As one of seven students to receive an internship at the Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) this year, Nicole Hahn '17, is turning her love for nature into a lasting impact on the West Michigan community.
“This internship has opened doors for me, and opened my eyes to what I want to do,” Nicole says. “It gave me the passion that I have for helping the environment, cleaning up the water, and making the world a better place.”
The institute is a multidisciplinary research organization within Grand Valley’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which provides students with the opportunity to conduct research. Thanks to the help of generous donors such as Allen and Helen Hunting, students like Nicole are able to take part in the hands-on learning experience.
“I would like to thank the Huntings so much for everything that they give back to Grand Valley and to the institute,” says Nicole. “It’s so important for us as students because now we get opportunities that otherwise we wouldn’t get, and it really gets us ready for our careers.”
As well-known West Michigan philanthropists, Allen and Helen Hunting are no strangers to giving back. Their passion for helping students and for preserving Michigan’s natural resources led the couple to support AWRI, which helps students like Nicole gain field experience.
“The institute is really important because Michigan is the great lake state,” Nicole says. “There are so many wonderful bodies of water within our state and we want to keep them clean. That’s what the institute is all about.”
Now graduated, Nicole hopes to continue in the conservation of natural resources, combining her desire to help others with her passion for creating a cleaner earth.
“I hope that my Laker Effect makes the world a better place. I love the environment; I want to restore it, conserve it, and make sure that it is always pristine and beautiful, as it should be.”
Greatly impacted by donor gifts to the institute, Nicole plans to continue the tradition of giving that she sees as crucial to student success.
“Giving back is definitely important,” she says. “Between the campus, faculty and programs, everything at Grand Valley is top notch because of donors.”