Pitzer Spotlights

2005-2006 Spotlight Archives

Lisa Rojas ’07 Implements Local Recycling Program

Lisa Rojas '07

Lisa Rojas ’07, a New Resources student, appreciated Pitzer’s hands-on approach to learning. She has used that approach not only to learn, but to educate others and improve the Claremont community.

“Environmental Studies Professor Paul Faulstich asked the class to think of something that would make a difference in the environment as an assignment,” Rojas said. “I thought of recycling immediately. There is no recycling program in the Claremont Village, so I thought that we should take the project out into the community.”

Rojas found that bringing change to the community would require hard work and perseverance. Implementing the program took more than a year.

“The semester ended and people graduated. I kept at it with a core of about five people,” Rojas said. “Our research showed that recycling would not only pay for itself, but it would ultimately save the city money. The few of us that were left gathered our information and went to the Claremont Community Service Commission and made a presentation.”

The Commission was very open to the group’s idea and helped Rojas work her way through the proper channels to get the recycling program in place. The city agreed to put three sets of recycling containers at the locations of Rojas’ choosing in the Claremont Village.

Rojas plans to work with the city to develop an educational program about recycling, including a newsletter. An Environmental studies major, Rojas’ future includes graduate school and she hopes to start environmental programs at inner city schools one day.

“Being a non-traditional student with two children allows me to look at the big picture,” Rojas said. “I literally want to make the environment my children are growing up in better. Pitzer has allowed me to learn how I can do that.”

-Catherine Okereke ’00