Three students, all interns for Behrend’s Sustainable Food System program and Sustainable Behrend, were awarded grant funds from Penn State’s Student Engagement Network to pay for learning and growth opportunities that they will use to, in turn, enlighten and enrich the Behrend community.
"Studying the Impacts of Climate Change while Rebuilding Homes"
Makay will travel to the Bahamas on spring break to help devastated communities rebuild after Hurricane Dorian. Hands-on volunteer work is only part of her mission, however. Her primary goal in this endeavor is to hear the stories of those who are already facing the calamitous burdens of climate change—voices that she feels are too often drowned out in our world. She aims to record the experiences of folks who are struggling, and present them when she returns to Behrend.
"Growing Engagement at Behrend and Beyond"
Mitchell has designed a new, community-oriented garden space that will begin to be installed at Behrend this spring. This funding will help Mitchell and fellow students create a welcoming, inclusive, interactive space that is intended to generate enthusiasm for outdoor engagement and food systems education. The expansion will also allow for increased food production, boosting the amount of fresh, organically grown produce offered to the campus community.
"A Semester of New Learning"
Patterson is taking a semester off from Behrend to attend several highly regarded retreat centers, where she will immerse herself in studying meditation. She will also travel to New Zealand to volunteer on organic farms. "My intention is to clarify my academic and professional aspirations, as well as give back to people who are working to create a sustainable culture,” Patterson said. She will blog about her experience throughout her immersion and share her experiences with the Behrend community when she returns.