Student Profile

Sewanee Bonner Making Haste with Waste

Sewanee Bonner Making Haste with Waste

While you might get squeamish at the thought of maggots working their way through a mountain of discarded food waste, Chris Hornsby, C’19, has spent four years studying the process, and he’s here to tell you that it’s more appealing than abhorrent, more captivating than creepy, more engrossing than gross.

With a background in engineering and environmental studies, Hornsby has been working with the University Farm to develop an innovative composting prototype that has the potential to change the landscape of waste-management systems far beyond the Mountain. And he hopes to make the work of his maggots—specifically black soldier fly larvae—as approachable and actionable as recycling currently is.

“I know I have a bias because of my work, but I think they’re one of the cutest bugs I’ve ever come across,” Hornsby says. “They’re really intriguing creatures.”

Black soldier fly larvae have been at the forefront of Hornsby’s work since he arrived on campus. As a freshman, he applied to the Bonner Leader program, a four-year leadership and community service internship program. In addition to taking a series of skill-building workshops, “Bonners,” as the student program participants are known on campus, are partnered with community service organizations to increase the organizations’ capacity to do their work. Having recently developed an interest in agriculture, Hornsby chose to work with the University Farm, part of the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability.

Morehouse Bonner Scholar River Lewis benefited from ‘mentors who looked like me’

Morehouse Bonner Scholar River Lewis benefited from ‘mentors who looked like me’

Excerpt from Salisbury Post, January 20, 2010

By Maggie Blackwell

“Morehouse gave me what I’d subconsciously craved from childhood: positive relationships with mentors who looked like me,” says River Lewis, a 22-year old recent graduate of the Atlanta college.

River is tall and lanky, and moves with ease and grace. Although he’s inclined to hug someone he meets, his handshake is strong and he has a direct gaze. His braided hair is carefully coifed atop his head like a crown.

He’s working now to provide the same mentorship he received to young men who also look like him. Through his non-profit he is matching minority business leaders with at-risk boys from Salisbury and Atlanta.

Senior Bonner Raises Awareness for Youth Justice Reforms

Senior Bonner Raises Awareness for Youth Justice Reforms

Benedict Roemer, ’19, is passionate about affecting social change. So when the opportunity to raise awareness for issues like mass incarceration and the racial wealth gap as an intern at Campaign for Youth Justice opened up, Roemer went for it.

Roemer, a double major in leadership studies and philosophy, politics, economics, and law, first encountered Campaign for Youth Justice at the Active Citizens Conference, which he attended as part of the Bonner Scholars Sophomore Exchange Program. After the conference, he stayed in touch with the organization through weekly emails and continued to engage with youth justice through the nonprofit ART 180, which provides arts programming for Richmond youth in juvenile detention.

Centre College Partners in Service at Grace Café

Centre College Partners in Service at Grace Café

Since its inception in 2015, Centre College students have been actively involved in the local “pay-as-you-can,” non-profit organization Grace Café. Today, Bonner Scholar Anna Bushong ‘21 stands as the youngest member to be inducted to the café’s board of directors.

She joins efforts with recent Centre graduate Margaux Crider ‘18, who servers as the café’s community outreach coordinator.

In her first year at the College, Bushong began working with Grace Café as her primary service site to fulfill her Bonner service hours. Committed to the mission of the café, she extended her work there through a summer internship, which led to the opportunity to serve as the Centre representative on the organization’s board of directors.  

“Anna brings a bright energy and presence to the café,” said Crider. “She has been a reliable and dedicated worker since the beginning. She is a humble leader, likely unaware of how much she inspires others.”

Once Homeless Bonner Beating the Odds

Once Homeless Bonner Beating the Odds

PINE HILLS, Fla. - Evans High School graduate Julien Serrano-O'Neil, 19, told News 6 he hopes his story of triumph and hardship will motivate and inspire other homeless and troubled youth that they can do whatever they put their minds to. 

O'Neil is a sophomore at Morehouse College, majoring in political science with a minor in philosophy.

Siena Bonner Student Research Unveils Pessimism, Opportunity

Siena Bonner Student Research Unveils Pessimism, Opportunity

Ivory Moore ’20 is feeling pretty good about her life chances these days. Moore grew up in the Capital Region and spent many hours at the Boys and Girls Club of Albany as a child. The formative experiences she enjoyed there provided direction and purpose.

This drive helped lead her to Siena College where she now develops curriculum for the Club as a Bonner Service Leader through the College’s Center for Academic and Community Engagement (ACE). Moore hopes this work will one day lead to a career – perhaps as a high school superintendent or maybe something even bigger: “I want to create my own high school!” 

Bonner Scholar Helps Support Grassroots Efforts in Kentucky

Bonner Scholar Helps Support Grassroots Efforts in Kentucky

Part of the prestigious Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) internship program, Shelby Boyd ’18, a Bonner Scholar, worked with a statewide organization called Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC) this summer.

The grassroots organization, with 10,000 members across Kentucky, aims to empower individuals to affect change, focusing on tax justice, environmental issues, healthcare and affordable housing, among other challenges.

As a community organizing intern, Boyd spent her time coordinating member meetings, training in tax justice and communication and planning events, specifically the fourth annual Smoketown Getdown for Democracy to celebrate Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood.

Lynchburg College Bonner Named Sommerville Scholar

Lynchburg College Bonner Named Sommerville Scholar

Emily Horton ’18 said she “cried a little” when she found out that she’d been selected the 2017 Sommerville Scholar. The annual award, given since 1965 in memory of former professor Richard Clarke Sommerville, is the most prestigious academic accolade presented at Lynchburg.

A Bonner Leader,  Horton has volunteered with area nonprofits, among them Lynchburg Grows, Lynchburg Daily Bread, and the local humane society. This year, as a senior intern, she’s helping facilitate the program and run meetings.

Brown University Bonner Community Fellow Bilal Lafta '20 Excited to Work with Beat the Streets

Brown University Bonner Community Fellow Bilal Lafta '20 Excited to Work with Beat the Streets

This year, Swearer Center students are working in partnership with more than 90 community organizations. Some of these organizations have been community partners of the Swearer Center for years, others for just weeks. Bonner Community Fellow Bilal Lafta '20 is working on building a relationship between Swearer and Beat the Streets, an organization that works to bring after-school wrestling programs into middle schools across the state. He talks here about why Beat the Streets' work is so important and some of the exciting possibilities of the new partnership.

Three DePauw Bonners Win Prestigious Gilman International Scholarships

Three DePauw Bonners Win Prestigious Gilman International Scholarships

Five DePauw University students will spend the Fall 2017 semester studying abroad after winning Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships. Three of the five are Bonner Scholars at DePauw.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

Lynchburg Bonner Summer Internships through Shepherd Higher Education Consortium

Lynchburg Bonner Summer Internships through Shepherd Higher Education Consortium

For eight weeks, Marissa Bucklew ’18 worked with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and its many community gardens, while Elise Togbe ’18 spent her summer in Louisville, teaching refugees and immigrants at Americana Community Center. Both internships were sponsored by the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty.

The internships connected well with the mission of Lynchburg College’s Bonner Leader Program, in which students spend two or three years working in the community on issues like education, hunger, homelessness, or sustainability. “This is an extension of what Bonner is about, understanding and becoming more involved in poverty,” Anne Gibbons, director of LC’s Bonner Leader Program. “SHECP has sent interns all over the country to organizations and nonprofits, working to address poverty.”

Showing Up: Jonathan Sheperd-Smith ’18, Davidson Bonner, Leads In Service

Showing Up: Jonathan Sheperd-Smith ’18, Davidson Bonner, Leads In Service

Jonathan Sheperd-Smith, an economics and anthropology double major, doesn't believe in service for the sake of service. The Bonner Scholar, Brown Scholar, Terry Fellow and football captain from Atlanta, Georgia, uses his service requirements at Davidson to engage more deeply with the community.

As part of his work with the Bonner Scholars Program, Sheperd-Smith created the DuBoisian World Scholars Society. The group, with a name inspired by W.E.B. DuBois, focuses on closing the information gap for low income minority kids in the hope of inspiring them to become stakeholders in their educational experiences.

Christopher Newport Bonner Wins Social Work Student of the Year Award

Christopher Newport Bonner Wins Social Work Student of the Year Award

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Virginia Chapter has awarded Christopher Newport University senior Abbey Yoder the 2017 Bachelor’s in Social Work Student of the Year Award. Yoder was recognized for her outstanding academic work, leadership qualities and accomplishments in field work.

Yoder, a Bonner Service Scholar, works with a local refugee resettlement agency to improve the lives of Bhutanese refugees in Newport News.

Peace, love, and basketball Centre Bonner wants to pop "bubble", bring college and city together with tournament and discussion.

Peace, love, and basketball Centre Bonner wants to pop "bubble", bring college and city together with tournament and discussion.

A Centre College Bonner Student hopes basketball can be a key to creating better connections and understanding between the college community and the surrounding city and county. 

Hari Perisic, a senior finance and economic major at Centre has developed a proposal for unique event featuring a community basketball tournament, a community conversation on difficult topics and a street party with local food. 

Football Player Encourages Richmond Kids to Pursue Athletic and Academic Aspirations

Football Player Encourages Richmond Kids to Pursue Athletic and Academic Aspirations

George Boston, ′13, isn’t the first person many would have expected to play for a Division I football team.

When he started high school in New York City, he couldn't play football because the school only had a track team. In fact, the school didn’t have a lot of things. Boston knew if he wanted to attend college, he was going to have to make some changes.

Junior Takes a Number of Paths to Explore Education Reform

Junior Takes a Number of Paths to Explore Education Reform

When Sharon Lim, ’16, talks about the many ways she’s exploring education inequality, it’s hard to believe that just two years ago, she had no idea her college experience would be dedicated to the issue.

She has always been an active volunteer. She spent her free time in high school working at a local hospital and teaching children to read. Her work inspired an interest in social justice so when she applied to Richmond, she also applied to the Bonner Scholars program.

Student Explores Identity Theory Through Community Work

Student Explores Identity Theory Through Community Work

Kelsey Ensign, ’15, remembers the exact moment she decided to transfer to University of Richmond. Following a conversation with Bonner Scholar Emily Blevins, ’13, who attended Ensign’s Chattanooga, Tenn., high school, Ensign logged into her computer to learn more about the work Blevins was doing through the University of Richmond’s Bonner Center for Civic Engagement (CCE).

“I vividly remember sitting in my dorm room exploring the CCE home page,” Ensign says. “I looked at all the community partners and thought I could learn a lot about civic engagement and myself at University of Richmond.”

Scholar Connects the South's Racially Charged History with Service and Coursework

Scholar Connects the South's Racially Charged History with Service and Coursework

When I applied to the University of Richmond, I asked Gil Villanueva in the Office of Admissions what one piece of advice he would offer an incoming Spider. What hadn’t students taken advantage of that they should have? He replied without hesitation: “Take advantage of the city.”

It didn’t take much convincing. Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, has historic truths in its veins; provocative stories echo through the halls of museums and on battlefields where the North and South fought, brother against brother. As a lover of American history and political science, I was hooked.

Bonner Scholar Reflects on the Power and Importance of Listening to Others' Stories

Bonner Scholar Reflects on the Power and Importance of Listening to Others' Stories

In a written reflection from the beginning of my senior year, I began describing a person whom I know through service by using an excerpt from the first chapter of Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s “Remnants of Auschwitz,” which I read for a French class the year before.

The chapter is entitled “The Witness,” and in this excerpt, Agamben quotes an interview with Primo Levi – a Jewish Italian chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor. In the excerpt, Levi talks about himself in direct comparison to the classic trope of the sailor who must tell everyone his tale: