After spending six years building up the Environment, Technology and Economy Scholars program as director, Becky Archer will be moving across the Atlantic Ocean to Belgium.
"I loved every day working with students who wanted to find innovative ways to make our way of life more just and sustainable. The students pushed me to research fields that I had minimal background in, finding new and creative ways to look for opportunity,” Archer said.
"The faculty and staff of Scholars are some of the most caring, intelligent folks that I have ever known, and it was an honor to work with people who were willing to step outside their comfort zone all for the purpose of making the student experience more meaningful."
Before Archer started directing the program, ETE struggled with recruiting and retaining students, said Scholars Assistant Director Brent Hernandez.
"After just a year, because of Becky’s leadership and the staff she hired, she stabilized the program… they were very detail-oriented and open to student feedback. They adjusted their curriculum and activities to accommodate that feedback."
Hernandez added that their responsiveness to student feedback empowered ETE students.
"Becky was like a mother figure to the program more so than a professor. She always encouraged us to be a family," said sophomore ETE Scholar Alex Tran. "She supported us when we would play intramurals with our program, and during all of our Scholars events. She was always able to keep things light hearted and fun in class, and we'll miss her."
In the wake of Archer’s absence, former assistant director Tim Knight will be assuming the role of acting director of ETE.
"I am going to miss Becky's boundless energy and her eternal willingness to try something new. Her default response, when presented with a new idea, is 'yes.' That spirit has helped ETE to continually grow in new and exciting ways," said Knight.
But for now, Knight said that he hopes to build on their program’s successes and continue to provide opportunities for students to explore sustainable development practices through experiential learning.
"My whole career since high school has been connected to sustainability in some way. It is my passion and has informed my entire professional life," Knight said. "Passing that along to students is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I hope that I will have the chance to do that with ETE for many years."