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Meet Emma Conover ’24 Leading Campus Kitchen, a student-run organization focused on addressing food insecurity, has been a rewarding experience.

Emma-Conover-600x400 Meet Emma Conover '24

Emma Conover ’24
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida
Majors: Global politics and Spanish; poverty studies minor

Why did you choose to come to W&L?
Before coming to W&L, I was convinced that attending a big-city school would be the only way to accomplish my goals in college. It quickly became apparent to me upon touring that W&L was truly the place of opportunity. Robust financial aid, academic guidance and close mentorship with faculty and staff has allowed me to take every opportunity during the past four years. I will have studied abroad three times, interned in D.C. and had the privilege of serving as president of our Campus Kitchen while completing two majors and a minor. W&L gave me opportunities not in spite of, but because of, its small size.

What has been your most impactful experience at W&L, either on or off-campus?
Serving as the president of Campus Kitchen has been the most rewarding and impactful experience at W&L. Campus Kitchen serves the greater Rockbridge County area by addressing food insecurity, food waste and nutrition education in the community. As a student-run organization focused on connecting with our neighbors, our mission is distinctly community based. We believe that food is at its core a community builder, and that is obvious in our operation. On cooking shifts, groups of students come together to prepare 200-plus meals a week – learning kitchen skills, sharing conversation and making tangible efforts toward issues of poverty and inequality. We then deliver and serve these meals to members of our community, learning from them about the greater community in which W&L is situated. Many of us are just passing through Lexington – just here for four great years. Campus Kitchen provides students the opportunity to give back to the community that offers us so much and connect with each other and our neighbors in the process.

Have you studied abroad during your time at W&L?
I will have studied abroad three times – twice during Spring Term and once for a semester. My experience with Spring Term abroad in Sevilla, Spain, gave me the confidence to study abroad for a full semester in Ecuador. As a Spanish major, having multiple opportunities to live with native speakers has been an invaluable part of my academic experience. With the help of the Center for International Education, I found the perfect program in Ecuador, focused on development, politics and language studies. After a transformative semester exploring the country, I returned to campus and completed my poverty studies capstone on traditional ecological knowledge – research corroborated by my experiences in-country. This Spring Term, I’ll be doing the Camino de Santiago with two of my Spanish professors. Having the opportunity to study abroad has made me a more thoughtful, educated student and has transformed my horizons for after graduation.

How have your experiences at W&L prepared you for post-graduate success?
The high-quality liberal arts education that W&L provides is indescribably helpful in post-grad successes. Whether in job interviews or just in casual conversation, it is evident that W&L prepares us to be not just good thinkers, but interesting people. We’re prepared to be well-read critical thinkers who are engaged in the community, and regardless of career or personal path, those skills are invaluable. Through my opportunities to study abroad, my internships and mentorship from faculty, I’m prepared to enter the job market as a competitive applicant.