Riley Arnold

Riley Arnold '19



Degree and Class Year

BA ’19


Monument, Colorado, and Tampa, Florida




Founder of People to People Permaculture, LC Psychology Collaborative Researcher, Garden Educator and Manager at Abernethy Elementary School, The City Repair Project Placemaking Liaison and Permaculture Designer, LC Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB) Tutor, Portland Community College Garden Volunteer Educator, The People’s Food Cooperative Volunteer, and Farmer’s Market Intern

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Artful, Lively, Warm

What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

My favorite class was Community Psychology with Professor Brian Detweiler-Bedell. This class gave me the tools to lead social movements in ways that promote sustainable change and human flourishing. I learned how to create and advocate for holistic community interventions in a way that not only gets people to listen, but inspires action as well.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

From my first visit, Portland felt like home. I was enchanted by the vibrancy of the city and its people. Lewis & Clark is very much an extension of that. I was drawn to Lewis & Clark because I loved the excited energy of the campus and the dedicated and ingenuitive spirit of the students. I could feel, and still do, that big things were happening here and I wanted to be a part of it.

What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience so far?

I will be studying in Morocco next spring. I chose that program because it was the best fit for me. I speak small amounts of French, enjoyed the course offerings, and above all have always wanted to experience the mystery and beauty of Morocco.

Describe your experience as a SAAB tutor, and what you most like about the role.

As a SAAB tutor, I have helped students in everything from test prep to paper writing. My favorite part of this experience has been learning alongside other students. Tutees often bring really imaginative and challenging questions to our meetings that make it all the more fun to grapple with material.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot on campus is underneath the walnut trees on the hillside of South Campus. There are so many wonderful edible plants there (apples, pears, blackberries, etc.) and enough trees to slackline or read in the shade. Bonus: its a popular place for dogs too!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

I love the sense of community that is so strong in Portland. There are so many wonderful people here working hard to make Portland a home for everyone. From beautiful public art projects to open mic nights in people’s backyards, Portlanders are always looking to connect community and serve a greater good. Of course, the beer is pretty good here too.

Have you had the opportunity to do research with a professor?

I have been lucky enough to conduct psychology research on campus two summers in a row with Assistant Professor Jolina Ruckert. Together we have studied children’s empathetic and moral development regarding endangered animals. Using this research, we are developing an educational program that connects children to nature using scientific exploration, empathetic engagement, and social bonding. Working with Jolina has been the most formative experience during my time at L&C. I have gained practical skills, confidence in my ideas, and a lifelong mentor.

How has Lewis & Clark has changed you?

Lewis & Clark has helped me find direction and voice. In my life, I have never felt so at home and supported by community like I have at LC. I feel empowered in my next steps forward knowing that I have gained a sense of who I am, who I want to be, and how I’m going to get there.