My name is Allyson Doolittle and I am a senior Environmental Studies, Anthropology, and Sustainability student. I am currently working as an intern for the Fayette County Cultural Trust, the FCCT, where I have expanded off of research I initiated last semester in my Sustainability Capstone class. After working closely with the President and the Executive Director of the FCCT, Michael Edwards and Daniel Cocks, and after consulting interview notes from the previous year of research, I have been tasked with improving transportation services around Fayette County, as well as working to expand our latest asset and vacancy maps. Connellsville, the home of the FCCT, showcases many historical features and is conveniently located on the busy Great Allegheny Passage bike trail, making it a welcoming pit-stop for many travelers each year. However, there is a scarcity of transportation services for short time visitors such as rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Furthermore, hotels in the area struggle to find funding or maintain transportation services for their guests.
This semester, I hope to communicate with tourism and transportation companies around Fayette County, including Go Laurel Highlands and Fayette Area Coordinated Bus Transportation, to learn development plans and potential areas of improvement within the tourism transportation sector. My initial idea was to create a Tourist Guide that details transportation services for Fayette County visitors that can be placed on county websites and distributed at community centers, but I would like to meet with town residents and transportation services to see if this is an idea that would be utilized. I also hope to expand my asset maps this semester to include the counties that the new cohort of honors students will be expanding into. I would like to begin to implement these maps using QR codes into county websites and brochures to increase accessibility of our previous work. Another student from our last cohort is tasked with creating a town website for Uniontown, where I hope to add these QR codes and possible tourist guides.
I am looking forward to working specifically under Michael and Dan from the Fayette County Cultural Trust. Michael and Dan work diligently every day to revitalize their communities for the benefit of improving the quality of life for other Fayette County residents, while urging for initiatives that embrace diversity. It is incredible to see that there are residents who are passionate about their home and the residents in it, and who also have a foot in the door regarding development opportunities. I am thrilled to help them achieve their mission, and hope to learn more about why and how they have become such active members in Fayette County. Furthermore, I hope to find contacts and develop relationships in the county that can be utilized by the students researching this project in the future. There is a large multi-disciplinary group of students participating in economic development in Fayette County, and I believe it would be useful to merge contacts and plans to identify synergies within our research.