Seth McKeon Mulligan is initiating a joint dining-services composting project for Alfred University and Alfred State College. He is also proposing a new academic course, to be team-taught by faculty at both institutions, that will integrate composting into the curriculum.
Seth is a student at Alfred University, which is already involved in the national campus greening movement. Alfred State College has a 750-acre working dairy farm, which will serve as the site for the compost heaps. Combining faculty, students and resources from these various programs is the heart of this project. Seth is designing and implementing the construction of a composting structure. He is outlining the program's procedures, including the dining hall waste collection route and schedule. Finally, he is helping develop a composting course to be offered at both campuses, in alternating semesters, by rotating academic departments. Students enrolled in the course will perform the actual collection and maintenance for the composting program.
Alfred is a very small, rural community nestled in the hills of western New York. For over 150 years it has been a center for educational excellence and social progressiveness. Alfred University and Alfred State College are situated on opposite sides of a valley overlooking the village of Alfred. Alfred University has among its many programs the College of Liberal Arts, which offers undergraduate degrees in many fields relevant to this project, including environmental science, geology and biology. Last year, through the support of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Center for Environmental and Energy Research at Alfred University was opened. One of the projects already underway involves student and faculty research on sustainability efforts in industrial settings.
Alfred State, one of five New York State University technical colleges, has degree and certificate programs in agricultural science, biological science, and horticultural studies. A joint venture between Alfred University and Alfred State has been developed to use the latest photovoltaic water pumping strategies to supply farm animals with fresh drinking water. Both colleges have demonstrated their commitment to enacting sound environmental practices, as well as to conducting environmental research.
Seth received a B.A. in political science and philosophy from Alfred University in three years. He is currently enrolled in Alfred University's masters program for professional studies in community services administration. Some day soon he plans to enter a Ph.D. program in public policy where he can integrate his environmental interests into policy formulation. He would like green initiatives to be viewed not as 'a thorn in the side' but rather as fundamentally correct and simple actions for any organization. In the future, he hopes to continue graduate school, travel and run for president.