Tali Haller has been a student at the University of Washington for less than two years, and she's already won two Husky Green Awards – an accomplishment no one else has achieved.
"It's very motivating, and it also gives some validity to the things that I'm doing," she said about the Husky Green Award wins. "It's really nice to be recognized for work that I’m doing on campus."
Tali has already been able to make a big impact promoting sustainability in the UW Greek system, as well as being involved in many other environmental and sustainability projects on campus and off.
As a freshman, Tali earned a Husky Green Award largely for her efforts in creating a sustainability chair at her Sigma Kappa sorority, and implementing sustainability measures. These efforts were used as a pilot program with an eye toward implementing the program in Sigma Kappa chapters nationwide.
This year, she's worked to increase sustainability awareness across all Greek houses at UW through the EcoReps' Green Greek Representative program. She volunteered to help start the program and has help get every fraternity and sorority on campus to name a Green Greek representative.
Recently, Tali officially became EcoReps' Green Greek Coordinator, giving her more avenues to work to expand the program, which has the representatives from each house come together for monthly meetings to determine how they can improve sustainability in the Greek community.
Tali's environmental energy isn’t confined to the Greek system. She's worked with the Campus Sustainability Fund, taught sustainability to middle school students as part of Environmental Alternative Spring Break, and worked as field manager for Seattle’s Fund for the People’s Interest this summer.
Tali is studying business and international studies, with an eye toward eventually working on environmental policy.
"I'm so happy I came to UW – I feel like there are more opportunities than I can ever hope to find," she said. "It pains me that I do not have more energy and hours in my day."
One of the big lessons she's learned at UW is to utilize the people who can help as mentors or support when trying to take on a project – and to earn their trust by following through on what you say. If you do that, she's found, you can make a real difference.
"People want you to succeed," she said. "They want you to achieve your goals when you're young and optimistic."
The Husky Green Awards recognize the top environmental leaders at the University of Washington. Individuals or groups from all UW campuses are nominated by faculty, staff and students. We featured many of the 2016 nominees on the blog this month. The award ceremony will be held during the April 22 Earth Day celebrations on Red Square.