NEWS

Art & Design alum helps communities in southwestern U.S. with conservation work

Art & Design alum helps communities in southwestern U.S. with conservation work

Johanna Cordasco enjoys working with her hands.

It’s why the recent Rutgers University graduate was a visual arts major in the Department of Art and Design at the Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, N.J., where she concentrated on sculpture.

It’s also why the 23-year-old, who received a community-service award during the Mason Gross commencement-convocation ceremony in May, used her prize money to buy a backpack and fund a trip to Flagstaff, Ariz., where she joined the federally supported service organization AmeriCorps as a crew member for a six-month stint doing conservation and restoration work and helping communities throughout the southwestern U.S.

Cordasco – who grew up in Basking Ridge, N.J., where she and her family lived above a bicycle shop run by her father – sought a way to put her bachelor of fine arts degree to work in the center of what she described as a Venn diagram of art, nature and community service.

“In the middle of those three things is where I would like to be,” said Cordasco, who was interested in the AmeriCorps program because she had done trail work at the Rutgers University Ecological Preserve at Rutgers–New Brunswick’s Livingston campus. “I guess I always felt the need to be helpful. I don’t know what that’s rooted in, but it’s gratifying to help others.”

Read the full story on Rutgers Today.