Making SERC Work: Courtney McGuire

SERC is made possible by a dedicated team, made up of students, sustainability professionals, and the UC Berkeley environmental community. In the coming few weeks, leading up to Big Give on 3/14/19, we’ll be highlighting and showcasing the people and programs that #MakeSercWerc

1. Introduce yourself!
My name is Courtney McGuire, I’m the Vermicomposting Supervisor at SERC. My team and I are bringing a large-scale worm bin to the Clark Kerr dorm’s grounds. We’re going to create a closed-loop there by taking waste from the dining hall, feeding it to our worms and then giving the vermicompost produced to the Clark Kerr Garden and grounds. We also will involve education into our project, for local schools as well as for the campus community. 

2. Why is SERC important to you?
SERC is important to me because it’s given me the opportunity to work in a field I’m passionate about on campus and be compensated for it. There are several environmental organizations on campus but it’s rare for them to pay students, which is why SERC is so important to the campus as a whole. Allowing students to work on environmental efforts and helping them afford college is why SERC is such a vital aspect of the campus community.

3. What’s your favorite SERC moment?
My favorite SERC moment was building the vermicomposting bin. We opened the event to the campus community and had a great group of people come out to help build the worm bin. It felt incredibly special to me because it was a moment that was a longtime coming and I was able to share it with friends. 

4. How has SERC supported you academically, professionally, and/or personally?
SERC has supported me in becoming more confident as a leader and as a member of the Berkeley community. Prior to joining SERC I felt confused about how I ended up at Berkeley and what I wanted from it, and although I still feel this way from time to time, I now feel more of a belonging to the campus community because of SERC. I no longer feel intimidated by the prospect of leading a project, team or even just a meeting because of the numerous opportunities my role in SERC has given me to lead. I’m so grateful for the sense of place SERC has given me and I don’t know if I could’ve received it from anywhere else. 5

Want to get knee deep in learning more about worms? Check out more of what Courtney and her team are doing here:
https://serc.berkeley.edu/zero-waste/vermicomposting/

These programs and events would not be possible without the support of donors and alumni. Please consider donating on March 14th during Big Give, an annual giving campaign at SERC: http://bit.ly/2iehs6Z

With your contributions, we’re able to make SERC work and continue to develop sustainability programs and services for students at UC Berkeley.

Has SERC positively impacted your life? Share your stories and experiences using #MakeSercWerc #CalBigGive

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