Angela Jiang: Sustainable at Emory

Meet Angela, a junior, helping to make Emory a more sustainable campus! 

Name: Angela Jiang

Hometown: Duluth, GA

Year: Junior

Major: Environmental Science 4+1 BS/MS Program

Extracurricular Activities: Emory Climate Analysis and Solutions Team (ECAST), IDEAS Fellowship, 1836 Dinners, The Emory Sustainable Food Fair, Emory Movement Improv Union (EMIU)


Tameka: What are you top 5 interests? 

Angela: Theater, Atlanta's urban culture, learning languages, Green building design, and movement improv!

T: When did you discover your passion for sustainability? 

A: I truly think my involvement with organizing the sustainable food fair kicked off a major decision of mine to change from being a business major and scholarship recipient to changing out of that scholarship program to study environmental sciences and, back then, interdisciplinary studies. Through my work with the Food Fair I started to see connections amongst vendors I would invite to fair, and by the time we threw the event, I realized that our fair was bringing together a thriving community that was interdependent and growing. From a student's point of view, I saw how much these vendors were committed and so passionate about their work and business, and saw how I could be entrepreneurial in pursuing my concern about climate change, and decided I didn't necessarily need to study business in order to have an entrepreneurial mindset--I just had to work on an interest I would eventually come to love and own. I wanted my studies and my work at Emory to contribute to the Atlanta sustainability movement, and so I ceaselessly started to sit in on more student sustainability groups, looked up classes that would further my interests, and ended up withdrawing from several business classes that I realized just weren't the way I wanted to spend my limited and critical time here at Emory. And here I am in my second year of being the Fair Assistant for the 12th Annual Emory Sustainable Food Fair! ​


T: Can you tell us a little bit more about the upcoming Emory Sustainable Food Fair?

A: This year, the Emory Sustainable Food Fair class is very proud to host the 12th Annual celebration of the Emory Sustainable Food Fair! The Fair that will be thrown next Friday has been completely student +1 professor organized with the immense help of Emory Dining and OSI. We draw together a community of more than 1000 visitors every year--our fair folk sample delicious sustainably crafted samples from vendors, gain awareness in a fun setting about sustainable food topics and issues, and learn about how they can make simple and delicious choices about their eating habits that can truly make a difference. The Fair will last from 10:30 AM-1:00 PM whereas the farmer's market and vendors will stay until 4:00 PM. There will be live music, costumed folk, and your fellow classmates representing other amazing sustainability work on campus!

T: What advice would you give to the readers out there about getting involved with sustainability initiatives on campus?

A: Once, the Graduate Sustainability Group created an online visual detailing the Emory sustainability ecosystem, showing all the possible connections that students, faculty, and staff are doing on campus--from academia to student organizations to advocacy to campus sustainability initiatives, this goes to show just how attuned the Emory community is regarding sustainability. Bring up sustainability amongst your friends and with your professors--have a simple conversation. I find that those conversations are the most enlightening ways to help you discover what specific interests you may have regarding sustainability, while also forming meaningful connections with others who will help you pursue those passions that you didn't even know exist. Challenge the way things are handled on campus, in our city, and in society--and more often than not, once you start thinking critically in this manner about how things can always improve, you will find yourself in some way involved with the sustainability community. And of course, please feel free to reach out to me or anyone at the Office of Sustainability Initiatives at Emory to get started with those conversations if you need a place to start!