Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Paul Campion

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Major: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science
Expected Graduation: 2019

Paul has spent much of his college career working on topics related to clean energy. He received the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which included a 10-week summer internship in Alaska aboard the NOAA hydrological survey ship, Fairweather.

At the 2018 American Meteorological Society annual meeting, he was honored with an Outstanding Student Conference Poster Award for his research on extreme precipitation patterns in the Midwest, which analyzed the local impacts of climate change. During a semester abroad in Vietnam, Paul interned at asset management firm Dragon Capital, where he developed solar energy projects and piloted a project to use solar power to deliver clean water to communities in the Mekong Delta. In Chicago, he interned with the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

Paul, who is co-president of Loyola’s Student Environmental Alliance, is a member of the Student Advisory Board in the Baumhart Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility; has been active in Campus Ministry’s retreat and Alternative Break Immersion programs; and served as a student facilitator for Loyola’s Outdoor Experiential Education program, Rambler Outdoors.

Here, he talks about the values he wants to guide his life and about his desire to be part of the solution to some of the major challenges that humanity faces today.

What was the most meaningful volunteer, service, or student organization activity you’ve been involved in? How has it influenced you or shaped you as a person?

I have been quite lucky to go on and lead alternative break immersions through Campus Ministry. In Detroit, we lived with a community of Loyola alumni for a week. We met community members and activists who demonstrated resiliency and creativity. We learned to plant, harvest, and weed in urban farms—literal symbols of regrowth. We rallied beside people who have been denied clean water, a living wage, and human dignity. And yet, joy and deep friendship filled the week. We learned how to live justice, simplicity, faith, and community. When committed to these values, it feels impossible not to have hope.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your Jesuit education?

Nothing is more life-giving than throwing my heart and soul into serving others and fighting for justice. Through the Student Environmental Alliance, I have worked on campaigns to make Loyola a more sustainable community. Although advocating for renewable electricity, onsite solar, and sustainable investment of our endowment has been slow going with numerous roadblocks, simply contributing to an alternative vision has been rewarding. Our university and our world can thrive without fossil fuels, but it requires bold leadership and a tenacious commitment to economic, social, and environmental well-being.

What do you hope to achieve after college, and how has Loyola prepared you?

Humanity faces an enormous challenge. I want to be part of the solutions, restoring democracy and transitioning our world from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a renewable one. I hope to work in a social enterprise to act on science. As a sophomore, as a personal charge, I wrote, “I set forth to each day build a world of love where we appreciate the earth and live together simply, peacefully, and for the long run.” Each morning, I see this quote on my desk. After college, it will serve as a daily reminder of the exceptional education that Loyola has provided and as motivation to employ that education to live an extraordinary life.


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