Post contributed by Max Garcia, Office of Sustainability Intern
Shelly Nemeroff has the true Auburn spirit. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Operations Management from Auburn University and a Master’s degree from Troy University. After working in the private sector, in finance and retail management, she joined Auburn University’s Office of Development as a Research Analyst. Here she assisted front-line fundraisers by identifying potential donors. She has recently joined the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction (CADC) as a Development Coordinator. In this role, she provides administrative support and assists with donor relations and event planning.
Getting Involved with the Peers Network
Shelly is always excited to collaborate and devote her time to Auburn University. She has a natural inclination to work with others and develop ideas to make our campus more inclusive and beautiful. Currently, she is the Development Representative for the Administrative and Professional Assembly (A&P Assembly). This committee meets monthly to develop programs devoted to the betterment of the employment atmosphere with the goal of having their ideas reach the President’s desk for approval and implementation. One such initiative they have successfully launched is the Employee Hardship Fund. The Hardship Fund is employee funded and available to any qualifying Auburn employee in financial need.
When Shelly learned about the Peers Network, she saw an opportunity to further collaborate at the university. Shelly believes Auburn’s initiatives are most effective when they involve learning together and completing goals with the help of alternative perspectives. As a Peers Ambassador, Shelly has learned an immense amount about sustainability in an office setting and hopes to pass on her knowledge to others. Working with other Peers Ambassadors, she is excited that she can count on her new friends to help her become a more positive influence in her office’s environment.
Working Toward Change
Becoming a Peers Ambassador made Shelly realize there are easy switches that can be made in the office environment. Within just a few months, Shelly has put ideas into action in Dudley Hall, the home of CADC. Quickly, she made the effort to transition all the paper in her office to recycled-content paper. Currently, all the paper they order is made of 30% recycled materials. Her interest has carried on to the investigation of other dimensions in the paper cycle. She is amazed by the amount of paper products consumed in Dudley Hall, so one focus is to have recycling rates reach 100% in her building.
In addition to recycling, she has become interested in re-using. Another issue she looks forward to tackling is design material waste. Per her collaborative nature, she will work with fellow staff and faculty to create a materials bank of student supplies. Students will be able to donate unused materials and take what they need for projects. Shelly is hoping to implement a building-wide initiative. By recycling and reusing Shelly hopes that Dudley Hall can make a substantial impact on reducing waste at Auburn University while helping students save money.
Sustainability Challenges and Inspiring Initiatives
Shelly believes that a significant challenge in sustainability is educating others on the importance of including everyone in a process, not just thinking about yourself. There is a selfish tendency both globally, as well as within ourselves and our communities. By collaborating with others, as the Peers Ambassadors have shown her, inclusion can be at the center of all our projects. Shelly says that understanding why this pestilential attitude of selfishness is so common will help solve more long-term problems. For her, sustainability is about committing to generational change for everyone and working in collaboration with others.
Shelly’s favorite example of sustainability on Auburn’s campus is the War Eagle Bike Share operated by Parking Services. Initially unsure of its impact on students, she is really amazed by its use and security. It has shown massive regular use by students and Parking Services and has had little issue with security or theft. Shelly loves to see people using it so much and really appreciates a system that is inclusive of all users at Auburn University. She recognizes that the City of Auburn was not necessarily made for bicyclists and is really impressed by people who are riding their bikes correctly, such as staying off the sidewalk. Hoping to see bike use more widespread, she is proud to be part of a community that is embracing more progressive infrastructure changes. Shelly is quite gratified to be a part of the Peers Ambassador Network and is excited to get started on future collaborative and inclusive projects at Auburn University.