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WKU student selected as Jane Jacobs Fellow

Jennifer Ottersbach, a WKU graduating senior from Crestwood, will work with the Center for the Living City as the Jane Jacobs Fellow to develop civically-engaged young women who lead local and global action. Ottersbach will engage the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to identify, create and disseminate resources to support young women’s developing voices.

Jennifer Ottersbach

Ottersbach is a student in the Mahurin Honors College and a Recreation Administration and Spanish major. She recently interned as a volunteer coordinator for Lost River Cave in Bowling Green.

Ottersbach was a Girl Scout for 12 years and is well prepared to work with GSUSA and WAGGGS. She has worked for the Girls Scouts of Kentuckiana for four years as summer camp staff and as a leadership program coordinator. She taught leadership development, team building and challenge courses. She also trained and supervised summer staff at a Girl Scouts of Western Washington camp.

Ottersbach combined her passion for Girls Scouts and her academic study in her Honors thesis project titled “More Than Cookies: A Study of Trends and Promising Practices in Programming for Older Girl Scouts.” Her thesis included the development of a director’s manual for Counselor-in-Training program coordinators.

“She created a strong curriculum intended to help recruit and retain older Girl Scouts,” said Dr. Elizabeth Gish, assistant professor in the Honors College and Ottersbach’s Honors thesis committee chair. “For any student or professor, this is an impressive feat: dealing well with complex, challenging ideas and issues while at the same time being able to offer something meaningful and practical from that complexity.”

Ottersbach will use her scouting and leadership experience to implement the Observe! merit patch, which emphasizes the importance of using observational skills to improve communities. The Center for the Living City is committed to enhancing the understanding of the complexity of contemporary urban life and promoting civic engagement among people who care deeply about their communities. The Jane Jacobs Fellowships were created for individuals to engage in city-building of critical importance in maintaining or regaining the strength and resilience of cities.

Ottersbach worked with the Office of Scholar Development at WKU in preparing her application.

“Jennifer is committed to making our world more fair, more just and more sustainable,” said Dr. Audra Jennings, director of the Office of Scholar Development at WKU. “Her continued work with young women throughout her time at WKU will allow her to effect meaningful change as the Jane Jacobs Fellow.”

About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development is committed to helping WKU students in all majors and degree programs develop the vision, experience and skills to be independent, engaged scholars. OSD welcomes the opportunity to work with students interested in nationally competitive scholarships.

Contact: Cory Dodds, (270) 745-5043

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