Meet Spencer Turk. She graduated from Leeds School of Business in Spring 2018 with a Certificate in Social Responsibility and Ethics. Spencer is one of our amazing young alums we’ll be keeping a close eye on.
As an outdoorsy sophomore with an interest in entrepreneurship, Spencer took a business ethics course where she learned how much business impacts our environment. She developed an interest in B Corps and started working for the Environmental Center on campus.
Spencer developed a passion for working in the environmental and sustainability sphere through her business coursework and campus employment.
One of her first goals was to improve the recycling services at her sorority. After getting more bins onsite, she wanted to drive more initiatives within the house, so she led the creation of a sustainability group and, in turn was hired as the Environmental Center’s Greek Sustainability Coordinator. Spencer worked with all the Greek houses to set and reach sustainability goals and to conduct energy audits.
“Two professors really stand out: Brad Werner and Erick Mueller. I went back to Brad’s class recently to pitch PIPs Rewards and run a focus group!”
From Leeds to PIPs Rewards
After spending a semester abroad in New Zealand, Spencer came back to CU for her final semester and started using a new platform that was deployed at CU aimed at driving sustainability and promoting engagement on campus: PIPs Rewards. PIPs, or Positive Impact Points, are earned by engaging in verifiable positive behaviors, such as: refilling your water bottle, recycling, riding your bike, volunteering, and shopping responsibly, among many other actions.
The app teaches students that their choices make an impact and often leads to changing their individual behaviors. Spencer used the app and saw its potential.
“I got involved and asked questions. Pushing forward and following my passion is what led me to discover PIPs and get engaged.”
She landed an internship with the company, 3P Partners, Inc, that owns and operates the PIPs platform leading the programming efforts at CU Boulder. Her first project was to organize an Earth Day scavenger hunt on campus and build relationships with other groups on campus.
Spencer was so successful in her efforts, that she was offered a full time job with the company and now serves as a key associate helpings manage business development, operations, and partner relationships for the women-owned and women-led startup and will be instrumental in their growth and expansion to other campuses and municipalities.
Engagement with CU and a New Education Fund
PIPs Rewards has a three-year contract with CU Boulder to drive up engagement among students in sustainability, health, and financial wellness behaviors, increase their sense of community and help them to stay in school.
The platform recently launched a fantastic new feature PIPs for School, which makes it easy for students to commit their PIPs to pay school expenses, and unlock matching funds provided by a new 501c3 public foundation, the PIPs Education Fund. Students pledge an amount/percentage of their PIPs using the PIPs for School tool, and the CU PIPs Student Education Fund matches the $ amount they pledge. At the end of the semester, students who have pledged their PIPs for School meet with financial aid to determine how the PIPs will be applied to their bill. One PIP = one cent, so students can receive as much as $1000/semester in funding from the new PIPs for School feature.
Not only is the PIPs Reward platform helping deliver meaningful environmental, economic and social benefits to the CU and Boulder community, it is also creating job opportunities for passionate Leeds alumni like Spencer, who want to work for mission driven companies. Onward and upward!
Want to join PIPs Rewards?
Click here to learn more about the program or get signed up! You can also stop by the Deming Center (Koelbel S350E) or CESR Suite (Koelbel 345) to pick up an individual water bottle refill QR code to start earning PIPs today!