Leslie King, Coordinator of the Rivers Institute, supervises a team of graduate assistants and undergraduate interns as they carry out the daily operations of the Institute and its many projects. Leslie also coordinates the River Stewards program, the student component and flagship of the Rivers Institute. There are over 45 River Stewards, which represent three cohorts and over 25 different majors. Leslie brings a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture, from West Virginia University, in Environmental Protection. UD's motto of Learn, Lead and Serve comes natural to Leslie, as she has over 10 years of experience in leadership development and experiential-based education. Leslie also brings a passion and background in international education, as she spent three summers studying abroad, several years teaching in Central and South America, and then four years working for a small liberal arts college study abroad office. A native of Montgomery County, Leslie is excited about the opportunity to build community around our largest natural resource and engage students in conversations regarding our local rivers. Some of the projects keeping the Rivers Institute team and Leslie busy are the annual River Summit, the River Leadership curriculum development and the recently completed RiverMobile. Leslie has felt right at home at UD since her start in July 2009 and will complete her MPA degree from here in May 2014.
The Staff Perspective
I am excited about sharing local waterway knowledge with UD students, engaging them in the Dayton region, and collaborating with the community to make the Rivers Institute's vision, of reuniting Dayton and its rivers, a reality. The leadership and civic engagement skills students develop in the program are transferable to many different aspects of their life. It is incredibly rewarding to see the River Stewards make these connections to their academic courses, study abroad experiences, co-ops, future career plan and overall personal growth. In the warmer months, if you can't find me in the office, I am out enjoying the amazing recreation and water trails in our watershed. I challenge you to explore our rivers and help build community around our region's greatest asset.