Nicholas School Student Council

Description and Mission

The Nicholas School Student Council (NSSC) of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences is an advocate on behalf of professional students, representing the interests and concerns of these students to the Duke University and Nicholas School community. The NSSC is a group of elected and volunteer-appointed Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) and Masters of Forestry (MF) students that serves as an advisory body to the faculty and administration, and provides a conduit between the student body, faculty, and administration.

Through the NSSC, professional students address with faculty and administration issues that include, but are not limited to, academic programs and curricula, courses, professional development, and long-range goals of the school. Through the service of its officers and representatives, NSSC aims to improve the quality of student life at the Nicholas School.

The main purposes of NSSC are:

  1. To facilitate communication between Nicholas School professional students, faculty, and administration.
  2. To represent the interests and concerns of Nicholas School professional students to the Duke University community.
  3. To improve the quality of student life at the Nicholas School.

NSSC was formerly known as the SAC (Student Action Committee).

 All NSSC members can be reached by emailing 

Current Officers

Co-Executive Directors: Evan Poirson & Ashley Hartman

Secretary: Jill Wu

Treasurer: Justin Ong

Academic Officer/Judicial Committee Reps: John Culver

Program Area Officer: Lane Wallace

Communications Officer: Apple Loveless

International Student Reps: Wenjing Shi & Maria Ramirez

Alumni Council Rep: Clayton Avent & Michelle Yuan



GPSC Reps: Ashley Hartman and Evan Poirson


Ex-Officio: Nicole Buell, Sangeeta Ballal

Faculty Adviser: Lynn Maguire


Program Area Reps:  See List

Main Activities

  • Holding NSSC General Meetings to hear student opinion and discuss committee efforts.
  • Meetings with Administrative Offices
  • Meeting and Communication with faculty.
  • Hosting the Dean's Town Hall Meeting each semester.
  • Sponsoring Program Area (PA) social mixers.
  • Representation at Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) meetings.
  • Meeting and Communication with Nicholas Alumni Council
  • 1st Year/New Student Mentoring Match-ups
  • Graduation Student and Keynote Speaker Recruitment
  • Orientation Honor Code Review Session and advocacy for students in Academic Court.
  • Maintaining the Lost and Found Locker
  • Encouraging professors to use Mid-Semester Course Evaluations.
  • Conducting bi-annual Nicholas School Professional Student Survey to report on State of the MEM Program.
  • Providing feedback to Professional Skills Office to improve modules.


  • Peer Advising Lounge - Peer advising sessions prior to course registration.
  • Working with NicIT on improvements to IT and computing services.
  • Assistance with New Student Orientation Planning student committee, including compiling Nickipedia and "Nic School for Dummies" guide.
  • Assistance with Nicholas Institute special events (e.g., Clinton/Obama Advisers Forum)
  • Co-sponsoring the Nicholas School Sustainability Pledge with DUGI.
  • Organizing purchases for essential Student Lounge supplies and appliances.
  • Cleaning and organization of Student Lounge kitchen, magazines.
  • "Environment at Work" Professional Lunch Seminar Series
  • Student Groups Planning Meetings facilitating communication/collaboration amongst student groups.
  • Maintain student communications via Nickipedia, NSSC Email Digests, and other means.

Documents and Links

Past Reports

Past Meeting Minutes

2012 NSSC

2011 NSSC

2010 NSSC

2009 NSSC

2008 NSSC

2007 NSSC

  • November 26, 2007
  • November 12, 2007
  • October 29, 2007
  • September 10, 2007
  • April 23, 2007
  • April 9, 2007
  • March 26, 2007
  • March 5, 2007
  • February 19 2007
  • February 5, 2007
  • January 22, 2007

2006 NSSC

  • April 18 , 2006
  • April 4, 2006
  • Febuary 14, 2006
  • January 31, 2006
  • January 17, 2006

2005 NSSC

  • December 12, 2005
  • November 28, 2005
  • November 14, 2005
  • October 31, 2005
  • October 17, 2005
  • October 3, 2005
  • September 19, 2005
  • September 5, 2005