Christine Seibert's Goodbye Note

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh. 

There’s recently been a resurgence in sustainability circles of the values of place, community, and reciprocity. These ideas are not new—if anything, they are quite old. Their prevalence today illustrates our deep hunger for them in our transient and digitally disconnected world. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, they are so, so powerful. As I reflect on my time in Williamstown, I think those values sum up what has made this place so special to me. 

PlaceChristine with student leaders. Students holding a sign that says "Welcome to Williams!"

One of the very first field trips I planned for our interns when I arrived in Williamstown was a foraging hike. It was simple to arrange, and I hoped it would ground both myself and our summer intern cohort in this place. There’s something comforting about being able to name what’s around you, going for a walk and knowing the names of our plant neighbors. I went for a hike yesterday, and noticed that the garlic mustard is coming up, and debated if I had time to make pesto. In the evening I had dinner with friends, and they shared that the ramps are emerging and would be part of our dinner. Three years ago I wouldn’t have known what those species were, let alone that they were edible. 

There’s a depth of appreciation that comes from knowing something – place or person – well. I’ve gone on a host of hikes and adventures with a friend who knows the stories of this region deeply. Each time, I walk away amazed by the resilience of this land and the scores of people who have called it home. 

I believe we are made to be rooted in place. We are often discouraged from rooting in one place, whether that’s through the nature of a 4-year college or being encouraged to pursue the next best thing. So we must learn to find ways to root where we are, no matter how long we’re there for, even when it means letting go again. I’m so thankful for those who helped make this place home – from volunteering days at Caretaker Farm, to #NatVentures, to the gift of 50 Hikes in the Berkshire Hills from a stranger. This place now feels more like home than anywhere else, and I’m forever grateful for that. 



One of my favorite parts of my day is when someone stops by my office unexpectedly. I can often see the visitor’s hesitation–not wanting to interrupt– but it’s truly a joy. I love celebrating when a current intern lands their summer internship, problem solving logistics for an event, or just catching up. 

christine and various students posing somewhere on Spring Street

I’ve been fortunate to work with people, students and staff alike, who are outstanding at developing community. I’m so thankful that we’re in this together, and that it’s not just up to me! The work of sustainability must be rooted in community. I reflect on all the moments where I’ve seen members of our community step up for one another, checking in on each other in challenging times, celebrating each other’s wins, or simply lending an extra hand. Community isn’t something that is automatic, but has to be developed with time, intentionality and care. I’m 

so thankful for everyone who has welcomed me into this community – into their lives, homes, and into the ups and downs that make up our everyday. 


I’m currently staring at a sticky note on my computer that says “Hi Christine!! I hope you have a wonderful day!!!” This showed up on my door, no author listed, after I’d taken a day off. I still don’t know who left it, but it regularly makes me smile. Whether it’s the gift of an owl sticker for my laptop, some boba, or an invitation to share a meal, I am surrounded by kindness. While my job is to support students, so many days they are truly the ones supporting me. I am so frick’n proud of them – not for their academics or accomplishments, though those are extraordinary too – but for their kindness, for how they support one another, and how they selflessly work for sustainability on campus. I can’t wait to see how they change the world through being grounded and supporting one another in this work. 

I conclude with a note of gratitude:

Mike. Christine, Tanja wearing eclipse goggles while watching the eclipse

To Mike for your mentorship, for teaching me how to guide and grow students and ask good questions,

to Tanja for supporting me as a fellow woman in STEM and for balancing both challenging and believing in me,

to the host of faculty and staff partners who have helped bring programming to life and critically examine how we can best set students up for success, and

to the students who have given me more joy and pride than I think they’ll ever know. 

Thank you. 


Christine’s last day is June 3rd. Feel free to email for coffee/contact info before she heads out and/or add your thoughts to the Kudos board here.