BOONE—Allie Garrett of Sylva, a soon-to-be-graduate of Appalachian State University’s sustainable development program, has been awarded the Z. Smith Reynolds Fellowship for 2015-17.
Garrett said her experiences as a student majoring in sustainable development, work with Alternative Service Experience (ASE) and involvement with the student-run Renewable Energy Initiative (REI), her work as a resident assistant for University Housing and as a research assistant with Appalachian Voices helped prepare her for the fellowship.
The fellowship will enable Garrett to work on Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation activities related to philanthropy, public policy, community service and/or the nonprofit sector.
Not bad for someone who as a freshman thought sustainability was just another word for recycling.
“I had never heard of sustainable development before I came to Appalachian,” Garrett said. “People had told me App was a green school, and I thought that was cool, I like to recycle, but I didn’t really know all that that entailed.”
It took one class to change her point of view.
“The first class I took was principles of sustainable development. I didn’t mean to enroll in the class. It sounded OK, so I took it and within 10 minutes of the professor, Dr. Jennifer Westerman, speaking, I knew this was it. This was going to be my major.”
Garrett was one of eight applicants interviewed for the fellowship that will begin in July.
During the fellowship, she will visit with grant applicants, assist with grant making administration, work on projects of importance to the Foundation, and provide additional support to Foundation staff as needed.
Grant-funded projects typically are within one of five focus areas, Garrett explained, the environment, social justice, community/economic development, public education, and cultivating democracy.
Garrett said the experience she gains through Z. Smith Reynolds fellowship will help her focus her career plans.
“I worked a lot with the environment while at Appalachian, but would like to transition to social justice, working with human rights and international development,” she said. “Right now, I feel like I have a broad understanding of what I might like to do (as a career).”
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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