Sustainability students honored as Spirit of Service Scholars
Two School of Sustainability graduate students, Auriane M. Koster and Carissa Taylor, have been selected to the first-ever cohort of Spirit of Service Scholars.
Arizona State University’s College of Public Programs will honor Koster, Taylor, and 15 others at the inaugural Spirit of Service luncheon, September 13, 2010, for their dedication to public service and research in sustainability.
The Spirit of Service Scholars program supports students who wish to pursue careers in public service. The program, designed to recruit the next generation of talented public service leaders, will provide Koster and Taylor with scholarships, real-world learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
“This is just a great opportunity to broaden out beyond sustainability and even beyond academia and start working with people who are doing the everyday hard work,” says Koster.
Koster is a third-year doctoral student at the School of Sustainability who is actively engaged in the ASU community. She serves on several committees that range from the university’s Sustainable Design Advisory Committee and Student Health Services Building Redesign Board to the School of Sustainability’s GK-12 Program and the Wrigley Lecture Series. Koster, who was one of the first graduate student representatives at the School of Sustainability, came across the Spirit of Service Scholars program through her yearly grant and scholarship search. She applied for the program because it directly correlated with her life-long goal to help developing countries implement renewable energy as a source of economic growth.
Taylor, who is a second-year doctoral student at the School of Sustainability, first heard about the Spirit of Service Scholars program through her committee co-chair, Hallie Eakin. Taylor was persuaded by Eakin to apply because of her interest and involvement in mentorship, sustainability, and community-focused projects. One of the many projects Taylor coordinates is a local food working group that brings members from academia and the community together to solve sustainability-related food issues in Arizona. Taylor, who is developing a plan for an undergraduate and graduate mentorship program within the School of Sustainability, is also working on a proposal to help a West Phoenix community conduct a community food assessment. In the future Taylor hopes to be part of the process in redesigning farmers market governance strategies so that environmentally sustainable food will be accessible to more populations.
“I think mentorship is crucial for future transformation. Strengthening connections between academia and communities will help provide relevant research and produce results that will make communities more sustainable,” says Taylor.
As Spirit of Service Scholars, Koster and Taylor will have the opportunity to mentor Arizona high school students interested in public service. In this role they both hope to guide and inspire the following generation of public and nonprofit leaders to make transformative change.
“I’m really excited for this coming year. It’s the first year for this program and we can really pave the way for what it is going to be like in the future. I think all of us will do great things this year and beyond,” says Koster.