Student News

Learning So Much: 2024 Endeavor Fellow Genevieve Hammatt ’26

A native of Washington state, Genevieve Hammatt ’26 came to Bennington with a plan to study social justice and social work but quickly realized that she could incorporate her lifelong passion for the environment into her studies. 

Genevieve Hammatt

“[Being out in nature] has been a constant in my life, and it always intrigues me,” she said during an interview about halfway through her Endeavor Fellowship. “So I figured that’s a good area of study to pursue."

Faculty member David Bond told her about the Endeavor Fellowship opportunity during her Environment and Public Action class. And a couple of the other people in the class had done the fellowship and recommended it. 

Students interview with faculty member Judith Enck and take a pre-fellowship class for one credit. During the pre-fellowship class, students read an article Enck chooses and write a reflective paper each week while also preparing for the fellowship by researching and ranking organizations they would like to work for. 

“I got my second or third choice,” she said of Grassroots Environmental Education in Port Washington, Long Island. “But I think I am benefiting better here than I would have at my first choice.” 

Initially, she thought she would be teaching kids, as she had during volunteer and work experiences in Washington state, but the role has turned out to be much more activist oriented, “which is what I was looking for.” 

Hammatt has worked on the group's Long Island Water project, which aims to reduce contamination from high-nitrogen fertilizers and fertilizers containing PFAS in the waters of Long Island. She has made legislative lists and worked on social media. 

Initially, she said, the tasks seemed sporadic, but about halfway through her Field Work Term, she saw how the work was building. She read about legislation the group had proposed then assembled informational packages to mail to legislators. 

She also worked on the group’s Baby Safe project by making lists of birthing doulas from across the country, so they can email and mail them informational packets about the harms radiation and plastic can pose to mothers, infants, and children. 

“I just learned about PFAS in my Environment and Public Action class. Now, I am working on this problem every day.” 

She continued, “I am completely interested in doing the Endeavor Fellowship again. It has been excellent to be placed within an environmental organization and see how they operate.”