With the skills Mackenzie Brown acquired during her summer internship, she could run a restaurant after she graduates next spring. It is more likely, however, that the environmental studies major will pursue a job in the field of sustainable development or with a non-profit.
As a summer intern for the University’s Campus Kitchens Project (CKP), the native of Kingwood, W.Va., learned to manage and operate a full-service kitchen. She worked six days a week to guide a team of volunteers in recovering food from Dining Services, cooking meals and delivering them to eight agencies in the area that serve low-income clientele. Brown also taught two cooking classes at Project Horizon, the local domestic-violence shelter; coordinated with local farmers to receive their extra summer produce; obtained vegetables from W&L’s garden; moved the kitchen to a new location; and helped the program transition from Styrofoam to more sustainable packaging for meals.
“One of the most interesting things about the Campus Kitchens Project is that the food we receive is food that would otherwise be thrown away,” said Brown. “I love my work with CKP because it creates such an obvious solution to food waste and feeding the hungry. My experience with the project is another facet of my W&L experience that helped link my desire to be environmentally friendly with my interest in helping the poor.”
The busy campus leader will continue to pursue those interests as she winds down her time at W&L. She continues to volunteer with CKP and serves on its leadership team, and she helps guide W&L’s environmental efforts as a member of the University Sustainability Committee. In October, Brown got some icing on her cake—the Leah Prudhomme Volunteer of the Year Award from the National Campus Kitchen Conference