Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.02
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Oct. 15, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
ER-1: Student Sustainability Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.00 / 5.00 Emily Schosid
Campus Sustainability Planner
University Planning
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Total number of degree-seeking students enrolled at the institution:
29,071

Program name (1st program):
EcoReps

Number of students served by the program to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (1st program):
9,300

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (1st program):

The EcoReps program is a program focused on peer-to-peer education specifically in the residence halls at Virginia Tech. A team of 6 students is selected to create and present a series of workshops, talks, presentations, and events targeted at residential students. For example, the EcoReps can present on "How to Recycle at Virginia Tech" which is an interactive workshop teaching them about the recycling resources on campus--where to recycle paper, comingled containers, food waste, and special materials (batteries etc). RAs are able to schedule someone from the team to do one or more of the programs with their students. Additionally, the EcoReps create pre-packaged bulletin boards that the RAs are able to post in their floors about such topics as recycling, sustainability resources, energy conservation, and other issues that are relevant to students who live on campus.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (1st program):

The students send a resume and fill out an application about why they would like to participate in the program. Students are interviewed, and the top six are selected for their passion for sustainability, enthusiasm, experience, and ability to engage others in conversation.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (1st program):

The EcoReps program is one branch of the larger Energy and Sustainability Internship program, which offers all students involved specific training on event planning, poster design, public speaking, and professional development (resume writing, professionalism, and interview skills). Additionally, students on the EcoReps team are educated in specific issues that affect students in residence halls--how to green a dorm room, recycling procedures for residence halls, and how curriculum planning in residence life works. All of these trainings are run by staff members in the Office of Energy and Sustainability or guest presenters from other offices on campus (such as Career Services).


A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (1st program):

The students have a staff advisor (Campus Sustainability Planner), with whom they meet once per week. Additionally, they have access to advice from all staff members at the Office of Energy and Sustainability. Some portion of the Office of Energy and Sustainability budget goes towards supporting EcoReps activities--to buy things like food, give-aways, and materials for bulletin boards.


The website URL for 1st Program:
Program name (2nd program):
Office of Energy and Sustainability Internship Program

Number of students to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (2nd program):
29,071

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):

The Office of Energy and Sustainability (OES) Internship Program selects students each year who work on outreach activities that span the entire campus, including RecycleMania, dorm energy competitions, EcoReps (described above), America Recycles Day, and others. The students plan and execute events, set up tables to distribute information and talk to other students, and run our social media channels, which reach several thousand students and alumni. In 2014, the student interns planned a Recycling Olympics, wherein they set up several recycling themed games, and invited students to compete for prizes. On America Recycles Day, the interns asked students why they recycle, and took photos of the answers written on a white board. Those photos went on our social media channels for others to see.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):

The students send a resume and fill out an application about why they would like to participate in the program. Students are interviewed, and the top six are selected for their passion for sustainability, enthusiasm, experience, and ability to engage others in conversation.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (2nd program):

All students get specific training on event planning, poster design, public speaking, and professional development (resume writing, professionalism, and interview skills). Additionally, students get special training depending on their team (Recycling, Energy, or EcoReps) so that they can create more engaging outreach materials, better answer students' questions, and make the campus better aware of issues specific to Virginia Tech (for example, a lot of students have questions about the coal powered steam plant on campus, so the Energy Team is required to tour the plant at the beginning of the year). All of these trainings are run by staff members in the Office of Energy and Sustainability or guest presenters from other offices on campus (such as Career Services) or off campus (such as the solid waste authority where our recycling goes).


A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (2nd program):

The students have a staff advisor (from OES), with whom they meet once per week. Additionally, they have access to advice from all other staff members at the Office of Energy and Sustainability. Some portion of the Office of Energy and Sustainability budget goes towards supporting intern activities--to buy things like food, give-aways, and other outreach materials.


The website URL for 2nd program:
Program name (3rd program):
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Number of students to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (3rd program):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):
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A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (3rd program):
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A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (3rd program):
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The website URL for 3rd program:
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Program name (All other programs):
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Number of students to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (All other programs):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (All other programs):
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A brief description of how the student educators are selected (All other programs):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (All other programs):
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A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (All other programs):
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The website URL for all other programs:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.