Lift As You Climb

by Rebecca Shipman ([email protected] )

Victoria Carroll found her passion for environmental sustainability after becoming involved in the subject by default. As part of her studies in chemical engineering at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA, Carroll must be knowledgeable of varying environmental protection laws and environmental sustainability practices about the communities in which she resides. Along with a rigorous academic schedule, she has found ways to volunteer her time to aid in environmental causes.

The bulk of Carroll’s knowledge of environmentally friendly engineering has come from her curriculum at Louisiana Tech and her internships. She has interned at Graphic Packaging Intl., Monsanto/Bayer, and Phillips 66. All three of the companies use practices that impact the environment surrounding them, so employees must be conscious of environmentally sound ways of reaching their goals.

Carroll recognizes that the focus for environmental sustainability changes depending on the location. During an internship over summer break, she was able to work with a wildlife refuge on the Gulf coast addressing coastal erosion—particularly the damage to the greenery along the coast of a given area. 

Erosion impacts the wildlife that lives in or near the vegetation, the economy that depends on the shoreline, and rising sea levels. Wildlife loses their homes, the fishing industry slows down, and rising sea levels cause damage to the community, especially during hurricane season. Carroll has volunteered with the wildlife refuge camp to plant greenery along the coastline to alleviate some of those issues.

At Louisiana Tech, Carroll has different responsibilities. In addition to being a student, she sits as the business diversity chair of the National Society of Black Engineers. Her position in the organization requires her to recruit as many people as possible to help with neighborhood cleanups and recycling drives. 

This year, Covid-19 has impacted her work because she was unable to have in-person meetings on campus. Thankfully, the organization could still complete neighborhood cleanups and recycling drives because they are outside and people can work socially distanced.

Carroll’s philosophy is “lift as you climb” and hopes that in the future, the work for environmental sustainability never ends. She believes that mentorship is important for academic, professional, and environmental success. Whenever she recruits students for her volunteer efforts, she teaches the importance of leaving the environment healthy for the generations that come after us.