Sustainable living student Sara Kille

Lobbying Iowa state legislators about social and environmental issues with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Celebrating her birthday with MUM friends


Sara Kille worked as a preschool teacher in her hometown of Tracy, California, when she discovered actor Jim Carrey’s MUM commencement speech on Facebook. Sara was planning to study environmentalism and sustainability, and Carrey’s speech deeply resonated with her. She became curious about MUM, and a few months later she attended a Visitors Weekend. She was delighted by the students and visitors she met, and she made up her mind.

Sara enrolled as a sustainable living major in 2015. Her passion lies in environmental activism and social change, and she managed to tailor her education to match her specific needs. In addition to taking classes in global sustainability, creating social change, and climate science and solutions, she completed a six-week internship with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, an organization focusing on social, economic, and environmental justice for local communities.

For her senior project, Sara conducted research for a new environmental activism module the Department of Sustainable Living is planning to launch next year. In addition to fulfilling her academic goals, Sara also appreciates having “amazing friends and a like-minded community.” “It has been nice to feel at home here and find my soul family,” she said.

“Sara combines two wonderful characteristics,” said John Collins, instructor of sustainable living. “She has deep commitment to improving people’s treatment of each other and the environment; she also has a persistent drive to really get results. We’re looking forward to seeing her great successes.”

Sara was looking forward to learning the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and she has been pleased with the results. “TM has

smoothed out my emotions, so I feel more balanced,” she said. “I have more patience with myself and others.”

Sara is graduating this June and hopes to employ her enthusiasm for community and environmental activism by working for an organization in Hawaii. “I want to help people improve their lives and empower them to fight for what they need,” she said.