|Amanda Nicole Garcia, Chemical Engineering Freshman, was the winner of the Story of Stuff Essay Contest.|
For Fall 2010, all first time freshmen at Cal Poly Pomona were invited to submit an entry to the Story of Stuff Essay Contest. In November, it was announced that Chemical Engineering student, Amanda Nicole Garcia was the winner of the Essay Contest.
Amanda is a first-time freshman, having graduated from Bonita High School in La Verne, which is where she resides. Her essay was assigned in her EGR 100 course with instructor Milton Randle.
Students were asked to write an essay in two parts: a) What do you believe to be the most difficult impediment to change Leonard discusses in the "Story of Stuff" and why? (If you do not believe change is necessary, choose a change she advocates regarding extraction, production, distribution, consumption, or disposal, and explain why it is not needed.), and b) Imagine a strategy for overcoming this impediment and critically assess the strategy's strengths and weaknesses. (If you do not believe change is necessary, imagine Leonard's response to your reasoning in (1), and reply.) Read the winning essay by Amanda Garcia (.pdf).
The controversial book, Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard, is on the required reading list for the majority of freshmen at Cal Poly Pomona through the First Year Experience program, whose goal is to help students understand and adjust to college academic expectations. Through First Year Experience classes, including the EGR 100 courses in the College of Engineering, students were asked to analyze Leonard's assertions about the environmental and social costs of production and consumption of goods.
"The Story of Stuff," published in March, is based on a 20-minute video in which Leonard talks about how much Americans waste, from extracting the planet's resources to producing goods to disposing trash. She describes how consumerism is linked to pollution, climate change and the expansion of corporations.