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Effie Gentry

Anne Arundel Community College helped Effie Gentry unearth a newfound love for the environment. She initially attended The Art Institute of Atlanta, but Gentry took a detour, became an esthetician and eventually returned to Anne Arundel County. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Gentry decided to return to school to study landscape design.

“I think that, fortunately, the stillness of the world combined with the choice to have a less hectic life and to be a student again really worked together well for me,” she said.

The combination of science and art drew her to landscape design, but Gentry is so passionate about the environment that she plans to take plant science classes even though they are not required for her major. Her dedication is not just confined to campus; she transformed her yard into a haven for native plants, butterflies and hummingbirds.

“I had monarchs coming out of my ears this September, it was awesome.”

Gentry initially faced hurdles with disability accommodations, but after working with AACC’s Disability Support Services, she found what worked for her. Despite grappling with dyslexia and dyscalculia, Gentry found supportive faculty, such as biology Professor Paul Bushman, Ph.D., who helped her succeed.

"When you find a teacher that understands and is patient, that's everything. That's incredible."

Gentry also worked with the Super Science Club, service-learning students and biology professors, Susan Lamont, Ph.D., and Anne Gleeson to maintain the Pollinator Pride Garden. With Gleeson’s guidance, she made adjustments to the rooting of a dying redbud tree. It was a great example of Gentry’s resilience during unpredicted environmental issues.

“All my favorite memories come from working with the environmental center,” she said.

Gentry’s experience at AACC underscores the transformative power of passion-fueled education and an unwavering commitment to environmental conservation.


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