Climate solutions

Daughter of distinguished K-State professor creates fund to fight climate change.

Climate change is a global issue that we must face together. For Sarah McGinnity, daughter of K-State Distinguished Professor Chuck Rice, climate change is an issue that is at the forefront of her and her husband Shea’s advocacy efforts. Together they created the Fight Climate Change Fund at K-State. “My husband Shea and I started the fund when it became apparent that although climate change was getting more extreme, U.S. policy priorities weren’t aligning with this knowledge,” said Sarah.

Sarah and Shea established the fund to create climate change research growth and inspire the next generation. “We have three children whose future we hope is better than our current reality. While we don’t feel we can affect change on a global level, we most certainly have the power to fuel science by funding good work that is done locally and motivating the next generation of scientists to continuing advancing research,” Sarah said. “It is also important to our family that our children see action and advocacy. We can change our individual choices, but we also have the power to rally our friends and neighbors to support a cause we’re passionate about.”

The Fight Climate Change Fund has created many opportunities for graduate students in K-State’s College of Agriculture. “The Fight Climate Change Fund has opened many great avenues for my graduate students,” said Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor and chair of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources of the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. “The fund has done many great things including paying for a student internship from Brazil, funding for the printing of posters for scientific meetings, and funding for books on scientific writing, which help my students improve their writing skills for future publications and grants.”

For Carlos Bonini Pires, graduate research assistant, receiving support from the Fight Climate Change Fund has allowed him to make an impact on an issue he is very passionate about. “Receiving support from the Fight Climate Change Fund makes me believe that together we can change the world and make it a sustainable and safe place to live,” said Carlos.

Philanthropy has been a significant contributor to the success of the Fight Climate Change Fund. “The last five years have been huge in motivating people to rise in a grassroots fashion for causes that aren’t getting enough attention at a national level,” Sarah said. “We can talk all we want but putting money behind advocacy can create real change. You might not have thousands of dollars to give, but together we can pool our financial resources to lead to significant contributions.”

Philanthropy will also support further advancement of student research and material that the fund provides. “With enhanced funding, we will be able to support stipends, travel, and supplies for students and their research,” said Chuck.

To support K-State’s Fight Climate Change Fund visit: Kansas State University · GiveCampus

By James Dalton Burton

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