Hannah Jeffery devoted much of her Alma College experience to scientific study while also advocating for food recovery. She mobilized Alma students to take action against food waste.
As president of the Alma College Food Recovery Network, she recruited and managed volunteers who delivered uneaten food from Alma’s food commons to local non-profits that provide food to families in need.
“The Food Recovery Network is a national, student-led initiative that provides non-profits and charities with high-quality leftovers from campus kitchens,” says Hannah, who graduated in April 2018 with double majors in biotechnology and French. “I hope to become part of more initiatives like it at my graduate school.”
Her academic work at Alma included research in plant genomics at a National Science Foundation-funded summer program, community research presentations on E. coli loading in the Pine River, and a semester study-abroad experience in Rennes, France, to enhance her French language skills.
Hannah, the 2018 recipient of the Barlow Trophy, Alma College’s most prestigious award for a graduating senior, encourages students to seek a broad knowledge of the world and to take courses in a variety of subjects.
“I realized early on, thanks to a part-time pre-algebra teacher, that all the disciplines here are interconnected,” she says. “A math equation could be used to model ice cream sales, for example, or the reaction rate of organic molecules, or it could inspire an artist to create a great work of art. That is why I am convinced I can combine my interests for the natural sciences with my passion for speaking French. I am just as excited as everyone else to see how that goes.”
Her advice to her fellow gradates: “Be concise. Ideas are always more effective when they are stated simply. They are, in a way, like a child’s puzzle: the fewer pieces you have, the faster you can put the whole picture together. I advise you to be simple and have humility. Be kind to everyone. Do your best, but know where to compromise, and be optimistic.”