Kiana Pino, a third-year student at Bryant University, is a student leader active in addressing a multitude of issues both in the classroom, and throughout campus. As a Student Staff manager in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), and as a member of both Health Education Awareness Leaders (HEAL) organization and the Bryant Arts and Creativity (BAC) organization, she has utilized such platforms to be a catalyst for awareness and action. Issues she has worked on are the following: food injustice, environment/sustainability, domestic abuse, helping people with advocacy difficulties, and awareness of breast cancer. One of the latest projects she was a part of was creating an art piece display which advocated for utilizing trash that can be recycled or up-cycled. Kiana’s passion for problem-solving and finding realistic solutions drives her work as an exceptional steward of civic engagement.
My first involvement in a social issue was Eversource's Northern Pass Project (NPP). The NPP proposed to transfer hydroelectric power from Canada to Massachusetts via transmission towers through New Hampshire Some southern towns in New Hampshire advocated for the NPP due to promises of new jobs. However, many northern towns rejected the NPP due to concerns such as visual/sound pollution, decreased property value, eminent domain lawsuits, health risks, etc. I used my understanding of the situation’s pros and cons to work with a local environmental group to develop multiple solutions. After numerous proposals regarding changes to the way and means of energy transfer, it was suggested that all the lines run underground. This provided more jobs and lessened issues of visual/sound pollution, property value decreases, and some health concerns. This solution was presented to Eversource who initially considered it but then later declined. Today, Eversource plans a route through Maine, though it continues to face criticism due to the aforementioned issues. I have continued to be involved in social issue projects through high school and college which led me to the Newman Civic Fellowship where I can continue my civic engagements.