Texas Tech University

Honors Student Selected for Inaugural Livable Futures Fellowship

Abby Stone

April 7, 2021

Sydney Lundberg

Sydney Lundberg plans to bring her passion for the environment and photography to the fellowship.

Through the generosity of former Texas Tech University System Regent James Sowell and the former Center for Global Communication, Sydney Lundberg has been selected for Texas Tech University's inaugural offering of the Livable Futures Student Fellowship. 

Lundberg, an honors student with a double-major in agricultural & applied economics and agricultural communications, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, plans to bring her passion for the environment and photography to the fellowship.  

The Creating Livable Futures program is a growing, campus-wide initiative supported by nearly a dozen Texas Tech faculty members that prepares students to communicate in a fully interdisciplinary and global way. The program seeks to form solutions to challenges posed by pressing issues that speak to society's collective well-being and sustainability.  

The initiative leverages the rich holdings and perspectives of Texas Tech's Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community and the Natural World, which contains the papers of Barry Lopez and many other notable authors whose writing bears on sustainability. Creating Livable Futures prepares students to translate and communicate the work of world-class speakers and thinkers on sustainability, and engages students in using, describing and discussing relevant research materials. 

Creating Livable Futures has sponsored the Sowell Conference and many online readings and lectures, conducted a climate interactive, screened films and helped establish two student organizations, Project Climate and GrowTech. 

Lundberg will develop the program's social media and web presence, as well as develop related educational curricula.  

“I have always taken an interest in the outdoors, natural resources and agriculture,” Lundberg said. “In the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to intern with the environmental services group at PNM Resources, New Mexico's electric utility company. Through my role working with environmental regulations in this internship and my involvement in Texas Tech programs such as the Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement Program, I have developed a deep interest in local and federal policies as they relate to natural resource use, equitable land allocation and sustainability. At the same time, I have developed an interest in the unique challenges that are faced by the agricultural sector of the American economy. In particular, I see that these two areas often have competing concerns, and I am interested in finding innovative ways to meet both sets of needs.” 

As the fellowship recipient, Lundberg will put in up to 20 hours each week on a variety of projects and will be “on-call” for special events. She will support the initiative's programming, outreach and engagement as well as help coordinate and communicate with constituencies, especially students. Lundberg will serve as an ambassador and colleague for the Creating Livable Futures Fellowship. 

“Sydney's career goals align closely with the aims of the fellowship; we expect her to become a sustainability thought-leader and first-rate researcher in her own right,” said Bryan Giemza, associate professor of humanities and literature in the Honors College and creator of the Livable Futures Fellowship. “She is quickly becoming a key communicator for our team. She helps juggle and advertise our activities and is using her skills in photography and design to elevate the work of student groups, invited speakers and webinars. As part of her research, she's combing through the archive and becoming a true scholar of the Sowell Collection, and will be involved in the creation of a proposed campus-wide curricular unit as well.” 

“I believe that this fellowship will benefit me greatly in the future,” Lundberg said. “I am gaining invaluable experience while in the fellowship. I'm also making connections with industry professionals and authors, Texas Tech organizations and professors.”