‘Act with intention in your impact’: Philanthropy empowers a Gettysburg education for Emily Kreider ’25

AEmily Kreider ’25 (second from left) participated with Alexis Jones ’24, Ratul Pradhan ’25, and Jack Joiner ’25
Emily Kreider ’25 (second from left) participated with Alexis Jones ’24, Ratul Pradhan ’25, and Jack Joiner ’25 in a 2023 Center for Public Service food, sustainability, and globalization immersion project in Kathmandu, Nepal.

With two uncles as alumni, Tim ’88 and Mike Foley ’00, Emily Kreider ’25 had heard about Gettysburg College growing up. But it wasn’t until she visited campus in 2021 that she experienced firsthand the place where people and philanthropy support a Gettysburg education for all students.

Despite COVID-19 public health guidelines limiting her Admissions student-guided visit to an outdoors-only tour, Kreider encountered Gettysburg’s beauty and learned more about its unique faculty, students, and staff. For Kreider, an environmental studies major with a concentration in ecological and social governance, ultimately saying yes to a Gettysburg education wouldn’t have been possible without an alumna whose support for Gettysburg students like her has positively impacted her life.

Kreider received a Gettysburg Fund Named Scholarship generously made possible by Alumni Board member Sara Harenchar Levinson ’09. During Gettysburg College’s Summit on the Future last September, Harenchar Levinson and Kreider met each other for the first time, establishing the link between Gettysburgians past and present.

Alumni Board member Sara Harenchar Levinson ’09 and Emily Kreider ’25
Alumni Board member Sara Harenchar Levinson ’09 and Emily Kreider ’25, the recipient of Levinson’s Gettysburg Fund Named Scholarship, each delivered remarks about the impact of financial support on students at Gettysburg during the Summit on the Future in September 2023.

Harenchar Levinson, Vice President of Business Development at Prometric, is a loyal donor and active member of Gettysburg College’s alumni community. She understands the significance of scholarships for Gettysburg students. Her Gettysburg education was made possible through support from the Klette Scholarship Fund, established by Dr. Immanuel Klette ’39 and friends in honor of Mrs. Margaret Klette.

“Meeting my scholarship recipient, Emily, was a deeply meaningful experience. I saw my own Gettysburg friends in Emily’s face, and even her personal style. We were laughing and joking with each other within 10 minutes!” Harenchar Levinson explained. “She is so passionate about her areas of study and co-curricular activities, and she has such a warm and engaging personality. I’m so honored that I could contribute to her Gettysburg experience in some small way. It brought things full circle for me as I reflected on the Gettysburg alumni who made my experience possible.” 

“She’s such an inspiring woman,” Kreider said. “She was so generous that it makes you really believe in Gettysburg. That’s where she wanted her money to go. I feel like I’m living in a generation that is proof that when we’re able to overcome historical obstacles and increase access to higher education, we see greater societal benefit and prosperity.”

Students take a group photo at the Rocky mountains
Students participating in the Environmental Studies Department’s ES251: The Rocky Mountain West Physical & Cultural Geography summer 2023 exploration pause in their activities for a group photo amid the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

Learning by doing: The value of experiential education

Having taken only one class in environmental science in high school, Kreider appreciated that Gettysburg offered a Bachelor of Arts degree in addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies, which allowed her to explore her academic interests in the humanities and nature. Gettysburg’s liberal arts and sciences course offerings also enabled Kreider to take classes outside her major to cultivate a breadth and depth of knowledge in diverse subjects.

“I didn’t know what interdisciplinary really meant in high school, but now [at Gettysburg], it’s the most holistic education I think I could get. I feel like I’ve taken classes in almost every major since enrolling—philosophy, religious studies, health sciences, and political science,” she said. “I’ve uniquely experienced faculty support and mentorship from multiple departments and made connections with students across all academic interests.”

During the summer after her sophomore year, Kreider’s out-of-classroom learning included a field study experience in southwestern Colorado, researching with Environmental Studies Prof. Randy Wilson.

“We studied everything from high-alpine ecosystem functions to the impact of the mining industry and the historical and modern presence of Indigenous knowledge in the area,” she said.

“One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned at the GLC [Garthwait Leadership Center] is to act with intention in your impact. Think about the consequences. Include a diversity of voices in your decisions—not only try to make a change but maintain that change. See the impact of your actions and learn from others.”
Emily Kreider ’25

In addition to exploring Colorado, Kreider completed two summer experiential learning opportunities that she discovered through and were coordinated by Gettysburg College’s Center for Career Engagement.

In 2022, she worked as an extern at Boston Harbor Islands with the National Park Service (NPS) in Boston, Massachusetts, where she job-shadowed various staff members, participated in meetings, and toured several NPS facilities. In 2023, she worked as an extern in Atlanta, Georgia, for Michael Beinenson ’01, president of EcoTerra. At EcoTerra, Kreider participated in a site visit and evaluation with EcoTerra’s mitigation banking team and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, Georgia Land Trust, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Additionally, in January 2024, she traveled to Mexico for a leadership expedition with the Garthwait Leadership Center (GLC). It was during this trip that she learned about cultivating knowledge within oneself—and the power of that knowledge to be shared with others to make a positive impact—from GLC Director Paul Miller, who referenced Parker J. Palmer’s book “To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey.”

“Gettysburg has provided me a beautiful opportunity with the traveling I’ve been able to do and the people I’ve been able to meet,” she said. “Taking classes in many majors and interacting with different people makes you a better member of society, a good listener and communicator. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned at the GLC is to act with intention in your impact. Think about the consequences. Include a diversity of voices in your decisions—not only try to make a change but maintain that change. See the impact of your actions and learn from others.” 

Working with a diverse array of people through her role as the lead outdoor facilitator for the GLC and DEIBJ (diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice) Student Advisory Board member for the Environmental Studies Department has also provided rich experiences in teamwork and problem solving that complement her coursework.

Through all these experiential learning opportunities in and out of the classroom, Kreider bolstered her knowledge and developed her critical thinking skills.

“In environmental studies, we talk all the time about environmental impact, which is always tied with social impact,” she said. “Since I’ve gotten to take classes in many different departments, it’s made me a better thinker and helped me be more aware of my impact on the world.”

Students sea-kayaking
The Garthwait Leadership Center hosted a January 2024 Leadership Expedition Group with sea-kayaking in the Sea of Cortez off the coast of Mexico in Baja California.

Reflecting on her Gettysburg experience thus far, Kreider recognizes how the relationship between building knowledge and enduring skills benefits every Gettysburg student through A Consequential Education, one that’s shaped by our College’s people. After graduating from Gettysburg, Kreider is interested in pursuing a career in regenerative environmental management for its work to support the diverse ecosystems of living creatures in our environment.

“I have had such a uniquely wonderful experience with everyone at Gettysburg, from the dining staff and the people who work in the mail room and custodians. I feel it takes a family and a village to raise a person and a college student,” she said. “It seems like a hub of very nice people. I don’t know how Gettysburg managed to collect all these people together and put them on one campus.”

Learn more about our promise of providing A Consequential Education to every Gettysburg student.

By Michael Vyskocil
Photos courtesy Molly Cordray ’24, Emily Kreider ’25, and Casey Martin Photography
Posted: 02/19/24