Elizabeth Kramer, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis, works with great passion to effect positive change on campus and in the St. Louis area. Her energy inspires those around her to translate her ideas for feeding and caring for the homeless and impoverished into a vibrant reality. Coming to WUSTL from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Elizabeth began her freshman year by stepping into the leadership role of president for Feed St. Louis, a student organization that salvages leftover food from Center Court and delivers it to area homeless shelters. She later went on to help merge this group with another poverty-related student organization, so that together they would have a greater impact on the St. Louis community and improve food quality, as well as service opportunities for students.
Continuing her focus on service, Elizabeth co-founded the Alliance of Students Against Poverty (ASAP), during her junior year. ASAP coordinates Homelessness Awareness Week each fall. This week of focused activities unifies campus community service groups and forms a network of social justice activists who continually learn and benefit from one another. Most recently, Elizabeth played a significant role in bringing Frances Moore Lappe to campus as an Assembly Series speaker to raise awareness of global poverty and democracy. In addition to her on-campus contributions, Elizabeth has also made a significant impact in the greater St. Louis area through her work at Gateway Greening. This nonprofit organization matches volunteers with community gardens and coordinates alternative food distribution to local markets.
Behind all of these accomplishments stands a selfless, bright personality. Elizabeth is not defined only by her activities and her service—she is a person of immense creativity, innovation and excitement. Whether she is working as a leader among her peers, having a potluck with friends or being “all business all the time,” Elizabeth’s spirit is infectious in a genuine and unique way.
In his nomination of Elizabeth, David Shepard, WUSTL Senior and Student Director of the Campus Y, wrote: “Elizabeth innately wants to make the world better for no other reason except that it needs to be better. No matter where she is, she will stop whatever she is doing to talk about food delivery systems anywhere in the United States or developing countries, the inability of day laborers in the United States to organize, or any other social issue.”