Post contributed by Hallie Nelson, Office of Sustainability Intern
Priscella Goodson began working at Auburn University in 2011 as an Administrative Associate for the Physics Department. Prissy now works in the Aerospace Engineering Department as an Administrative Associate, a position she has held since 2014. Before coming to Auburn University, she owned a retail dance apparel business in town. Prissy lives in Beauregard with her husband and has two children and one granddaughter.
Getting Involved with the Peers Network
Excited to meet new people, Prissy applied to be a Peer Ambassador after receiving an email about the program. She wanted to learn about everything happening on campus through connecting with the other Peers Ambassadors. Prissy is a people-person, so connecting with new group of people has been one of her favorite parts of the Peers Network so far. At every training, lunch, or sustainability event, Prissy is there with a smile on her face. Through talking to everyone at the events, Prissy has realized that each person shares many of her values, but sees and learns things differently. This has shown her that the way you approach a new person or a new idea can make all of the difference in the world.
Prissy is an active and caring member of the Auburn community on and off campus. She was born and raised in Lee County, so she has a deep respect and connection with the area. Those that know Prissy often hear her talking about the “Loveliest Village on the Plains” and her love for the community here. So naturally, she saw the Peers Network as an opportunity for her to be a positive influence on those around her, especially people that are new to the Auburn community. Her department is growing fast, with five new professors hired, so she is excited to share her care for the future of Auburn with all members of her department through sustainability initiatives.
Working Toward Change
In Davis Hall, the aerospace engineering building on campus, Prissy has started her own sustainability initiatives. The first initiative that she is working on is creating a battery recycling system for her department. Prissy sent out a simple email to the faculty, staff, and graduate students asking everyone to bring batteries to her office, instead of throwing them away. She was overwhelmed by the number she has collected in a short amount of time. Just two weeks after sending the email, she has already collected 20 batteries. She has had positive feedback from the new faculty that started in the department as well. These faculty members had many batteries in their office, not knowing what resources the university had for the disposal of the batteries. Prissy was able to fill this gap and share her excitement for sustainability.
In addition to the battery recycling, Prissy has started a second initiative for her department. She now orders 30% recycled-content paper for all printers. She has always done the paper ordering, but never considered switching to recycled-content until becoming a Peers Ambassador. With a recent increase in the price of non-recycled content paper, she realized that the recycled-content paper price was very competitive and decided to make the switch.
Sustainability Challenges and Inspiring Initiatives
From her perspective, Prissy believes that the greatest challenge to sustainability is changing the perspectives of others. She meets some people who do not think about the long term effects their actions can have on the environment. Prissy says this is especially apparent on Gameday weekends when she walks around campus. The campus and downtown area have trash everywhere after the games. She hopes that as a part of the community, she will be able to get the people that are here, either for short-term or long-term periods, to care about their surroundings. She is glad to have met others in the Peers Network who share her concern and hopefulness that the community will begin to value sustainability and want to keep Auburn the “Loveliest Village on the Plains.”