1) Jodi Schlenker Earns Girl Scouts’ Highest Honor
Girl Scout Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont is pleased to announce that Jodi Schlenker, Deep Gap, has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. She earned her Gold Award for her work creating The Hospitality House online recipe book. The Hospitality House is a non-profit crisis agency that serves seven counties in western North Carolina and helps those living in poverty and homelessness to rebuild their lives. Schlenker’s project focused on making it easier for new volunteers to donate meals by creating an online recipe book designed specifically for serving large numbers of people. The recipes are simple and affordable to prepare and easy to read. She worked in partnership with allrecipes.com and her recipe book is accessible online. Schlenker, daughter of Erich and Lynn Schlenker and a member of Troop 10366, led a team of friends, family and administrators to develop and implement her concept and developed an on-going relationship with her partners at allrecipes.com. She also worked with The Hospitality House to set-up an online recipe for the many community volunteers that prepare and serve meals at The Hospitality House. These volunteers can both search for new recipes and add recipes that they have prepared in the past. In addition, her project includes a video for new volunteers. By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, Schlenker has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart. “Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and this young woman exemplifies leadership in all its forms,” said Marcia Cole, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont. “She saw a need in her community and took action. Her extraordinary dedication, perseverance and leadership, is making the world a better place.” The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. After the minimum requirements are completed, the Gold Award project is the culmination of a girl’s demonstration of self-discipline, leadership ability, time management, creativity, initiative and a significant mastery of skills. Each girl must dedicate a minimum of 80 hours to planning and implementing her project, which must benefit the community and have long lasting impact. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to go gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements. In addition to earning her Gold Award, Schlenker is a member of the National Honor Society, leading the Watauga High School’s Climate Committee. She plans to major in business at University of North Carolina-Wilmington next year.
2) Brauer Receives Fullbright-Saastamoien Foundation Award
When Suzanna Bräuer travels to Finland in January, she will combine lifelong interests that began when she was a school student: science, international travel and learning foreign languages. An associate professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Biology, Bräuer has received a Fulbright-Saastamoien Foundation Award in Health and Environmental Sciences to teach and conduct research at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, Finland, for six months. Bräuer graduated from the N.C. School of Science and Math, and studied in Russia for a year as part of a study abroad experience while an undergraduate at Swarthmore College. She also has visited Norway. She speaks some Russian and Norwegian and will now add basic Finnish to her list of languages. A microbiologist, Bräuer will study a domain of microorganisms called Archaea that play a part in methane and carbon dioxide production in peat. Bräuer hopes to identify the primary agents of methane production across a gradient – from permafrost to melting permafrost, to more highly decomposed fen (agricultural) areas and from boreal regions to the Arctic – and determine their role in climate change. She also will teach microbial biogeochemistry classes and work with master’s and doctoral degree candidates at the university. With 31 percent of its land mass peat-producing wetlands, Finland provides a rich backdrop for her research. “Peat-forming wetlands are the largest source of methane to the atmosphere,” Bräuer explained, “and therefore they play a large role in the climate. There is concern that with climate change, if a lot of the permafrost area melts, there is the potential for huge amounts of carbon to be released into the atmosphere. If all of that gas were released, it would almost double the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. So there is a tremendous relevance to climate change.”