In 2016, Kerstyn Lane discovered her dream job — Engagement and Outreach Advisor with MacEwan University’s Office of Sustainability— and the role she is currently in.
But it didn’t start at MacEwan. Kerstyn has been passionate about sustainability since elementary school. She’s the type of person that seems as though they were born to make an impact, and she does it every day. Knowing that the best way to create change is to work with people and communities, Kerstyn pursued a sociology degree at the University of Alberta Augustana. Over the next four years, she was an active force in her campus community.
She became involved with the relaunch of the Augustana Earthwise student group—a University of Alberta club that gives students the opportunity to campaign for environmental issues and connect with like-minded faculty, peers and community members. She initiated a reusable mug program and had the university reduce their building temperatures during Earth Hour. It wasn’t long before she was offered a paid position with Augustana’s Learning and Beyond Office.
After graduating, Kerstyn joined the University of Alberta Students’ Union team as manager of Sustain-SU. She worked on campus projects like the bike library, campus gardens, farmers’ markets and reusable dish initiatives. Passionate about inspiring and empowering other people, Kerstyn worked with the Sustain-SU Leadership Team to help guide and support sustainability volunteers.
From there, her journey led her to MacEwan and she hit the ground running to expand MacEwan’s sustainability efforts and create opportunities for others to get involved.
When Roundhouse opened in 2018, the Office of Sustainability moved in. The shared mission to foster a community that makes the world a better place, made Roundhouse the perfect space for their small team with a huge vision.
Naturally, Kerstyn’s always on the go, championing sustainability on campus and beyond, but I (Jared Leeder, Communications Consultant at the Office of Sustainability) recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions.
What programs did you create when you first joined the Office of Sustainability?
MacEwan didn’t have a lot of sustainability programs when I started. We had the Green Impact program and had just started to develop the Urban Beekeeping Project in collaboration with Campus Services. There was a lot of relationship rebuilding to do because we had a six month hiatus between the office’s current director and her predecessor. We basically had to start from the ground up.
The Beekeeping project, which we launched in 2016, was the first really big project that I was a part of at MacEwan. That year, we also put forward a proposal to Food Services for our Fair Trade Campus and Green to Go programs. These three initiatives and being more present on campus made us more visible and accessible to the campus community.