Emily Stollman, a senior who is majoring in education created a Social Sustainability poster campaign on campus. This project was an independent study that changed to Stollman’s delicate balance project. This campaign was created to help people learn about social sustainability and to create more awareness of it on campus. Social sustainability is a community that has qualities which include: health, inclusion diversity, development, and trust. She originally heard about the idea from Dre Roebuck, Director of Student Life, who has been working to raise awareness about social sustainability. When the campaign started over the summer of 2017, Stollman was approached to design the posters. A graphic art major at the time, she enthusiastically accepted the assignment. When she decided to change her major a few weeks after the campaign started, Stollman’s commitment and passion for this project continued and she saw the campaign through to completion as an education major.
To start this project, Stollman first met with Peg Gregory, Director of the Wellness Center, and Ryan Irke, Director of Sustainability. She was given the freedom to decide how to design do the posters and she chose to use photography as the focal point of each design. There are five aspects of social sustainability: health and well-being, diversity and inclusion, personal development and grit, trust and associations, and telling your story. She collaborated with other photographers on campus throughout the school year to collect images that would be used in the creation of three posters for each of the five aspects of social sustainability. She wrote a Student Campus Greening Fund grant, which allowed her to get the funding to print the posters.She later wrote another grant to provide funding for sustainable wooden frames to hang the posters in the buttery.
To put on the show Stollman first had to reach out to the Art Department about using the Surdam Art Gallery on campus, as well as to collaborate on a proposal. The show opened on April 6th. Individuals who attended the opening reception were encouraged to share the ways in which they participate in social sustainability by writing their ideas on sticky notes and affixing them on the walls. The show also featured a Polaroid photo booth; sustainable snacks; and live music by current students and alumni: Devin Balacer ‘18, Jens Hyberston ‘17, and Andrew Poirer ‘16.
Through this experience, Stollman learned many value skills including; how to delegate, balance work and time, and organization for projects. She also said, “The greatest lesson I learned from the project is just how wonderful and generous people can be on this campus and how rewarding such a collaborative effort can be.”
She got very positive feedback from students on campus. Many people enjoyed seeing recent pictures of the campus and of the community. The show attracted a diverse group of people, including many who don’t often attend art shows, and was very lively and full of positive energy.
Stollman is graduating from GMC in May and is planning to travel to Rouen, France to immerse herself in the culture and teach English at the secondary level as part of the Teaching Assistant Program in France. Stollman has studied French since middle school and studied abroad in Paris during the fall semester of her Junior year. She stated, “In the future, I hope to gain more experience teaching and ultimately help to reform the education system as well as continue my own education with a more advanced degree.”