Alumnus Anthony Waldrop ’11, who spearheaded the effort creating two new Westmont gardens spanning 13,000 square feet, will begin a master’s program this fall at the University of Maryland. Waldrop, who worked for Sodexo, which provides dining services to Westmont’s Dining Commons, has been accepted to the Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology program.
“I gravitated to this program because of its focus on finding interdisciplinary solutions to complex environmental problems,” Waldrop says. “It strives to help human communities develop at the same time as maintaining the integrity of the world’s natural systems.”
Waldrop also oversaw the planting of more than 70 fruit trees that will act as a barrier around the two gardens and provide additional fresh produce to the Dining Commons and to Bread of Life, a campus meal-sharing program.
“I am confident that the programs I have started will continue to thrive,” he says. “One thing I am most excited about is to come back in a few years to see how much the garden as grown and hopefully sample some of the fruit from those trees.”
While at Westmont, Waldrop was involved with Westmont Earth Ministry, devoted to encouraging students to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. He spent a semester studying in Costa Rica, learning more about environmentalism. He also traveled to a summit at Eastern University held by Renewal, a Christian creation care network for students, and was on the steering committee for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, a subsidiary of the Evangelical Environmental Network. After graduating from Westmont, he was an intern with A Rocha Santa Barbara, helping to manage a non-profit farm.
Ultimately Waldrop hopes to work in community-based conservation, facilitating the reconciliation of human and natural environments. “The interdisciplinary and holistic approach of my Westmont education, as well as my time working in sustainability on campus, has prepared me to address a multitude of environmental issues in a nuanced and compassionate manner,” he says.
Alumna Maggie Iba ’07 takes over the program in August as the Sodexo sustainability and marketing coordinator.