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Rebecca Crust ’19

Posted by:
Rebecca Crust
February 17, 2022
By Tony Colville

In high school, Rebecca Crust (19’) volunteered at a community farm in Seattle which increased access to fresh produce for the local neighborhood.

“I was just, you know, a kid out of high school who really liked gardening.”

Naturally, as a first year biology student and PLU Rieke Scholar, they found themself drawn to the mission of the PLU Community Garden, which was managed by facilities at the time.

When the Community Garden merged with the Diversity Center, Rebecca was asked to be the Diversity Center Garden Manager. The position gave the sophomore “a renewed sense of purpose” and “brought more joy to [their] life to be working with so many people towards a common goal.”

During their junior year, Rebecca shifted to being the first Alger Scholarship LGBTQ+ Intern at the Center for Gender Equity, an award “designed to lift up and affirm LGBTQ+ students at PLU.” Even in this new position, their love for the Community Garden continued.

The hobby grew into a passion, and after studying plant disease with biology faculty, Rebecca decided to pursue plant pathology. They’re currently at the University of California Riverside getting their PhD.

Working with the Diversity Center helped Rebecca grow beyond the garden too.

Rebecca Crust holding plant

Rebecca values the Diversity Center for giving them a working understanding of gender theory and social justice, which helped them incorporate equity into their work after PLU and has impacted every part of their life.

“The years I spent with the dCenter really, really helped me grow communication skills, leadership skills, how to appreciate parts of my identity, and appreciate other’s identities and things that they bring to the community.”

“PLU definitely needs the Diversity Center.” Rebecca recommends the dCenter as a great place to have interesting conversations, to learn more about yourself and to grow. “Or just to relax, to be honest. Just have some downtime, destress from all the intensity of studying and work and life.”

Over their years at PLU, Rebecca found many communities on campus that supported their growth. They were a member of the Biology Club, a Rieke Scholar, an Alger Scholarship Intern, part of Concert Band, part of University Congregation, a member of PACE (Peer Advocacy and Community Education), and the manager of the Community Garden during its inaugural year with the Diversity Center. They graduated in May of 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Computer Science.