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Amy Gardiner – Belleville, Ill.

For Amy Gardiner, finding a way to combine her academic and personal interests was simple at SIUE. An ambitious student, Amy, a senior from Belleville, Ill., is double majoring in speech communications and theater with the aspirations of becoming a public relations professional in the future.

An active member of the Student Organization for Sustainability (SOS), Amy is able to blend the world of public relations and her passion for educating others on the benefits of sustainability.

“I first became interested in SOS because most of my friends were in the club,” Amy said. “After I learned more about the organization and sustainability in general, I became passionate about the movement and wanted to help the club get more involved in student life and, ultimately, educate more students.”

The purpose of SOS is to promote awareness of environmental issues ranging from the local to the global scale and to take actions that might lessen unsustainable activities. “We are trying to open up avenues for students who are interested in sustainability to get involved on campus and do what they are passionate about,” Amy said. “We encourage students to learn about sustainability in its various stages, such as science, physical activity and social justice.”

One of Amy’s favorite sustainability activities is riding her bike around campus. “There are so many bike trails in the Edwardsville community, and the scenery is just beautiful,” she said. “Even if you don’t bring your personal bike to campus, SIUE offers a free bike share program to students. It’s a great way to get some exercise and be sustainable at the same time.”

Amy’s goals involve working with not-for-profit organizations on sustainability initiatives, and thanks to her SIUE education, this is a possibility. “I have gotten a great education at SIUE, and have had the opportunity to be involved in student organizations where I have learned valuable information from faculty members and my peers. It’s been a fulfilling experience.”

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