Bonner Leaders

Bonner Leader students also serve the tri-county area from the University Farm. The Bonner Program is a service-based scholarship program that provides education and opportunity for community engagement. Sewanee students partner with community organizations, and often AmeriCorps VISTAs, to apply their education in a way that benefits the community and develop personally as community leaders.

Chris Hornsby C’19

Hometown: Nashville, TN
Major: Environmental Arts & Humanities
Minor: German Studies

Chris is working on a larvae composting program for the University Farm. Eight tons of fruit and vegetable trimmings from the McClurg Dining Hall and five tons of coffee grounds and food scraps from Stirling’s Coffee House are composted at the farm through traditional methods. Chris’s project will divert an additional 32 tons of University food waste from the landfill and enable those nutrients to increase soil fertility instead.

He appreciates the opportunities to work on unique sustainability projects at the farm, and a chance for hands on learning. He also enjoys contra dances and sticking his nose in books.

Vanessa Moss C’20

Hometown: Sewanee, TN
Major: Biology major (Ecology/Biodiversity concentration)
Minor: French minor (and a nonfiction Creative Writing Certificate)

Vanessa works to help University students understand the nature of farming enterprises near the University. Her FarmHands program recruits University students for day long field trips that involve a tour of a local farm and several hours of service labor at the farm of the day. Together with Chris Hornsby, Vanessa acts as site leader for Bonner Leaders doing service work based at the University Farm.

As an aspiring ecologist, Sewanee provides a 13,000 acre playground of study. But no valley stream or upland plateau rock formation has brought Vanessa more joy than the University Farm. At the Farm, we explore different Agroecological growth methods, where she can physically work with concepts taught in the classroom. She enjoys growing things, drinking maté, and sitting on roofs.

Crystal Ngo C’20

Hometown: Houston, TX 
Major: Environmental & Sustainability and Economics

Crystal is building and evaluating the food production capacity of home- and apartment-sized aeroponic units to produce greens and proteins to lower the cost for community members to access these staples of a healthy diet. She has worked at the farm for two years. Besides spending time at the farm, her other Bonner site is called New Life where she work with adults that have various disabilities.

She is an Environmental Residence, a Sustainability Fellow, a part of the all female acapella group, and you can find her outside simply enjoying nature. Crystal's goal is to influence more global awareness towards environmental sustainability through an economic approach.

Connor Stack C'20 

Connor is working on the deep water culture aquaponics demonstration system for the farm. He is involved with water quality testing, biofilter maintenance, fish observation, and production tracking. Our deep water culture system is part of AmeriCorps VISTA project started by Ritchie Wai.

(Image coming soon!)

Luke Williamson C’21

Hometown: Austin, Texas
Major: Undeclared (anticipating English and French double major, and art history minor)

Luke primarily works on documenting day-to-day activities at the farm through photography to help AmeriCorps VISTA Ashley Pancoast with communication.

In addition to his volunteer work at the University Farm, he is a member of the choir and an editor at The Sewanee Purple. He loves photography, leisure-reading, and hiking. Luke enjoys working at the farm because he is am always learning something new, and because of it’s refreshing atmosphere.

Emily Medley C’21

Hometown: Tullahoma, TN
Major: Psychology
Minor: English

Working on the University Farm means something new every day - whether it be lending a helping hand or assisting AmeriCorps VISTAs with their projects, the Farm fulfills Emily's desire to volunteer in the community. She is a stringent disciplinarian, avid reader, and dog lover. Along with being a tutor at the Speaking and Listening Center, Emily currently hold a second degree black belt in Taekwondo and uses her free time to instruct youth courses and women's self-defense classes. She plans to attend law school post-undergraduate with a leaning towards criminal prosecution.

(Image coming soon!)

Ben Sweeton C’21

Major: Undeclared (anticipating English and Spanish double major, and environmental studies minor)

While Ben enjoys learning and expanding his mind, he was drawn to the farm because he yearned for the aspect of tangible labor and being able to visually observe and physically grasp the work being accomplished. Aside from Bonner activities, being a member of the Sewanee swim team and participant in Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) fill his time outside the classroom. When he is free he enjoys reading, hiking, socializing, and watching movies.


University Farm

225 Breakfield Rd,
Sewanee, TN. 37383 |

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