Twenty-four Missouri University of Science and Technology students who will spend their spring break planting trees, performing conservation work and helping out at a homeless shelter.
The students are taking part in Missouri S&T’s Miner Challenge 2011, an alternative spring break program sponsored by the university’s student life department. This is the fourth year for the program and the first year S&T will send teams to two different parts of the country.
One team will travel to Tennessee to work on environmental and conservation projects. That team will volunteer at the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy in Memphis to plant trees, clear trails and do shoreline restoration. The team will then travel to Nashville to clear debris at the Nashville Zoo and mulch trails and plant native vegetation at Radnor Lake State Park. The other team will travel to New Orleans to volunteer at Ozanam Inn, a homeless shelter and soup kitchen.
Both teams depart on Sunday, March 27, and will return on Saturday, April 2.
This is the fourth year S&T students have participated in an alternative spring break project under the Miner Challenge banner. Three years ago, the team worked with the Western Youth Network Inc. of Boone, N.C., and Habitat for Humanity on a project in Boone. In 2009, Miner Challenge students worked with Habitat to build homes in Mobile, Ala., as part of Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge. Last year, the students worked with Rebuilding Together New Orleans to repair homes in areas of the city that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Students who have participated in previous projects say the experience leaves them with a strong sense of community betterment, says Malinda Love, Missouri S&T’s student program administrator for volunteerism and involvement.
“They talk about how the program is a great opportunity to help out in a community and they love to see what they have contributed after the project is complete,” Love says.
Love will accompany the Tennessee team. Accompanying the New Orleans team will be Angela Perkins, director of student life, and Katie Jackson, program administrator for community standards and student conduct.
The Miner Challenge alternative spring break project is open to any Missouri S&T student. More information is available on the Miner Challenge blog.
S&T students participating in Miner Challenge are:
- Matthew Nickols of Wentzville, Mo., a senior in mechanical engineering and a team leader.
- Rexann Whorton of Ava, Mo., a senior in psychology and a team leader.
- Brittney Abel of Urbana, Mo., a freshman in psychology.
- Justin Adams of Rolla, a senior in business and management systems.
- Jonathan Blount of Kansas City, Mo., a graduate student in computer science.
- Garret Coffman of Holliday, Mo., a senior in electrical engineering.
- Josh Collins of Urbana, Mo., a freshman in engineering.
- Brad Harris of Rolla, Mo., a senior in mechanical engineering.
- Julia Kuebrich of Rolla, Mo., a sophomore in environmental engineering.
- Ryan Luerssen of Cabool, Mo., a junior in architectural engineering.
- Carol Pint of Evanston, Ill., a sophomore in environmental engineering.
- Matthew Scott of Indianapolis, Ind., a junior in aerospace engineering.
- Clayton Smith of Godfrey, Ill., a junior in philosophy.
- Hailey Tipton of House Springs, Mo., a freshman in mechanical engineering.
- Reece Wall of Excelsior Springs, Mo., a sophomore in nuclear engineering.
New Orleans Team
- Brandon Mikel of Kansas City, Mo., a senior in psychology and a team leader.
- Mohammed Al Ayesh of Rolla, Mo., a junior in petroleum engineering.
- David Dotson of Florissant, Mo., a senior in computer engineering.
- Chelsea Engelhard of St. Louis, Mo., a sophomore in chemical engineering.
- Amber Dobbs of Nixa, Mo., a freshman in aerospace engineering.
- Ally Nissen of Columbia, Ill., a junior in business and management systems.
- Casey Patterson of Rolla, Mo., a graduate student in environmental engineering.
- Jacob Robinett of Jefferson City, Mo., a senior in mechanical engineering.
- Maddy Rembold of Blue Springs, Mo., a sophomore in metallurgical engineering.