Junior Abby Ray, along with seniors Donn Boddie and Molly Richardson (left to right), pose for a snapshot at Yellowstone National Park. Photo: Molly Richardson

Since the Isdell Center for Global Leadership kicked off in 2015, Pace students and faculty have taken a new approach to global learning. Each year, a handful of students are selected to be the ICGL Scholars of the Upper School. Part of their role as ICGL scholars is to travel, researching and learning about the theme selected for that year.

Previous themes have been Food, Water and Climate. Students who applied to be ICGL Scholars had to go through an application process coordinated by ICGL Director and history teacher Trish Anderson. A committee comprised of Ms. Anderson, Head of School Mike Gannon, Associate ICGL Director Zeena Lattouf and others made the final selections.

Last year’s scholars did a thorough job exploring climate and relaying that information back to the Pace community. “To become more sustainable and to reduce the effects of climate change we need to reduce and conserve our energy, so I’m excited to see how the research of this year’s scholars will tie together with last year’s research,” said former ICGL scholar and senior Melanie Crawford.

Seniors Donn Boddie and Molly Richardson along with junior Abby Ray are the current ICGL scholars. In April, the scholars will present in Upper School assembly about their research and travels rooted in conservation. “I grew tired of being on standby to the threats of our world and society,” said Boddie. “I want to be a part of preserving the natural beauty and relationships for others to enjoy.” 

This year’s theme of conservation sent the scholars to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park over fall break. The scholars, along with Ms. Anderson, science teacher Kevin Ballard and his wife Jan Ballard, had the opportunity to engage with different people who play a role in the Yellowstone ecosystem. “Getting to experience a holistic view was the most important part of the trip for me,” said Richardson. “Getting to talk to locals, ranchers and others provided an exceptional experience to understand the environment as well as the ecosystem.”

The scholars will embark on their second trip of the year to Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas over Easter break. The trip will consist of a multi-faceted approach that combines research with recreation. The group will start by comparing the park system and regulation in the U.S. with that of Mexico and finish by exploring the Chisos mountain range. “I didn’t think conservation was as collaborative as it is,” said Richardson. “It really is crucial to study environments and areas with a broad lens and work together and with the local community to form ideas and create solutions.”