The grand opening of Florida Tech’s new Ethos Community Garden just happened to fall on alumna Laura Holty’s homecoming. That’s quite serendipitous for this former sustainability major.
Holty had just moved back to town to start her new job at Northrop Grumman. So of course, she couldn’t miss the garden’s debut. She was excited not only because it offered a terrific platform for hands-on learning, but was also a move toward increased sustainability-based endeavors
“The garden is a wonderful idea,” Holty said. “It can really bring the campus together.”
Making a Difference
While sustainability is certainly her passion now – it wasn’t always on her radar.
“My heart was set on astrophysics,” Holty said. “But after freshman year I changed to sustainability because I felt that I could make more of an impact.”
The idea that she could make a real difference in the world solidified her decision.
“I decided on a sustainability degree because I liked the mixture of diverse sciences and wanted to make our world a better place,” Holty said.
And she hopes to do just that in her new position at Northrop Grumman.
“My job is mainly concentrated in the environmental, health and safety areas,” Holty said. “However, I also promote sustainability initiatives and policies, as well as participate in sustainability projects.”
She credits her education at Florida Tech for preparing her to enter today’s workforce.
“The sustainability degree from Florida Tech made me unique because it gave an environmental and business background,” Holty said. “This combination has prepared me to continue on to my master’s in business administration.”
Great Teachers Make a Difference
She also credits a special mentor with inspiring her to succeed.
“Dr. Lindeman was my favorite professor throughout college,” Holty said. “He challenged me to think differently and outside of the box.”
As a student, she and others worked together on an awareness program aimed at electronics recycling.
“For her senior sustainability capstone project she worked to improve awareness of the procedures and process for electronics recycling,” Lindeman said.
This meant installing the proper signage and instructions throughout campus.
The recycling program, which allows for sustainable disposal of many electronic items, was already in place at Florida Tech for some time – but making her fellow students aware of it and improving the delivery system was the goal.
And it’s not just the Earth she is passionate about.
“Sustainability is an important field and the way of the future,” Holty said. “My dream is to be a part of creating a sustainable environment on Mars through technology, innovation and sustainable practices.”