"I'm a big believer in not accepting what is. I'm pro-active about doing things,” Ross Nizlek says. In addition to his classes — his major is economics, his minor, business administration — Nizlek tackles “a project” each semester.
His weekly schedule last year included 20 hours at his Kinko's job, 20 hours on UVM Rescue, flying lessons, SGA committee work in his second semester, and a solar energy project that included living off-the-grid for 20 days at his Living/Learning suite.
The first contact I got from UVM was a big envelope; the outside said ‘Green is Good,' and it was on recycled paper,” he says. Intrigued, he and dad visited campus. “We went past Bailey/Howe and saw the solar panels,” which immediately upped the stakes in UVM's favor. “But it was the whole atmosphere of the campus,” he says. “We went downtown on Church Street, and I said, ‘I have to go here.' Ironically, in a state most people view as having nothing, I found a great place …I love UVM and I love Burlington.
What I'm interested in is consumption, how much do we need to consume,” he says. “I want to pursue something in the environmental area, but I want to look at it from an economic perspective.” Politics likely will be part of that future, he adds. Whatever the path, he'll continue “trying to live what I advocate and trying to raise awareness."