Emma Hutchinson has taken her academic passion for environmental communication beyond the classroom, putting her incredible talent to use to improve the Stanford community and beyond. She has been a member of Students for a Sustainable Stanford for all four years, serving on the leadership team for 2 years. As a Co-Leader for SSS's Climate & Energy group in her sophomore year, she organized three interdisciplinary panel discussions on environmental topics featuring Stanford professors and outside experts. This year, as SSS’s Director of Media, Emma has gone far beyond what had ever been done with this role. As a strong believer in the motivating and uniting power of effective scientific communication, Emma identified that SSS was not maximizing its ability to be an effective agent of change on campus – or successfully engaging in intersectional conversations about environmental issues. For that reason, she took it upon herself to create SSS’s first media team, which includes six working groups: photo, social media, graphic design, website, calendar, and blog. Single-handedly building the SSS media team from the bottom up has been an incredible amount of work, and has set SSS up for successful communications in the future. She has invested an enormous amount of energy into leadership development, fostering skills development in her nine media team members. Media team is highly organized and structured like a well-oiled machine that will continue to function in the future.
Emma’s most valuable contribution to the Stanford and environmental community through media team has been her commitment to using these new platforms to diversify the environmental conversation on campus – drawing in diverse perspectives to be featured on the SSS blog, highlighting important environmental justice issues, opening channels of communication between us and other student and justice groups in the area, and more. Emma’s work has elevated the profile of SSS and sustainability on campus, and will continue to do so in the future. She has doggedly pursued the route of change that she believes in, empowering many younger students and making a tangible difference along the way. Media team is by no means Emma’s only public service endeavor, but is telling of her character and commitment. In a work capacity, Emma has held internship positions with WILD Foundation, serving as a communications specialist in relaunching their urban nature program, and the National Audubon Society, serving as their political research arm to move Republicans forward on climate change action in Congress. After graduation, she plans to work on environmental policy and communication in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.