a very late winter, I feel obligated to do whatever it takes to fight it. To the best of my ability, I have made practical changes in my life by using less energy (more efficient appliances and light bulbs) and using water as efficiently as possible. Following my love of taking care of plants, each summer, I install sustainable irrigation systems—systems similar to a traditional irrigation system, but with water-efficient large-area sprinkler heads, precision drip irrigation in landscaping, and state-of-the-art seasonal adjustment and rain sensing technology for maximum water conservation. I have been inspired here at St. Olaf by how many students understand the importance of holistic recycling, eliminating food waste, and using energy and water as efficiently as possible—I’ll try my best to help make that ALL St. Olaf students by the end of this year. I have several specific goals for our campus this academic year: reinstating the residence hall composting program, working with the Pause to serve pizza in reusable (Styrofoam) pizza boxes, and educating students as to exactly which materials are and are not recyclable. If I’m not in Christiansen practicing cello, in a music theory/history class, or in an Ole Orch rehearsal, you’ll likely find me in Regents in an orgo class/lab.

Kelly Aranchia Meza Prado

Mohn Hall
Major(s): Economics and Environmental Studies

Hola! I am Kelly and I am a sophomore. Being from the highlands of Peru, my exposure to wild environments happened since very early in my life in the forms of hiking and rappelling trips.Yet, it was not until I hit the Canadian west coast for boarding school, that I started recognizing my interest in environmental matters. The ocean’s force played on me and for a moment I thought I would become some sort of marine scientist. However, in my gap year, working with indigenous people and Bolivian communities I understood that it was not nature itself that I wanted to pursue my career on, but the connection of men and nature. Thus, environmental justice is what I have so far as a professional goal. If anything above interests you, feel free to approach me wherever you see me!

Serina Robinson

Hoyme Hall
Major(s): Norwegian, Chemistry  |  Concentration(s): Biomath

Hi! My name is Serina and I am the sustainability representative for Hoyme, the most happening freshmen hall on campus. I grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota surrounded by, but never actually understanding the commercial farming system basically defines our state. After completing a sustainable farming and forestry internship in Norway last summer, I have barely grazed the surface of understanding our complex food system and the power we, even as college students, have as consumers. I’m very excited to organize events and activities next year, especially focused on how individual choices can contribute to widespread changes. You’ll probably see me running year-round around campus on the cross country and track teams!

Katie Myhre

Hilleboe/Kittelsby Hall
Major(s): Environmental Studies, Biology

Hei hei! I’m the Sustainabilities Events Coordinator for 2013-2014, so you’ll find me wherever the people are. I grew up living on a lake in rural Northern Minnesota, in a town without stoplights and with more deer than people. As I moved to the “big city” of Northfield and found myself myself surrounded by so many people at St. Olaf who are so conscious of the impact of their everyday actions, I realized I had a lot to learn about sustainability. During my freshman year, I became more aware of the problems that go along with many of the agricultural practices around our nation, and it inspired me to want to take an active role in changing them. I love food far too much to let it travel on a truck halfway across the country or let the chemicals ruin the fresh taste! As an aspiring farmer, I am excited to join the SustainAbilities team this year and come up with new ways to change our behaviors for ourselves, our neighbors, and most importantly, our planet. When I’m not making the best paninis on campus or monopolizing the study rooms of Rolvaag, you can probably find me getting coffee and doing yoga in downtown Northfield.

Zoey Slater

Marketing StrategistMajor(s): English, American Studies  |  Concentration(s): Media Studiees

Hey! My name is Zoey Slater, and I’m a senior studying English, American studies, and media studies. I spent my childhood in Minneapolis, splitting my time between the tree-lined neighborhoods and lakes and the bustling city center. When I moved farther north for high school, I fell in love with Minnesota’s natural spaces. Working with Jim Farrell during the summer of 2013, I realized the connection between environmentalism and issues I am already passionate about. I will be working to help market SustainAbilities this year, so look for me on Facebook or blog posts!