Keeping St. Peter Green

Minnesota State Mankato graduate student Kayode “Kay” Adiatu is leading a green initiative in the city of St. Peter.

Given his background, this internship is as natural as it gets.

In his home country of Nigeria, Adiatu earned a master’s degree in environmental control and management. He then volunteered with the United Nations to teach sustainable agricultural practices in African communities.

He remained eager to continue his education, and a former classmate suggested that he come to Minnesota State University, Mankato, where the classmate was going to school.  Adiatu decided to join his friend started an urban planning master’s program in 2018.

“Now I’m turning my passion into where I actually want to be,” he said.

In 2019, Adiatu met St. Peter Community Development Director Russ Wille and asked about internship opportunities.

It was a case of right place, right time.

Wille hired Adiatu to work on the Minnesota GreenStep Cities project, a voluntary challenge for cities to commit to becoming more environmentally sustainable. Adiatu leads the entire project for the city. Adiatu is the department’s fourth intern from Minnesota State Mankato.

“It’s nice to reach out and help the students up there, because there were always alumni reaching out when I was there,” said Wille, who also graduated from Minnesota State Mankato. “And we always expect that we’re getting a good intern when we go to the University.”