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GCA Scholarships Recipients: The Sara Shallenberger Brown Garden Club of America National Parks Conservation Scholarship


2017 Henry Fanning

Henry Fanning, an undergraduate majoring in environmental and ecosystem sciences at Washington State University in Pullman, enjoys studying plant identification, greenhouse management, and water quality monitoring. A multi-year alumnus, he has served on six national and community SCA crews and was an apprentice crew leader with two community crews. He has participated in plant propagation in the Northern Cascades, heavy stone work in New Jersey, and trail building in Grand Teton National Park. He would like to be an SCA crew leader to inspire others to love the outdoors. This summer he will be serving at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

2017 Sara (Sadie) Hennen

Sara (Sadie) Hennen, a 2016 high school graduate with honors from Cretin-Durham Hall High School, St. Paul, Minnesota, plans to start college this fall. She is a two-time alumna of SCA’s National Crew Program and has completed an SCA internship as well as one SCA trail corps. She has participated on crews for trail maintenance on the Blue Ridge Parkway and at Zion National Park; spent a summer as an interpretive park guide at Mammoth Cave National Park; and constructed more than ten miles of new trail on Catalina Island. She is dedicated to SCA’s mission and wants to influence others about the importance of conservation. This summer she will be serving in Olympic National Park.

2017 Luisa McGarvey

Luisa McGarvey is an undergraduate in environmental studies and biology at Oberlin College in Ohio. She is a two-time alumna of SCA’s National Crew Program and has participated on crews at the Big South Fork National Park and Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Park, where she built bridges and performed trail work. Her volunteer activities include work with after school programs for disadvantaged children; and serving as a tour guide at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. This summer she will be serving in Denali National Park.

2016 Emily Shannon

Emily Shannon is a student of Environmental Studies at Syracuse University, New York. She is a two-time alumni of SCA’s National Crew Program and has participated on crews at Yosemite National Park in California and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. She has served as an Appalachian Mountain Club Teen Trail Crew Member, where she worked on trail maintenance and restoration projects in the backcountry of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. She also served a semester with the High Mountain Institute in Leadville, Colorado where she received her Wilderness First Aid certification, worked on a trail restoration project, and participated in three multi-week backcountry backpacking trips. 

2016 Sara Wall

Sara Wall is a student at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. She is a multi-year alumni of SCA’s National Crew Program and has participated on crews at Yosemite National Park in California, at the Lewis & Clark National Historic Park in Oregon, and at Olympic National Park in Washington. She has served on the Environmental Justice Youth Board with Global Visionaries, a student-lead program that empowers youth to eliminate social inequalities at home and abroad.  In her time with Global Visionaries, she led retreats and workshops, developed curriculum for volunteers, and helped create a 5–year carbon neutral plan for the group. She also attended the Henry M. Jackson Youth Leadership Conference where she participated in a three-day youth conservation and land stewardship summit at the North Cascades Institute in Washington.

2016 Eli Livezey

Eli Livezey is an Environmental Studies student at Montgomery College. He is a multi-year alumni of SCA’s DC Community Program and has participated in summer and school year programs. He served with an SCA National Crew at the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. In addition, he recently served as an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) member in the west. During his time with NCCC, he worked to conserve the Checker Spot Butterfly habitat in Oregon, restored wilderness areas in Death Valley National Park, and participated on fuels reduction projects in Arizona. Through his AmeriCorps service, he received certifications in Emergency Medicine, National Incident Management, and Wildland Firefighting and Chainsaw. 

2016 Abigail Borzell

Abigail Borzell is studying Early Childhood Education with a minor in Environmental and Outdoor Education at the State University of New York at Cortland, NY. She is a two-time alumni of SCA’s National Crew Program and has participated on crews at the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park in Vermont and with the National Forests in North Carolina, Nantahala District in North Carolina. She has both a Wilderness First Responder certification and the USA Hockey Coaching Level 3 certification, and was also inducted into the National Society of Leadership. She is a volunteer and camp counselor at the Upper Main Line YMCA Environmental Center in Berwyn, PA and a Green Representative at SUNY Cortland, where she educates on-campus residents about sustainability and recycling. This summer she will be serving in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

2015 Ashley Cisneros

Ashley Cisneros is a student at Foothill College, Los Altos, California, where her majors are Environmental Studies and Mass Communications. Her past placements as a crew member with SCA were in Acadia National Park, Maine and Seedskadee Wildlife Refuge, Wyoming. On these programs, Ashley helped her team do trail maintenance and repairs to out-buildings. As an Apprentice Crew Leader she will move closer to achieving her goal of becoming a Crew Leader.  Her ultimate career goal is to be a Park Ranger. This summer she will work on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Bear Mountain, New York. 

2015 Samantha Doonan

Samantha Doonan is a student at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts majoring in Psychology and Health: Science, Society and Policy. Previously, Samantha has had placements with SCA in White Mountain National Recreation Area, Alaska and Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado. She says that the Apprentice Crew Leader position excites her to her core and that SCA changed her life by allowing her to work with like-minded environmentalists. Her summer will be spent in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

2015 Annelise Eagleton

Annelise Eagleton is a student in Environmental Studies and Biology at the University of Idaho. Annelise has been a crew member with SCA in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, Tennessee and Glennallen Bureau of Land Management, Alaska. She wants to do “everything in her power to help promote conservation to preserve our natural areas.” She also hopes to be a Crew Leader one day.  Her future goal is leadership or education in the field of conservation. This summer Annelise will work in the Olympic National Park, Washington.



Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2018, more than $308,400 was awarded to 65 scholars.

In its inaugural year, the Montine M. Freeman Scholarship in Native Plant Studies was awarded to Angela Merriken and Dr. Uma Venkatesh.

Read more about the new Scholarship and the recipients.