Leap into Leadership

Faces: Nolan Carson cover

Nolan Carson | Environmental Economics and Policy | Sutherlin, OR 

Sustainability Chair of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity | CAS Ambassador

Community Engagement and Leadership employee | LEAP Club President

It Runs in the Family

I'm a third generation Oregon State student and the sixth person in my family to come to school in Corvallis. However, I'm the first to be in the College of Agricultural Sciences! In addition to my academic pursuits, I'm also involved with Greek life as a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity where I am the sustainability chair. I'm also employed on campus by Community Engagement and Leadership, where we organize service opportunities for OSU students and facilitate leadership workshops for campus groups and organizations. These two involvements represent my passion for community. I believe with an active and engaged community, you can create an environment where everyone feels welcome, comfortable, and builds a better future. By doing my part to create community at Oregon State, I feel very fulfilled. This is a huge reason why I love Corvallis!

Countless Connections

I'm just about to wrap up my year as an Ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences at the end of the Spring 2022 term. This experience has been very hands-on and has connected me to countless people within our college, both students and faculty. Having a greater understanding of the CAS community has been a privilege, and I've loved working with a team of eight other passionate student leaders. We've done everything from lead prospective students on campus tours to sharing our experiences in the college with donors. Being able to further develop my professional skills has been a blessing as well. I've become a more confident public speaker, a better networker, and a more equipped advocate for my peers and the causes I care about.

Expanding Field Knowledge

In addition to my ambassadorship, I recently became president of the Law, Environmental Economics, and Agricultural Policy (LEAP) Club. LEAP Club allows students interested in Applied Economics to connect, further their knowledge of their field, and hear from industry professionals about their experiences. These opportunities have been wonderful, and I'm looking forward to expanding the club over the course of the next academic year.

Socioeconomic Justice

Currently, I'm doing an undergraduate econometric research project in the Applied Economics department which is looking to see if the presence of renewable energy policy at the local level (i.e. city or county policies) has an effect on the median housing prices in the same area. The answer to this will allow me to deduct if it is advantageous for homeowners to buy homes in communities with such policies, as well as what the communities that have these questions look like from a socioeconomic perspective. Environmental justice is a very important topic in the conversation for the transition to clean energy sources, so these results will allow me to consider such a topic in the areas that I'm examining. Overall, it's been a very rewarding process; being a part of every step of the research, from data collection to discovering results, has been an amazing experience.

Engage in Community

Try new things! I've found the most rewarding part of being in college is the community you have the opportunity to be a part of. There are very few places in this life where you're surrounded by so many like minded individuals who are all here to make positive change in the lives of others. Additionally, Oregon State provides so many opportunities for you to be exposed to different perspectives, lifestyles, and activities that you may have never seen before. Coming from a small town, I've found this especially rewarding. Engaging with your community through clubs, on campus events, and leadership opportunities are great for connecting you to your peers, but also for developing your professionalism. The skills you learn from this exposure are tools that you will be able to apply through all aspects of your life, including your career.