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Centers of the Universe - Building Bridges across Disciplines

Global Explorers:
Nino Guruli
’07 and
Ally Neher ’07

Translating Ideas into Action: Lucia Morales Cariani ’08

MHC's Newest Students

News

Mount Holyoke College News and Events College Street Journal Vista

Winter 2005 / Volume 10, Number 2

Watt Warrior: Emily Wheeler ’08

Emily Wheeler
Emily Wheeler’08

When Emily Wheeler ’08 says “eek,” it’s a good thing. The sound is Mount Holyoke parlance for “EAC,” which translates to Environmental Action Coalition, the vibrant student organization that Wheeler cochairs. Throughout the fall, EAC worked to get 2,800 MHC computer monitors into power-save mode as part of the nationwide Million Monitor Drive. “That small change will save Mount Holyoke approximately $49,000. And the carbon dioxide emitted from the power plants that produce the College’s electricity will be reduced by 411 tons,” Wheeler said.

A sophomore from Orange, Vermont, Wheeler came to Mount Holyoke looking to take action. She immediately joined EAC, as well as the crew team, and began taking environmental studies classes. This year, she’s swapped crew for the cycling club—Wheeler pedaled to the top of Mount Holyoke on Mountain Day—and joined Diversions, an a cappella group.

Wheeler is excited to be at the helm of EAC, which sponsors a number of ongoing campaigns designed to build conservation into people’s way of life. “We have the annual kilowatt competition that challenges dorms to save energy, and last year was the first year we participated in Recyclemania, which involves colleges and universities across the nation,” Wheeler said. “EAC is structured so that whoever has a passion can start a campaign. We have a lot of first-years, so I’m looking forward to their proposals.” Other ongoing campaigns aim to reduce the amount of waste associated with food production/consumption, and increase the amount of locally and organically grown food served in the dining halls.

These days Wheeler also is trying to decide on a major. The trouble isn’t just that her interests are varied, but also that “Mount Holyoke is overwhelming in the amount of good choices and possible paths.” Having grown up on a farm, Wheeler currently is leaning toward her interest in sustainable agriculture.

She’s also turning her thoughts to a call to action put out by Lauret Savoy, director of the Center for the Environment. “Lauret wants students’ ideas. So I’ve been thinking, ‘Hmm, what do I want the Center for the Environment to do for this campus?’ It says so much about Mount Holyoke that the center exists.” She knows that EAC will get involved and she hopes the entire campus will, too.

“We can’t think of South Hadley or a dorm as our home. The entire earth is our home,” Wheeler said. “We need to respect it. Every action has an impact.”


On the MHC Web:

Environmental Action Coalition

Vista - Winter 2005 Index

 

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