Outdoor Education & Leadership
Greg Johnson '10
Ocean Township, NJ
When Greg found Sterling he knew he had found the next step in his education, “The combination of outdoor experiences, physical challenges, experiential learning, and a hands-on approach to education all appealed to me. The unique curriculum provides me with the opportunities to directly attain the skills that will be used in my field of study. The internship program offers me real-world experience related to my future career.”
An avid outdoorsman, Greg participated in the Global Field Studies excursion, Natural History of the Sierra Nevada & Expedition Skills during the summer of 2009. During this academic voyage Greg earned college credits while spending 35 days in Sierra Nevada’s remote backcountry studying natural history and ecology of the region and practicing mountain expedition skills.
Hannah McHardy ‘10
A recipient of the Sterling Environmental Steward Scholarship, Hannah McHardy brings her passion for the environment and her skills as an environmental activist to Sterling’s campus and applies her academic experience – in classes like Forestry – to bear on her longer-term goals in environmental activism.
Before coming to Sterling, Hannah started Seattle Rainforest Action Group (SeaRAG) and worked as the campaign coordinator for the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). With SeaRAG and RAN she led a successful consumer democracy campaign against the Weyerhauser Corporation and their logging of old growth forest. For her work with SeaRAG she was awarded the Brower Youth Award, the nation’s most prestigious acknowledgement for young activists.
Jascha Pick ‘10
Jascha found Sterling College while working at the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, where he said he fell in love with farming. A transfer student from Earlham College in Indiana, Jascha was looking for a school that would allow him more time outdoors doing what he loved. “I knew I wanted to work outside for the rest of my life. I knew if I transferred to Sterling I would walk away with skills that would help me in whatever I ended up doing.”
Jascha’s experiences have included an internship on a local family farm where he learned the importance of chemical-free farming. “I learned how to run the farm with the whole ecosystem not just to get a product. Milk is not just milk—there is a quality of milk, and it comes from your soils.”
Self-Designed: Circumpolar Studies
Hannah Morgan ‘10
During Hannah’s senior year of home-schooling she skied north through Vermont, built a canoe, and paddled it down the Connecticut River with a group of students enrolled in Kroka Expeditions. One summer she completed a Kroka internship leading coastal paddling and biking expeditions and teaching wilderness skills.
During her internship Hannah and her co-leaders discussed issues surrounding hierarchy, class, and culture. “I began to make direct correlations between our discussion about western colonization, culture, class, and identity with what I had thought and talked about in my studies at Sterling. My Sterling education has given me the ability to understand problems and work to resolve issues.”
Alison McKnight '11
It wasn’t until Alison traveled to Iceland through Sterling’s Global Field Studies program that she realized she had an interest in agriculture. “It was inspiring to see Icelanders in an economically depressed area of the country in such a harsh climate supporting themselves by working the land.” The trip also helped her to realize how important agriculture is to humanity.
Last summer Alison participated in the Sustainable Agriculture Semester which included everything from Agricultural Power Systems - Draft Horse Management to Permaculture Design allowing her to explore a depth of topics related to sustainable agriculture. “I found working with the horses in the woods the most challenging and the most engaging. Both are so complex that you can learn something profound every day.”
Self-Designed: Non-profit Management & Environmental Education
Justin Halvorsen ‘11
Sterling’s small size and community atmosphere appealed to Justin—that and his ability to self-design his own major focused on educating youth about healthy food systems. An experienced chef, Justin utilizes his culinary expertise while studying the effectiveness of non-profits to facilitate environmental education. Justin shared his cooking and managerial skills this summer while acting as Sterling’s interim Kitchen Manager.
“The faculty and administration’s willingness to facilitate my interests have made my self-design degree possible. Sterling is a very proactive school for its students—you can get as much as you want here—above and beyond your expectations. The networking opportunities and resources are here. Sterling continues to amaze me when I find out places and people they have reached.”