Read Kellee's article published on the UM Matthaei Botanicals Garden Blog
Read Kellee's research paper on the crucially important bee
The commodification of coffee: A research paper by Kellee Byard
MARCH 01, 2020
ANN ARBOR — Kellee Byard, a 2017 Lapeer High School graduate, a junior at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, will receive the James B. Angell Scholar Award on March 15 during the 97th Annual Honors Convocation at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. The award recognizes students who have earned two consecutive terms of all A’s.In recognition of her superior scholastic achievement, in March 2018 she was awarded the William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize for being in the top 5% academically in her class.At the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, her major is Program in the Environment in the School of Language, Science, and the Arts, specializing in conservation biology with a minor in ecology and evolutionary biology. She also is an academic peer advisor for the Program in the Environment and the elected Public Relations Committee Chair of the international service organization Circle K at U-M.
The Program in the Environment (PitE) offers both a broad liberal arts education in environmental topics and the opportunity for students to pursue various lines of individual interest in considerable depth. Broadly speaking, PitE’s curriculum focuses on the complex interactions of human beings and their environment. To understand these interactions and learn how to create more rational and equitable forms of human habitation on this planet, PitE students develop a multidisciplinary perspective integrating the methods and approaches of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. https://lsa.umich.edu/pite
When I arrived at the University of Michigan, I was immediately drawn to Circle K. It is an assemblage of students who feel passionate about serving their community and beyond, and I quickly joined, rooted myself in this organization, and began working on a variety of community-enriching projects, like the Campus Farm. Soon enough, I signed up to volunteer to spend my spring break immersed in environmental stewardship.
I and twelve others embarked to Virginia, where we spent a week at the James River State Park. Here my passion for the conservation of our environment was truly confirmed. We engaged in conservation activities for the sake of the environment, like creating a garden that would provide habitat for bees. Additionally, to ensure that humans remain connected to the environment, we spent hours each day hacking away at roots and rocks pocketed in the trails of the park, working as a mobile unit to pave the way for future hikers and bikers to enjoy the rustic scenes around them. We used maddocks to clear the trail of obstacles, shovels to shift and remove soil, and a host of other tools to create a smooth trail.
Trail maintenance may not be traditionally considered conservation, but I believe it serves a purpose entwined with conservation: to create the ability to propel people into nature, so they have a greater understanding of what we must protect. Unfortunately, it may unrealistic to believe we can entirely undo our influence on the environment; therefore, effective management of the environment should provide positive experiences for people and bring about change.
By the end of this experience, I was cemented in my ambition to pursue a life conducting environmental conservation. We had completed about a mile of trail in just days. It was glorious! I felt the intimate connection humans have with nature while working in it and genuine enthusiasm by knowing our trail maintenance would allow others to enrich themselves in the beauty of our surrounding world.
Attorney Kevin Sutton of Lusk & Albertson in Detroit awarded Lapeer High School senior Kellee Byard with the firm’s LAunch Scholarship for the 2016-17 school year.
Winners of the LAunch Scholarship demonstrate high academic achievement, significant community involvement and a personal commitment to excellence. Kellee is one of four recipients out of more than 200 applicants.
According to Sutton, Kellee’s commitment to excellence is second to none.
“It’s such an honor for us to be able interact with students who have made the right choices…that have the passion and enthusiasm for what they want to do,” Sutton said. “What impressed us the most was who she is beyond the résumé. Her passion and energy sets her apart and will continue to set her apart as she moves to the next stage.”
The next stage is in Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan.
Kellie is a stellar student (4.25 GPA), a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, student council and is an award-winning artist.
She’s super fast, too.
Over the weekend, she was a part of the fastest 4×200 meter relay team in school history.
Congratulations to Kellee, her parents Wendy and Keith Byard, and everyone in our school community who helped her along the way.
Lusk Albertson established the LAunch Scholarship to recognize high academic achievement, community involvement, and exceptional leadership qualities exemplified by high school seniors within school districts represented by the firm.
Kellee earned the Lusk Albertson Launch Scholarship, the Lapeer Boosters' Scholarship, the Hunter Felton Scholarship, the Leader Fund Scholarship, the Lapeer Wildflower Club Scholarship, The Surfers Environmental Association Scholarship, The Clark B. Adams Scholarship, the Key Club Scholarship, and the Association of Retired School Personnel Scholarship.
LAPEER — Every year a pilgrimage brings together high school students from around the world to study and learn about the United Nations. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students interested in world affairs and politics, this trip allows unprecedented access into the halls of Washington D.C.
The excursion will make its first historical and political stop in Philadelphia before moving on to New York City, where students will view a play on Broadway as well as tour the city before traveling to the nation’s capital.
A competition is being held by Odd Fellows and Rebekahs to allow students throughout the county to have a chance at securing a spot on the trip. On Saturday, several Lapeer High School students competed along with some students from Imlay City, Dryden and Bedford High School.
Competing from Lapeer High School were Brendan Dunavent, Carley Kerchen, Natalie Austin, Ava Strasser, Ashley Hayden and Kellee Byard. Byard and Strasser were named winners. Ashley Hayden was named an alternate for LHS.
Altogether, 27 students competed, and nine were selected for this trip in July to Ottawa, Canada, Washington D.C., New York City and the United Nations in New York City. LHS senior Ian English went on the trip last year and was in attendance on Saturday. English spoke to the competitors about his experiences with the pilgrimage.
Students will be able to observe the United Nations in person and exchange viewpoints on a variety of topics. Other stops on the trip include Gettysburg, P.A. and Ottawa, Canada. The Independent Organization of the Odd Fellows have been working with the I.O.O.F. United Nations Educational Pilgrimage for Youth Inc. for years and with the help of the Rebekahs group students are able to travel and gain experience in their own chosen area of interest.
Odd Fellows and Rebekahs UN Pilgrimage program began immediately following the construction of the UN headquarters in New York City in 1949. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows United Nations Educational Pilgrimage for Youth Inc. is a 501©(3) charitable organization and the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs are not affiliates of the UN.
Please contact Kellee Byard with environment and conservation employment opportunities, internships, commission art requests, volunteering, and more.
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