This week’s Student Spotlight features Missouri State University junior, Kara Powelson. Students featured in the Student Spotlights show characteristics exemplified in each of Missouri State University’s three pillars: Ethical Leadership, Cultural Competence, and Community Engagement. They also exemplify what daily practices of sustainability look like. You can find these students educating, volunteering, and pushing for a more sustainable future. Please read on to see how Kara practices the three pillars, sustainability, and what it means to be a bear.
Name: Kara Powelson
Hometown: Rosendale, Missouri
Graduation Year: 2019
Major: Environmental Plant Science
What is your favorite vegetable?
What career options are you thinking about and why?
I am wanting to educate others so I would love to get a job working for an Extension office so that I could help educating the local community. Though right after school I am wanting to travel and work for a non-profit organization in the states or overseas and teach and teach farmers more sustainable ways that they can incorporate into their lives while also getting to enjoy learning from their practices too. My ultimate goal later in my life is to own my own business at home such as a large vegetable farm and have many community engagement opportunities to help educate others and bring people together.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
My favorite thing to do in my free time is to enjoy the outdoors. I enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, and helping out on the farm. I especially love getting my hands dirty by playing in the soil while gardening. I also enjoy being creative and making wood projects or painting.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I would go to Alaska. Wildlife and God’s creation is held so dear to my heart that I know that this state would offer a beautiful experience for me to see.
When did you first become interested in sustainability? Share the story.
I have been interested in sustainability since I was a child. I was raised on a small farm in NW Missouri by my parents who taught me how to love the earth and how to take care of it. My mother has taught me amazing ways on how to recycle and how to grow my own produce by incorporating a love for gardening in my life. My father on the other hand has taught me how to appreciate and respect the acts of nature. As a child I grew up learning how to use the land and what it had to offer by camping, trapping, and hunting. I have grown to respect everything my father has taught me with many different conservation practices on how to work the land and treating wildlife.
How are you involved in sustainability on campus and/or in the community?
I am the current campus garden manager for the Campus Garden here at MSU. I have been able to host volunteers out at the garden and other sustainability events for SSF group while also being able to host classes out at the garden and educate students on ways that we incorporate Sustainability into our campus. The garden also offers an opportunity to engage within the community by donating produce to the local Well of Life food pantry that provides food to food insecure students right here on campus while also within the community.
What motivated you to get involved?
I wanted to get involved so that I could learn more and meet new people, while also being able to make a positive impact on my school and community.
What advice would you give other students who want to live more sustainably?
I would highly encourage other students to look at their daily lives and start small by seeing what impact they could make by changing a few of their daily habits such as saving water, energy, recycling, or composting. These are a few things that I was able to start my freshman year. I would also encourage students to get involved with an organization on campus or within the community that engages themselves in sustainable practices.
What is one thing that makes you unique?
One thing that makes me unique is that I am a very diverse and compassionate person. I have a very wide group of friends due to this and I absolutely love it☺
What is your favorite quote?
“Not all those who wonder are lost” -J.R.R. Tolkien
Anything else you want to share with the world?
Enjoy every moment that you get, because you are never guaranteed another day here on this earth. Live in the present and make others smile, I promise it will not disappoint you.