A new AmeriCorps VISTA position in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University will assist the office of enrollment and outreach in fulfilling their diversity pledge, which focuses on increasing diversity and retention in the College.
Brooks Marino, a native of Woodbridge, Virginia, holds a B.A. in religion and culture, with a focus in sustainable community development and minors in Appalachian studies and green engineering from Virginia Tech.
“A lot of my research at Virginia Tech focused more on big picture problems for counties and towns, so this is a really big change for me in two ways,” Marino said. “The Statler College is a smaller community in terms of scale, but in all of my other work much of what I did was local.
“Here I’ll be helping coordinate some recruitment efforts across the country, so, that scope is going to be very difficult to me, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Marino said.
His primary responsibilities will involve increasing College-wide diversity, networking with students, parents and alumni to understand where improvements can be made, and conducting research on where the College can expand recruitment efforts of both undergraduate and graduate students.
“We are excited to host Brooks as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at the Statler College,” said Cate Schlobohm, outreach program coordinator. “He is going to bring fresh eyes to the way we work and to help us have a very strategic focus on our recruitment efforts.”
Marino will use the data collected to help develop strategies to recruit from identified areas. He will also help develop the Mountaineer Grand Challenges Scholar Program to push students to tackle large-scale engineering problems by employing their own unique experiences.
“This position will help me develop skills I will need in the future, such as community building, research and networking,” Marino said. “This position is very similar to what I want to do in the future, which is working to research a community’s needs and then developing strategies to help the community actualize their needs. This position will be immensely helpful to me in terms of getting experience in this style of work.”
In the future, Marino hopes to work towards developing communities through cultural connections and environmentally friendly, sustainable technology.
“I want to work with helping to build new communities in up-and-coming regions, and helping to restore old communities that are struggling and looking to rebuild,” Marino said.
Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit
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