Tara Scully is an Alliance Board Member, and the Director of the Sustainability Minor Program and an Assistant Professor of Biology at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has been on the Alliance’s Board since 2017, and has been a great asset to our organization.

When I asked Tara if she has picked up any new hobbies or skills during her time at home, she said, “Not sure if I’ve picked up new hobbies, but I am definitely healthier. I’ve had more time to exercise and cook healthy meals at home.” On top of her impressive healthy lifestyle, Tara is currently preparing for her five classes that she will be teaching online in the fall. 

Tara shared with me the challenges of preparing for a virtual learning environment, “One of them is a lab class, so I’ve been working really diligently to figure out how to have the kids do lab work at home.” One class that Tara says has been a little bit easier to plan is a nutrition class. She plans on having the students do cooking exercises at home and to have them experiment in their kitchen. “So that has worked out pretty well for me, but with the other classes it’s a challenge figuring out how to keep the students engaged.” Tara explained that she is still trying to learn the different ways to keep students engaged and provide a helpful online learning environment since she has never taught online before. 

Tara came to the Alliance through neighborhood clean up events that were a part of our Project Clean Stream. She started with community clean ups, and then eventually got her students involved. Then her friend who was on the Alliance’s Board at the time introduced her to other aspects of our work. Tara had been involved with other organizations around the Chesapeake, but she thought the Alliance was unique “because we think a bit more outside of the box where it’s not always a fight against something, and it’s more about ‘let’s get together and figure out how to do this together’ and I think that is important when you are trying to come up with long lasting solutions.”

Lastly, I closed off the interview by asking Tara if she had one piece of advice for her students graduating and starting in the working world, what it would be. She said: 

Remember to stay connected to your community. A lot of times students leave D.C and they move back home or they go somewhere else, and it can be hard to find that connection to a community. But doing outreach is usually an easy way to find a community that you will connect with and I think that it’s important for all of us to remember that there is something beyond us and whether that’s nature of other human beings- we have to think beyond us as individuals and in order to do that you have to have some connection to the people around you. 

Tara stays connected to her community through continually going to clean up events and through her participation on the Alliance’s Board. Thank you, Tara!