Ann Winstead, a senior majoring in environmental sciences and political science with a minor in renewable energy, has been named one of three recipients of this year’s Mathews Medal by the NC State Alumni Association. Winstead is the second student from the College of Natural Resources to be named a recipient of the prestigious award since 2022.
As the highest non-academic distinction awarded to NC State students, the Mathews Medal honors graduating seniors who have served as student leaders and made significant contributions to the advancement of the university. It is named in honor of Walter J. Mathews, the first student to arrive on the North Carolina School of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts campus in October 1889. As an alumnus, Mathews remained deeply involved with the university and this annual award – given each year at the Founders Day dinner – encourages student recipients to envision themselves as future alumni leaders.
Winstead has made signification contributions to campus sustainability since her freshman year as a resident in University Housing’s Ecovilliage living and learning community. As an intern for the Waste Reduction and Recycling Office, for example, she installed more than 250 compost pails to expand apartment composting within University Housing. And more recently, as a student government senator representing the College of Natural Resources, Winstead wrote and helped pass a bill that promotes compost education and the elimination of single-use plastics on campus.
“I am in constant awe of the drive Ann has to make NC State a more sustainable university,” said Adam Bensely, the waste diversion coordinator in NC State’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Office. “It is unique for a student to have not only the ideas for creating sustainable changes but also the skills to navigate the process for seeing their ideas come to fruition.”
A version of this story was originally published by NC State Alumni Association News.