By Jack Ratterree and Sarah Stone

Two  Wilson College students will play a role in a university-wide initiative to improve sustainability. Noah Retarides and Talya Suber have been selected to be a 2021-22 Social Innovation Fellow. The cohort is made up of 30 students across nine colleges.

They’ll join a group of social impact ventures to become problem-solvers and changemakers, diving into six of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals as a part of NC State’s Sustainable Development Goals Initiative.

Learn more about the college’s two Fellows below.

Noah Retarides

Master of Textiles
Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Noah Retarides is earning a Master of Textiles in the Wilson College of Textiles concentrating in fashion development and product management.

Not surprisingly, he enjoys tie-dyeing and working on apparel design projects in his free time. He’s an avid outdoor enthusiast and his deep love for nature has influenced his passion for sustainability and his work with NC State’s Greater Good Textile Group.

“I am extremely passionate about sustainability but have not had the opportunity to work on a project that results in real change,” he says. “I hope that with the help of program mentors and industry partners, our team can create an innovative solution that results in positive change.”

Retarides will be working on goal 12, which is responsible consumption and production. He’ll partner with NC State’s Compost Facility and Research Cooperative, a campus unit that handles nearly all of its organic waste and strives to provide a space for students, faculty and community members to better understand the environmental benefits of composting.

Talya Suber

Fashion and Textile Management
Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Talya Suber is a senior studying fashion and textile management with a concentration in product development and product management with a minor in international studies. They epitomize the “think globally, act locally” mindset. With the goal of eventually becoming a socially responsible entrepreneur, Talya has been deeply involved with NC State’s Global Village and organized several of their Black History Month events. As a Caldwell Fellow, they also worked with Neighbor to Neighbor, a local after-school enrichment program, before and during the pandemic.

“I am passionate about social justice and youth development. Through Social Innovation Fellows, I hope to find the resources and people I need to propel my passion into action by finding ways I can help in my day-to-day,” Suber says. “I think this fellowship is a great step towards my goal of becoming a global citizen to uplift my communities while creating art that I love.”

Suber will be working on goal 2, which is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. They’ll be working with Sankofa Farms, a venture founded by NC State doctoral student Kamal Bell that aims to provide healthy options for those in food deserts and break down educational barriers for young African American men.