Ian Roback, a junior at St. Olaf College, is an active student leader who addresses issues of climate change and food insecurity on and off-campus. His approach to addressing social and policy issues is multi-pronged, involving a mix of education, grassroots organizing, social entrepreneurship, and advocacy, all of which he has employed since the beginning of his time at St. Olaf. In his first year he mobilized engineering students to participate in a project he developed to purify polluted water in global communities (patent pending). As a sophomore, he served as the student government’s Environmental Senator and remains currently involved on the executive committee for Volunteer Network. He regularly meets with policy makers at the local and state levels to advocate for environmental sustainability.
I am a student leader actively helping create a culture of understanding on campus. As demonstrated by my service as the Environmental Senator, I am passionate about bridging the gap between sustainability and wealth disparity. I introduced bylaws changes to provide better guidance for future senators and mobilized senators in student government to unanimously pass a divestment policy resolution. I also started a nonprofit venture to reduce pollution and serve food insecure individuals living in poverty through better water quality and experiential learning. I have worked hard to connect my peers to opportunities for service through my work in the Academic Civic Engagement Office and on the Volunteer Network branch of Student Government. I am committed to seeing others strive to make a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable populations and do not shy away from making these differences myself. I consider myself a compassionate leader and will continue to work toward bettering the lives of others in the fields of environmental studies and political science.