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When hives on the Syracuse University campus were damaged by a car in July 2021, Lisa Olson-Gugerty was amazed by her colleague Meg Lowe’s determination to help move the hives to a safe location, despite the heat at 90 degrees and an injured wrist.
“(Lowe) made sure everything went smoothly for me when I could have done it myself.” said Olson-Gugerty, an associate professor at SU’s Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. “Every step of the way, she was there to support me beyond what one would expect from a colleague at work.”
Lowe will step down from her role as sustainability coordinator at the League this Friday, which happens to be Earth Day. She will join Montera Health, a healthcare company, as a graphic designer.
“I’m really sad to go because I think I put a lot of myself into my college work, so it’s bittersweet,” Lowe said. “I’m ready for something different, and I’m ready to see what else the world has to offer, but at the same time, it’s a bit difficult to go there.”
Those who worked with Lowe at SU, including Olson-Gugerty, said they would miss his constant support, energy and character.
After earning a Masters in Nutrition Science at SU in 2018, Lowe applied her skills and passions to undertake different sustainability projects on campus.
She was also the first summer student intern for SU’s sustainability management team in 2016. After her internship, Lowe was hired as a sustainability coordinator in 2017, helping the university to strive to achieve its goal. climate action goals.
“I think we all recognize the current state of the world and climate change, and we all play a part in that too,” Lowe said. “(SU) has been here for over 150 years. We should be here another 150 years, and so on, to continue our longevity and our influence on the community, to help our community, there’s no reason not to.
Melissa Cadwell, SU’s other sustainability coordinator, said she interviewed Lowe for her intern position. She said the department’s internship program aims to find a project that each student is passionate about and will help them achieve their sustainability goals.
“I think if you’re going to feed the students like we do, you either have it or you don’t, and she’s one of the people who has it,” Cadwell said.
Cadwell said the department created a position that matched Lowe’s skills at the time, because Lowe came to college unsure of what she wanted to pursue.
Lowe led the sustainability department’s social media, illustrated graphics and spent the last year revamping the department website. She reduced the number of site pages from 144 to 23 to streamline site information.
Lowe said she wanted to focus her work on social issues integrated with environmental issues. She wanted to start a community garden to help with food insecurity, and in 2019 she helped start Pete’s Giving Garden, which provides fresh produce within Hendricks Chapel Pantry.
“Making sure our people are fed and taken care of is something that’s really important to me,” Lowe said. “It might be the hospitality aspect I grew up with, but there are a lot of ways to approach sustainability. You can go corporate if you want, but I’m definitely not; I’m a hippie by all means,” she said.
Growing up in Michigan and North Carolina, Lowe spent much of her time on her grandparents’ farm in Michigan, where her passion for sustainability grew. She watched her grandfather rotate his crops, limiting his use of pesticides, and helped her grandmother grow vegetables in her garden.
Inspired by Lowe’s work, Grace Cho, an intern student in the program, worked on a garden guide for Pete’s Giving Garden to ensure proper sustainability management.
“I want to make some kind of difference. I feel like Meg was a good inspiration,” Cho said. “She’s had a lot of good impacts that are going to last here after she leaves college, so that’s something I want to do as well.”
Cho said she’s noticed how Lowe builds inclusivity and accessibility into intern projects, both in design and community engagement. She mentioned the Three Sisters Gardenswho brought the traditional seeds used by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to SU lands, and the importance of bringing this recognition to campus.
Christopher Kalaw, another intern student in the department, wasn’t sure if his internship was right for him, but he now thinks it’s a perfect internship. He said he admired Lowe and his personality.
“She’s a model leader,” Kalaw said. “Not to the face, very knowledgeable, and shows you that this can still be a form of leadership and guidance.”
Campus as lab fellowship to reduce the waste produced by the Nancy Cantor Warehouse workshops. Lee described Lowe as proactive and said she strives to create a better environment for everyone.Lowe has collaborated with departments across campus, including the School of Design. Seyeon Lee, an associate professor specializing in environmental and interior design, has worked on projects with Lowe, including one that used a
“She’s definitely a go-getter,” Lee said. “She’ll try to make everyone successful and if she says she’s going to do it, we know for a fact she’s going to do it.”
Lowe hopes the university will continue to strengthen its sustainability goals.
“I think the university is on the cusp of something big with sustainability. We don’t yet know what exactly that will look like, but we do know that we have important carbon neutrality goals to achieve,” Lowe said. “And I’m excited to step back and see what they can do.”
Published on April 18, 2022 at 1:24 am
Contact Lily: [email protected] | @LilliAnnella