New community environment program

By on April 27, 2005

Stefanie Avery, a junior media studies major, is forming a Quinnipiac division of the Roots & Shoots program, an international foundation founded and inspired by Jane Goodall.

According to the program’s Web site, “The program began when 16 students gathered with Dr. Goodall on her front porch in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 1991. Fascinated by animal behavior and concerned about the state of the environment, the students wondered if they could further these interests through out-of-school activities. They returned to their schools with a task: Find other interested young people and take action. Since then, Roots & Shoots has spread rapidly. More than 6,000 groups – ranging in sizes from two to 2,000 – have registered in more than 87 countries.”

“Jane Goodall is the keynote speaker for the upcoming conference ‘Humanitarianism Throughout the Life, Ideas and Enduring Legacy of Dr. Albert Schweitzer,’ on Oct. 28-29, 2005,” Avery said.

“The conference aims to develop a holistic view of how global, cultural and economic issues are interlinked with concern for environment, ethics, and reverence for life that Dr. Schweitzer espoused. Ideally when Jane Goodall visits our school, I would like to present to her the program at Quinnipiac and speak with her for suggestions.”

Since this program is new to Quinnipiac, Avery has had only one meeting this semester, but hopes to build up the program in the future.

“I am hoping we will have more members so we can start reaching out to the community. Western Connecticut State University, in Danbury is one of our neighboring colleges which I hope we will have contact with on a regular basis,” Avery said.

Avery recently traveled to WCSU and met with one of the directors of the program at that university.

“I met with Rick Asselta, Coordinator of University and College Programs. He has been actively involved with Roots & Shoots for many years and has taught its classes at the high school and college level. He became involved in the program after an inspiring meeting with Dr. Goodall, and went on to work with Roots & Shoots groups in Tanzania on a National Sports Day for the disabled. I spoke with him to get ideas on how to start the program at Quinnipiac. He was very helpful and excited to hear about the program getting started. I also met with the student that is the head of the Roots & Shoots program at WCSU, and I will keep in contact with her,” she said.

Avery has been a long time follower of Dr. Goodall’s work. When she found out about this program, she jumped at the chance to get involved and get it off the ground.

“Patricia Nielsen from Career Services recommended that I speak to David Ives from the Albert Schweitzer Institute about how I could become involved in the October conference with Dr. Goodall. David asked if I would be interested in an initiation of the Roots & Shoots organization at Quinnipiac and of course I agreed,” Avery said. “I feel this program will allow students from Quinnipiac to become more active not only on the campus and in the community, but with neighboring colleges. It brings people together who share the same concerns and passions regarding the environment, animals, and the human race. When universities join together for a good cause, amazing things can happen.”

Those interested in Roots & Shoots can contact Stefanie at


About Erin Peck