Interns build on green initiatives at Roosevelt University
A Roosevelt University student and a recent graduate are making the institution a more sustainable place to be for years to come with help from a Chicago company.
Sustainability Studies major Mary Beth Radeck and May 2014 Accounting graduate Kevin Markowski are cultivating rooftop gardens in the University’s Wabash Building and a 27-plot community garden at the Schaumburg Campus.
As sustainability interns who are being paid with help from a $3,500 grant from Testa Produce in Chicago, the two have harvested more than 100 pounds of produce, including vegetables and herbs, last summer and this fall from the gardens for use in meals prepared in dining centers at Roosevelt’s Chicago and Schaumburg campuses.
Radeck also has been using skills she learned in the Sustainability Studies program to develop a long-term sustainability plan for the University, while Markowski has been doing a variety of projects including: managing installation of a new drip-irrigation system that saves water and is good for plants in the Schaumburg gardens; using accounting skills to monitor the University’s energy portfolio, including its plan for reducing consumption/costs over the next five years; and developing an energy-reduction exterior lighting plan for the Schaumburg Campus that would reduce energy draw by 75 percent and a power management plan that would eliminate wasted energy from unattended computers.
“We couldn’t do all the things we’re doing in environmental sustainability without these interns and the financial support from Testa,” said Paul Matthews, assistant vice president of campus planning and operations.
Provider of milk and produce to the University’s dining centers, the company has agreed to provide grants for sustainability work by Roosevelt student interns over the next five years.
"I always hope people will think about the environment and how they use natural resources,” said Peter Testa, president of the company that is contributing to Roosevelt’s sustainability work by student interns. “We have to understand that if the environment is not treated properly, it will not be available for our children or future generations. Nothing lasts forever, unless you take care of it,” said Testa.