Nathan Sanders // Student Story

November 14, 2019

Nathan Sanders is a Computer Security major in the Bachelor of Innovation at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS). Nathan has lived in Colorado his entire life and until moving to Colorado Springs for college, lived in the small town of Delta Colorado. As a kid, Nathan would always be having fun. Whether it was at his grandpa’s farm, flying on the tire swing, or he would be making a Thomas the Tank Engine Layout throughout his parent’s living room.

Things didn’t change as he grew older though. In High School, Nathan was the school mascot for three years and even won the school talent show by re-enacting the Napoleon Dynamite dance while in the mascot suit. Nathan joined the Quad last summer and was an intern in the Quad Summer Intensive. Over the summer, Nathan chose to work on the Soil Cycle project. Soil Cycle is a social enterprise in Colorado Springs that offers composting services to residents who live downtown.

What intrigued Nathan about Soil Cycle was that they were a new startup enterprise. There were many aspects of Soil Cycle that allowed Nathan to innovate and problem solve. Nathan especially enjoyed creating a Profit and Loss spreadsheet for Soil Cycle’s back end of the operation and learning about how the finances of a business work. Nathan fell in love with the work he had done this summer as an Innovation Consultant and wasn’t quite done with Soil Cycle. Soil Cycle had big plans to create Compost Park, which is the space on Colorado Springs Food Rescue’s Hillside Hub that has been allocated for Soil Cycle to fill.

This year, Nathan and his team have been diving into maximizing the space available with different composting processes and the creation of different compost products. What sparked Nathan’s interest in Soil Cycle’s next step was the opportunity to create many mathematical models to numerically compare all of Soil Cycle’s options, keeping in mind both space, time, and money. Nathan and his team are currently making 5 or 6 models for different aspects of Compost Park. Nathan enjoys working with his teammates to research, formulate, and create these impactful models.

Nathan recently shared what the Quad offers to students like him: “The Quad is such an asset to Colorado Springs because it allows students to fail and learn from those failures, innovate within a team environment, and most importantly, learn how to professionally communicate with real-world clients and deliver impactful results.” In his free time, Nathan enjoys reading, trying new things, swimming, volleyball, playing board games, and watching any movie with a good plot and a good soundtrack. He is also really involved on his campus because of a scholarship program called Chancellor’s Leadership Class. Within that program, he is allowed to grow his leadership through weekly seminars, and volunteer at many amazing events throughout the year. You might be able to catch him as a peer facilitator at the UCCS lead modules, or dressed as a banana helping to deliver candy at an event called Boo at the Zoo.