As an Agents of Change delegate for the organization SustainUS, Kelly McGlinchey ’12 attended the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference, held December 1–12 in Lima, Peru. McGlinchey is director of food education for Butter Beans, an organization in New York City that introduces young students to local foods.
1) What was your biggest takeaway from the conference? What was your role there?
As a SustainUS delegate alongside Leehi Yona ’16, I traveled to Lima with a collection of stories from underrepresented voices to share with negotiators, lead scientists, and academic advisors. By listening to others, we can build a network of support that inspires us as we work for a more ecologically sound and equitable world. My biggest takeaway from this experience was a conviction in the importance of community-based efforts to combat climate change. We should continue pushing for strong policy in the United Nations climate change framework, but change also needs to come from individuals, institutions, communities, and nations.
2) What do you do for Butter Beans?
I oversee educational initiatives, including our Food & Garden Summer Camp and after-school cooking activities. These programs allow city youth to explore New York City’s food landscape from seed-to-table, including community gardens, rooftop beehives, kitchens of celebrated chefs, and sustainable food businesses. These young students make connections that will later influence their choices around our environment and the food systems it supports.
3) How did you pursue your interest in sustainability at Dartmouth?
By the end of sophomore year, I had declared environmental studies my major and was engaging in a strategic dialogue around sustainability for the College as an intern with the Sustainability Office. After some adventures abroad, I worked with Rosi Kerr ’97 [director of sustainability] and Jenna Musco ’11 during my senior year to grow and expand the reach of sustainability initiatives.
It was with this solid foundation that I ultimately found myself setting off on a three-month road trip with the Big Green Bus just three days after graduation. Meeting and collaborating with alumni and students on that biodiesel-powered journey across the country, I was in constant awe of the talented minds and heartfelt individuals who comprise the Dartmouth community.
Three Questions profiles alumni in pursuit of their passions.