Student Profile: Rozalie Czesana '18

Rozalie Czesana
Posted on March 2, 2017

Major: WWS (and ENV and URB certificates)

GreenLeader group affiliation and/or sustainability initiative: Greening Dining, Princeton University Farmer’s MarketPrinceton Studies Food, Princeton Vertical Farming Project

How do you define sustainability?

Way of living that can be sustained in the long run without depleting resources to the point where future generations cannot function. Thinking critically about what we use, how we use it and if we really need it. This includes refusing (yeah, don’t be lazy to wash your coffee thermos and avoid that paper cup), reusing/repurposing (who doesn’t love her grandma’s closet when it’s free grabs?) and recycling (all those piles you have to print out for classes?…they go single stream…but what if another student can re-use them for the same class next year?) and the list goes on… I also like to keep the triple bottom line concept in mind.

Why did you decide to get involved in these sustainability initiatives?

I have always been passionate about food and the environment, but it wasn’t until I came to Princeton and met some incredible mentors such as Karla Cook and Kelly Caylor that I started to see the complexity of food systems as the main challenge of today, ranging from organic growing to home preparation and friendly-setting consumption to alternatives of growing related to land and water scarcity as well as conscious food/ingredient choices. I thought that this issue didn’t have enough representation on campus and so I joined a variety of groups to help promote it as well as contribute to possible amelioration. 

How has your leadership role shaped your experience at Princeton?

It made me extremely busy, but it also gave me the opportunity to meet passionate people with similar concerns and interests across class years and majors but also in various faculty positions and office staff positions. By participating in a variety of sustainable  projects and groups, I am often able to connect people across campus to work on projects together, which is probably one of my favorite things - with Princeton’s human and financial resources, big ideas become possible so long as you have the drive to organize things and make them happen. The biggest project of this kind was the design of a freshman seminar titled Science, Society and Dinner that I helped initiate alongside Karla Cook, Kelly Caylor and Chef Craig Shelton. Serving as a TA for this class and helping with the entire design and running procedure has been one of my best experiences at Princeton - at times challenging, but always full of incredible energy from the entire team and above all crowned with the reward of being able to share and explore the complexity of food systems from cultural, ecological and historical context to actual farm growing to cooking and finally sharing a meal.