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Division Spotlight: Ashlyn Hochschild

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | April 24, 2015 | No Comment |


Ashlyn Hochschild, Office of Sustainability

Briefly describe your role.

I serve the Office as the new Internship and Student Coordinator. I work with our 25 interns on sustainability projects across campus, plan workshops, field trips, and other events to promote personal and professional development! I also work with outreach programming in different aspects of student life and collaborate with Residence Life, Sorority and Fraternity Life, Civic Engagement, and Student Life. In addition to the internship program, I also plan our office events including Sustainability Week.

What is the function of your department?

My department works to implement sustainability into the campus and community. We work in a lot of different areas including research and academics, zero waste, student life, and alternative transportation. We really work with a ton of offices and departments to build a more sustainable CofC. One of the main functions of our office (and my role!) is to prepare students for life after graduation through providing real world experience and opportunities for both personal and professional development.

How long have you been working at the College?

I started as an unpaid intern with the Sustainability Office the first semester it opened – fall 2011. I worked as a Graduate Assistant from 2012 until the new position started this spring. As a Graduate Assistant, I helped to manage and grow our internship program while also working with outreach programming, as well as other projects focusing on student life and development. In January of 2015, I was given the opportunity to do this full-time!

What brought you to the College?

After moving to Charleston from Cleveland Ohio in 2006, I was able to transfer into the College from Kent State University in 2009. I finished my undergraduate degree in Political Science and Russian Studies and decided to continue my education through the Masters of Environmental Studies Program. Over my nine years here, I have come to love the College and the community of Charleston; our office has become a second family to me.

What do you like most about your job?

I LOVE working with students and I feel so lucky to be able to do this full time! We have such a variety of students from different backgrounds and majors working on a ton of projects that there’s never a dull moment. Student development is such an important aspect of higher education, but not really at the forefront of academics, so I love that we can provide this opportunity at our office. I really enjoy helping students work through issues and being a part of their growth process. They also help me see and work on areas I need to improve on as well. Our students are solving big problems and there are both frustrations and rewards that go along with that; I try to be there for both the successes and regrouping. For me, sustainability isn’t really about renewable energy or water refill stations, it’s about preparing students at the College to be change agents and game changers so after graduation they have the skills and confidence to go out in the world to create change.

What are some of your favorite memories from the College?

I have so many favorite moments at the College! One of the most memorable for me is making A Charleston Affair zero waste last year (2014). It was a goal of ours for so long and we worked so hard to achieve it. I remember Jen Jones texting me at 2:00 a.m. (after about 15 hours of prep and work during the event) to say that she thought the numbers showed we diverted over 90% of the total waste generated from the landfill. Such a rewarding moment for us!

What are your hobbies and interests?

As a Russian Minor, I really love Russian culture, language and history– I nerd out on Russian folklore and politics! My family is of Eastern European ancestry so I enjoy cooking Hungarian and Polish foods for friends. Over break I traveled to Germany– absolutely loved the country– and I hope to travel more. I also really like watching college football and relaxing outside.

What is something that your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?

I LOVE planning themed parties! I particularly enjoy planning parties around sports like the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, World Cup, and NCAA Football Rivalry Weekend, but also love other themes as well.

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