January 9, 2019
Hailey Campbell has lofty goals and the work ethic to achieve them. She knows what it means to have multiple irons in the fire and doesn’t shy away from getting involved with the sustainability community.
Campbell, currently a junior in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, aims to make the world a better place by providing sustainability education and fostering collaboration between people making decisions that impact the future.
Keep reading to learn about the many adventures Campbell has pursued at ASU and beyond.
Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Answer: I am from San Antonio, Texas. Everyone that knows me knows that I radiate Texas pride and am most often introduced as “Hailey, from Texas.” I am a student at Barrett, the Honors College pursuing a BS in sustainability with a focus on ecosystems and a certificate in cross-sector leadership. I am also a huge Sun Devil sports fan! I am an executive member of the 942 Crew and always find a way to attend as many Sun Devil sporting events as possible.
Besides my Texas and Sun Devil pride, I am greatly involved in the School of Sustainability community. I am the School of Sustainability College Council president, a member of both the School of Sustainability Academy and Honor Society and a student mentor with Sustainabilibuddies. I am also a member and president of the ASU Women’s Gymnastics Club, a position I have held since the beginning of my sophomore year.
In addition to these roles, I am an active member of the Next Generation Service Corps, a program that seeks to build character-driven leaders with the ability to collaborate across sectors. Through this program, I have had the opportunity to lead a group of 16 students from different majors to create a sustainability career fair, showcasing the importance of sustainability in any career. Although I miss being in Texas, ASU and the School of Sustainability have surpassed any expectations I have had for a home away from home.
One of my most interesting roles at ASU was as the Shmear Society intern for ASU’s Hillel. Hillel is one of three Jewish organizations at ASU. The Hillel serves as a student’s home away from home, where they can receive professional development, make new friends and have a Jewish base on campus. In this role, I brought bagels and shmear from Hillel to the Memorial Union every Monday to help connect with Jewish students across campus.
Q: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study sustainability?
A: I was fortunate to attend the International School of the Americas, a non-traditional high school that focuses on building global citizenship through project-based learning and hands-on experiences. Within the first few weeks of school, my world geography class was assigned a group project on global environmental problems. During this project, I was assigned the role of a businesswoman. I was tasked with arguing why acid rain did not pose a serious threat to our world, and why it was a problem my business should not have to worry about. I have always had an environmentally conscious mindset, so it was challenging to argue for something I did not believe was true.
Upon the conclusion of the presentations, we were introduced to the concept of sustainability and stakeholder engagement, showcasing the importance of including all stakeholders in decision making to build a more sustainable future. It was at that moment that I knew that I wanted to focus my studies on sustainability, learn more about the environment and find out what I could do to make an impact on these global issues.
Q: Why did you choose ASU/the School of Sustainability?
A: While other colleges and universities had programs about the environment, in my pre-college research I discovered that ASU had a School of Sustainability. Maybe it was my private tour of campus from Colin Tetreault, my introduction to Dean Boone as we sat in his office or our discussion about the school’s unique transdisciplinary approach to teaching sustainability, but it was during that campus tour that I fell in love! Did I mention how Colin tricked me into trying an ornamental orange? I won't fall for that again!
Q: What’s been your favorite part of being an ASU/School of Sustainability student so far and why?
A: ASU, as well as the School of Sustainability, has provided me with a mountain of inspiring and incredible opportunities — it’s hard to choose just one. I have walked with the School of Sustainability in the homecoming parade, rushed the field after a huge ASU football victory, represented ASU at the National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs Nationals as a club gymnast, had lunch with former U.N. Undersecretary General Elisabeth Rehn, traveled with the 942 Exec Crew to Las Vegas for the PAC-12 basketball playoffs and studied abroad in Costa Rica. It has been a pretty action-packed three years!
My favorite class has been Future Thinking and Strategies taught by Datu Buyung Agusdinata. This class challenged me as I learned what it’s like to put the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into action through the creation of future scenarios focused on reducing deforestation in the Kalimantan Forest of Indonesia. It also allowed me to uncover new techniques involved in the decision-making process across multiple stakeholders.
Q: Can you tell us more about your study abroad experience?
A: My desire to gain an international perspective led me to study abroad in Costa Rica this fall. CIEE’s Sustainability and the Environment program surpassed every one of my expectations. In this program, we traveled all around Costa Rica, including various indigenous communities, to learn about the country’s natural history, different energy production technologies, conservation priorities, Costa Rica’s payment for environmental services program, sustainable tourism and different types of agricultural practices. Within each of these themes, we were challenged to create recommendations and policies to improve the country’s current sustainable development strategies.
One of my most memorable experiences, besides hiking along the Continental Divide, was having the opportunity to be an intern for CORCLIMA, a special commission to the Monteverde municipality which is composed of a group of civic leaders that work together to build community resilience to climate change. My internship focused on constructing a compost manual for homeowners in Costa Rica that outlined the ins and outs of the various composting processes, as well as provided solutions to challenges associated with composting. Within four weeks, my internship partner Corey and I had successfully created a 40-page manual complete with different composting systems organized by size and level of difficulty, instructions on how to build and use each system, plus a variety of interactive infographics, such as a flow chart that aids the user in determining which system will work best for their needs.
And, as it turns out, my lack of previous knowledge about composting proved to be an advantage. While writing the steps for each system, I was actively aware of the terminology I was using in order to ensure that each system could be easily understood by someone who knows nothing about composting. As a sustainability student who is constantly trying to reduce my environmental impact, I was in disbelief that I had never considered incorporating composting into my life. People all around the world, formerly including myself, throw out their food waste without thinking twice about what happens to it and how it could affect the environment when sent to a landfill. When I return home, the first thing I am going to do is get started on my own compost system, and I hope my manual can inspire people across Costa Rica to do the same.
Q: How do you envision applying sustainability to your future career?
A: I hope to aid in filling the gaps between international, national and local knowledge either through becoming a member of the United Nations or creating a non-governmental organization that seeks to build off of local knowledge and expertise to guide the decision making processes towards a sustainable future. I believe that considering local relevance, providing sustainability education across communities, and increasing collaboration between those making decisions and those being impacted is necessary for developing a truly sustainable future.
Q: What does sustainability mean to you?
A: To me, sustainability is about more than protecting the environment, it is about educating humanity to help solve the problems we have created. Sustainability is about happy, healthy, thoughtful people, living in harmony with a happy, healthy planet.