Our Sustainability Scholars have varying interests, majors and class years.

Each is placed with a private, public, or nonprofit community institution to focus on a discrete project during the summer, and we also meet as a group to discuss how individuals and institutions can move the needle at the community-scale on environmental issues, with a particular emphasis on climate change.

Learning Objectives

Through hands-on experience and dynamic group discussion, sustainability scholars gain unique knowledge and insight as well as applicable skills, including the following.

  • Urgency and agency to make positive change for the environment
  • Familiarity with systems thinking and several sustainability-related examples
  • Knowledge of key climate change drivers, impacts, and policies
  • Knowledge of Charlotte-area sustainability challenges, opportunities, and champions
  • First-hand experience with alternative transportation modes
  • Proficiency in specific tool(s) for measuring and/or engaging sustainability
  • Ability to identify advantages and barriers to community-scale sustainability action from the perspectives of individuals, private-sector, public-sector and nonprofit organizations

2023 Sustainability Scholars

Sydney Kellgren

Sydney Kellgren


Jayden Smith

Jayden Smith

Catawba Riverkeeper

Owen Lekki

Owen Lekki

City of Charlotte

Rani Greer

Rani Greer

Catawba Nation

Courtney Fortunato

Courtney Fortunato

BikeWalk NC

Kate Lemire

Kate Lemire

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Sebastian Provencio

Sebastian Provencio

Town of Davidson

Lyric Bailey

Lyric Bailey

Sustain Charlotte

Maddie Plank

Maddie Plank


Past Sustainability Scholars

2022 Scholars

  • Ella Williams, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

  • Claudia Craig, Davidson College Farm

  • Amanda Creek, City of Charlotte

  • Daisy Hoover, Sustain Charlotte

  • Charlotte Joseph, Crescent Communities

  • Gabriela Nahm, Carolina Raptor Center

  • Katieanne Peterson, Harper General Contractors

  • Bailey Scarlett, CleanAIRE NC

  • Alexandra Williamson, Summit Coffee

2021 Scholars

  • Ty Cryan, Carolina Raptor Center

  • Mira Gladstone, The Bulb

  • Emily Kaminsky, Town of Davidson

  • Beatrice Levy, Crescent Communities

  • Kate Pottle, Sustain Charlotte

  • Kat Soltany, CleanAIRE NC

  • Caroline Wachino, Boomerang Water

  • Hattie Rodriguez, Carolina Raptor Center

2020 Scholars

  • Claire Brantley, CleanAIRE NC

  • Chris Chao, Trees Charlotte

  • Corey Cochran, Everblue Training

  • Kelly Fitzgerald, BikeWalk NC

  • Raul Galvan, Sustain Charlotte

  • Will Soutendijk, City of Charlotte

  • Paul Stouffer, Carolina Raptor Center

  • Bryan Tran, Carolina Raptor Center

  • Kendall Weinfeld, Livable Meck