Irvine Nature Center Names Stevenson Biology Major Volunteer of the Month
Stevenson University senior Neill Baker has been tabbed Volunteer of the Month by Irvine Nature Center. Baker, a biology major, completed his 150-hour capstone internship this summer at the Owings Mills non-profit organization, which specializes in environmental studies and natural science programs for both children and adults.
“Neill has been a fantastic intern. He was so eager to help with any kind of project, and went above and beyond the hours that he needed,” said Katie Roof, Manager of School and Urban Education Programs.
Among his many responsibilities, Baker served as a counselor for three different Irvine-run summer camps, cared for the various animals housed on-site, and created a brand new trail that will be used as an outdoor play space and for nature hikes.
“Although Neill left us in the beginning of August, every time someone uses this amazing new trail we will think of him,” Roof said.
Baker, who says he plans to apply for the Peace Corps next fall, believes that his volunteer experience will provide a strong boost to his resume. And, on a personal level, he said that interning at Irvine allowed him to thrive as a mentor to the youths he interacted with on a daily basis.
“I had a wonderful time. It was really great to meet new personalities and be in an atmosphere where I am a role model to kids, teaching them about the environment,” Baker said. “It was very rewarding to be able to use my biology background to explain different concepts and provide some insight into elements of nature that many of these kids were learning about for the very first time.”
Founded in 1975, Irvine Nature Center has earned a reputation for providing quality environmental education for all ages. Located in the Caves Valley region of Baltimore County, Irvine provides programs for Baltimore-area schools and the public, offering a number of special events each year.
Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest independent university in Maryland with more than 4,400 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and adult bachelor’s programs at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills.