Westlake company sponsors Kent State student's trip to Costa Rica

TRG, a hardware solutions provider in the data collection and barcode printing industry, will be sponsoring a local student’s educational co-op trip. Jake Budde, a botany major from Kent State University, will be traveling to Costa Rica from Dec. 27 to Jan. 16. Focusing on exploring the intersections of mycology, entomology and botany, Budde will be experiencing tropical ecosystems firsthand to enhance his education and strengthen his career path.

Budde is a Kent State University senior scheduled to graduate in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in botany. He currently interns as an assistant greenhouse technician at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron where he cares for exotic and domestic plants. He is also a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, the Kent State Biology Club and the Environmental Conservation Group.

The trip to Costa Rica is part of the Tropical Field Biology and Conversation course offered to undergraduate students at Kent State. Through the collection of field data and analysis, students observe and study characteristics of tropical forests, geography, climate, and biodiversity. Despite being a fantastic opportunity for college students to work in the field, the cost of tuition, airfare, and housing can prove to be difficult to afford.

After Budde wrote a letter seeking financial assistance, a colleague put him into contact with TRG President Sean Kennedy. “This will be a fantastic learning experience for him,” Kennedy noted. “TRG has always been a charitable part of the community, and we are pleased to support Jake in furthering this dream.”

This trip will afford Budde the opportunity to work hands on in the field, while also conducting research. “Having the chance to travel abroad and study what I love, seeing tropical rainforests with my own eyes is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Budde says. He hopes that this trip will clarify for him which branch in botany he would like to focus on in the future.

TRG has been a Westlake company for more than 20 years, with headquarters on Viking Parkway.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:03 PM, 12.23.2015