Kayla Michaud '18
“The three pillars of sustainability are society, environment, and economics,” explains Kayla Michaud ’18. “All three need to be in balance in order for the system to work efficiently and effectively. If one is favored over the other, then all three are going to suffer.”
Through her work as an Environmental Specialist for the Land Use Planning Commission of Maine, Michaud makes sure that balance is maintained. “I like being able to work within the community to help people build their dream projects in a way that’s environmentally sound,” she says.
Always passionate about nature, Michaud found an outlet for that passion in Bryant’s Environmental Science program. “The ideas we learned really spoke to me – they just made sense. They made me feel like what I was doing had purpose,” she says.
For her senior capstone, Michaud developed a plan to reduce Bryant’s Salmanson Dining Hall’s food waste and carbon footprint. “I was really able to get into the core of sustainability,” she says. “Most of what I studied was conceptual, so being able to apply those concepts to a real-life situation definitely benefitted me."
Michaud’s other courses helped her grow in other ways. Management courses such as Team Building and Conflict Resolution helped prepare her for life after college. An early writing class gave her the skills and confidence to communicate complex ideas. “It changed the whole game,” she says.
Leadership positions as a Resident Assistant and Sustainability Ambassador helped her learn how to take charge. Through Bryant Enactus (the name combines the words “entrepreneurial,” “action,” and “us”), the University’s student social entrepreneurship organization, Michaud learned about making a difference by working to address issues such as environmental concerns and homelessness.
“By doing small things, one project at a time, we can make change and lead other people to make change as well,” she notes. “Those small changes accumulate and build to something bigger.”
She’s still using those lessons today, and enjoying them just as much. “I love working with people and I love being outdoors,” Michaud says. “It's really hard to have a bad day when you're out in the field.”
Real World Experience
• Resident Assistant
• Sustainability Ambassador
• Worked on projects that addressed environmental concerns and homelessness
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