UMR Student Receives Systemwide Sustainability Student Impact Award

Authored By: wells438 04/22/2024

Photo Collage of Annika Bjornson

Anikka Bjornson, a fourth-year student at UMR, member of the EcoliteracySCHOOL mentorship program and future public health professional is a recipient of the 2024 University of Minnesota Systemwide Sustainability Student Impact Award. This award recognizes students from all campuses who have made significant contributions to the University of Minnesota and local communities in helping create a more sustainable and just future. 

Bjornson has made a significant impact on EcoliteracySCHOOL field experiences through designing outdoor activities that created opportunities for hands-on learning providing mentees with connections between ecological literacy, water quality and human health. These activities demonstrated the importance of using outdoor activities to introduce and involve youth in environmental activism and citizen science. She also proposed curriculum ideas that would introduce a new community engagement course to UMR. This would help connect students to an extension program to encourage involvement in sustainability, conservation and ecological stewardship projects and initiatives in the Rochester community.

“Anikka has found each and every way to make her experience at UMR align with her interest in planetary health and local sustainability,” shared Dr. Jessie Barnett Schimek, public health faculty at UMR. “As a future public health professional, Anikka sees that aspects of natural resources and community are a very important part of public health, her life and the lives of Rochester’s patients and citizens in general.”