Amalia Friess, president of the University of Utah Beekeepers Association, is the winner of the 2022 Ivory Community Leadership Award. The award, formerly the Ivory Prize for Student Leadership, was established by Clark Ivory, former chair of the University of Utah Board of Trustees, and seeks to enhance the undergraduate experience, encourage student involvement and promote leadership. The award includes a $2,000 prize and $10,000 to invest in programs/efforts led by the recipient.
The University of Utah Beekeepers Association is a student-led club that maintains honeybee hives on campus and supports the conservation of native pollinators. Friess began her journey with the club as a novice beekeeper. She first encountered the club at a fair on campus and knew immediately she wanted to be a part of it. She had no prior experience with bees but was eager to learn all she could. Friess has now been a member of the club for four years and feels she has benefitted greatly from her involvement. “Being a part of the club shaped my college experience significantly,” says Friess. “Working with peers who are just as passionate about bees gave me a sense of community that I didn’t feel otherwise. I’ve met so many extremely talented, knowledgeable and driven people through this club. And if nothing else, doing a little beekeeping was always a great break from homework and studying.”
Amy Sibul is the associate director for curriculum and scholarship with the Bennion Center for Community Engagement and a faculty advisor to the U Beekeepers Association. Sibul has worked closely with Friess and notes her unwavering commitment to the club and the bees. “Amalia is a driven individual that works hard towards achieving goals that align with her passions and inspires other students to get involved and make a difference,” says Sibul. “She has led the club through an amazing array of high-impact and very visible achievements. Her efforts culminated in a successful campaign to have the University of Utah designated as a ‘Bee Campus USA’, the first and only Utah campus to receive such an honor awarded by the Xerces Society. She has been a joy and an inspiration to work with for the past four years, and I believe she is deserving of this recognition.”
With the $10,000 donation from the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation, the University of Utah Beekeepers Association will be able to grow and expand bee conservation efforts on a broader scale. Friess would like people to know that the best way to “save the bees” is to support the thousands of native, solitary bee species by planting native plants and minimizing the use of pesticides.