Gloria Wenman, a Master's student in Urban and Regional Planning, has been accepted into the Obermann Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy taking place in January 2014. In the Institute, graduate students develop projects that apply their graduate education to community problems and issues and have the opportunity to meet with experts, including former Obermann Graduate Fellows, faculty members, UI administrators, and potential community partners. Gloria was selected in a campus-wide competition is very excited to be participating in this prestigious workshop. She hopes to gain insight into engaging the public on all the projects that will be presented.
The topic she brings to the Institute is recycling and composting within the Army National Guard. The military throws away a staggering amount of recyclable and compostable materials—at three pounds per capita per day. When you combine this with the number of active and reserve personnel serving within the U.S. military, the impact is enormous. Current estimates place membership at about one percent of the total U.S. population, approximately 3 million people. Active duty posts recycle and compost but the National Guard only participates within the mandated limits—cardboard and paper. Gloria is not satisfied with this outcome and hopes that by engaging personnel within her National Guard unit, the small changes made will filter up to the top echelons of the National Guard Bureau and appropriate mandates will flow back down to the entirety of the reserve forces.