Meet Abigail Franks

Meet Abigail Franks

Classification- Junior

Major- Political Science with a minor in Peace, Justice, and Ecology

Hometown- Somerville, Alabama

Favorite Quote- "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."- Albus Dumbledore


1) What got you involved with UAB Sustainability? I have been passionate about the environment since I was a little girl, and when I came to UAB I knew that I wanted to start protecting the environment, and through that protect people, in Birmingham. I noticed all of the recycling on campus and the solar panels on top of the campus rec and was curious about the organization that was in charge of it all. After looking at UAB Sustainability's website, I saw where they were hiring interns and I just knew that I HAD to work there. I am glad I did too, working for UAB Sustainability has changed my life.

2) What other organizations are you involved with on campus? I am in the sorority Sigma Kappa and the club Green Initiative. I am also in the Honors College.

3) What has been your favorite humanitarian project that you’ve done or been a part of? My favorite humanitarian project that I have ever done happened when I was in Boston for a conference in the fall of 2017. The group I was with planted a garden for a rehabilitation house for elderly people that had been addicted to drugs in the past. The people that were recovering there were the kindest and wisest people I have ever

met, and it was definitely a learning experience for both parties. On top of just talking to the people that lived there, it was really fun to spend a couple of hours working with a team to transform the neglected back yard into a beautiful garden.

4) Could you tell us more about UAB Sustainability? Because UAB is a leader in so many aspects (such as our impressive academic research institution and health care facility, being the largest employer in Alabama, and the single-largest contributor to Birmingham’s economy) sustainable measures such as recycling and promoting clean energy usage is necessary. UAB Sustainability is a facilities division on campus that ensures that UAB is reaching the sustainability goals that the university has created in order to reduce our anthropological impact on the environment, while also hoping to inspire other universities in the southeast to live greener as well.

5) What can we as students on campus do better when it comes to protecting the environment? So, I know as a broke college student myself, that the prospect of living green seems hard and expensive, but in reality, it's really easy! You can be eco-friendly by doing things like recycling, walking to places more or carpooling, eating less beef, thrift shopping, using reusable grocery bags, and so much more. I am not going to lie, Pinterest has saved my life, and you can also google ways to live green. Living green not only is better for the environment, but it is better for you too! For example, I lost 15 pounds in a month by eating two vegetarian meals a day. Being eco-friendly saves you money, it is healthier for you, and it makes a difference!

6) What are your plans for the future? I am hoping to work for an NGO that works with promoting sustainable development. I do not know the specific organization yet

because I have only just recently finished my Sophomore year, but I know that I want to protect human rights by pushing for the creation of a sustainable world. I think working from a bottoms-up approach such as through grassroots organization, rather than strictly a top-down approach like through the government, will help me create the change that I want to see in the world.

7) If you could give one piece of advice about when it comes to protecting the Earth what would it be? It is really easy to feel like the small things you do, like recycling or carpooling to places, do not make a difference, but that is simply not true. Every single thing you do makes an impact. Something that my dad always tells me that really resonates with me is, "Even pebbles dropped in a pond can make ripples that turn into waves. Be that pebble."

8) Any closing comments? I know this is cheesy but be the change that you want to see in the world. The world is changed by your example, not by your opinions.