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Mathews Medalist Promoted Sustainable Practices

Caroline Hansley earned the 2014 Mathews Medal, NC State's highest non-academic distinction for students.
Caroline Hansley earned the 2014 Mathews Medal, NC State’s highest non-academic distinction for students.

Four NC State seniors received the 2014 Mathews Medal, NC State’s highest non-academic distinction. Among the medalists is Caroline Hansley, who majored in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in agroecology and social entrepreneurship.

Coming to NC State as a junior, Caroline Hansley became the first transfer student ever admitted to the University Honors Program. With a passion for sustainability, Hansley began to create change almost the minute she stepped on campus. In nine months, she developed a Green Ambassadors program so that students could have a voice in sustainable practices. Hansley led the movement to create a Sustainability Fund, including creating a board to ensure that the fund remains “sustainable” after she graduates.

Hansley also helped establish a purchasing policy that prohibited campus paper purchases from companies involved in unethical deforestation practices.

Last year, Hansley was one of only 50 students across the country to be named a Udall Scholar. She was selected from a pool of 600 applicants. Tiffany Kershner, coordinator of Distinguished Scholarships and Fellowships, says Hansley “has an amazing ability to organize at the grassroots level and to communicate complex economic and energy proposals to the student population.”

The Mathews Medal, modeled after the Watauga Medal, is reserved for those who have made significant contributions based on leadership and service. The award is administered by the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program and is named for Walter Jerome Mathews, the first student to arrive on the campus of the N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1889. Read more about the medal and the medalists on the NC State Alumni Association website.