Mapping a future in sustainability


Alyssa Pull

When Alyssa Pull noticed a job posting for a work-study position in the Radford University Sustainability Office, she knew it was for her.

"There were other job postings, but this one really seemed to fit me," said the senior from Purcellville.

Growing up in a family where sustainability is the norm – "I've never lived without recycling," she said – Pull now works to promote RU's sustainability efforts through student education and outreach.

"It's definitely an ongoing mission for us in the Sustainability Office. It's a lifestyle we like to promote, and it's important for people to understand how they impact the environment," Pull said. "It's a good goal for the campus to come together to work toward better sustainability goals."

To make it simpler for the campus community to reach those goals, Pull used her many talents and interests early in the fall semester to create an RU Sustainability tour map, a printable, self-guided tour of the numerous green initiatives happening on campus.

The map, which can be found on the RU Sustainability website, pinpoints campus locations for, to name a few, recycling, sustainable dining, water bottle filling stations, bike fix-it stations, carshare and RU Transit stops. It also provides locations of campus buildings with LEED and Energy Star certifications.

"We had been wanting to combine everything that was sustainable about RU in a little nutshell," said Pull, a former IT major who now double majors in graphic design and marketing. "It's a way for people to see a little of everything about sustainability without getting overwhelmed by all the facts and figures."

The map is one of the many projects Pull works on for Sustainability. "I help promote all sustainability events and things that are happening on campus," said Pull, an Honors Academy student and Kirk Scholar. "I design all the print materials for everything that is graphically oriented, such as fliers and brochures."

RU Sustainability Coordinator Julio Stephens said Pull has been a "great addition" to the Sustainability and Recycling offices. "She has done a tremendous amount of excellent work by creating marketing and outreach materials, participating in various campus events, and she has definitely expanded our overall capabilities over the past three semesters."

Outside the Sustainability Office and the classroom, Pull is using her creative and marketing savvy to delve into entrepreneurship along with her roommates, Sarah Mansueti and Wendy Antezena. Together, the three are working toward building a business with a sustainable mission.

Through the business, Harbour Trading, Co., the trio curates vintage clothing, which they hope to soon begin selling online and later from a storefront location, possibly in Portland, Oregon.

"Anything that some people may consider trash, clothing-wise, we like to collect those and stylize them so people can see and have a vision of what it looks like," Pull explained. "Because sometimes things you see on a rack just aren't appealing, so we like to style them and give them new life."

Aside from her entrepreneurial interests, Pull plans to pursue a career in graphic design, preferably with a company with, like her, goals aimed toward sustainability. Working in the RU Sustainability Office has provided Pull with the experience and knowledge needed to make her plans a reality.

"It has definitely been right up my alley," she said.

Dec 9, 2014