During the three-week CentreTerm in January, students are given the chance to explore unique topics and faraway places through immersive courses, study abroad or complete an internship or research project. Environmental studies major Shannon Russell ’20 (Powder Springs, Georgia) is staying close to campus and taking advantage of the internship aspect and working at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
Shaker Village is a landmark destination that shares 3,000 acres of discovery in the spirit of the Kentucky Shakers. It was home to the third largest Shaker community in the U.S. between 1805 and 1910. Over the years, students have had numerous internship and collaborative research opportunities on these grounds.
During her internship, Russell is researching soil health and ways to combat soil deterioration, along with creating agroforestry systems on the nature preserve.
“I have prior experience researching soil quality and farming systems,” Russell said. “I love researching ways to make our natural world healthier and working hands-on within the environment.”
With this internship being additional experience in this area, Russell said she could see herself working outdoors and researching sustainable farming methods and agroforestry systems in the future.
“Most of my classes at Centre have provided me with the knowledge I now have, allowing me to do extensive research for this internship,” she added. “I know how the outside environment functions and what it needs to flourish in the future.
“I enjoy being able to work outside, and I enjoy forming relationships with others at Shaker Village,” she concluded.
by Kerry Steinhofer
January 31, 2020
Header image: Shannon Russell ’20 stands in front of the Ministry Workshop of the Shakers in the early 1800s, which is the building she worked in alongside the farm team.