Franklin Eccher is a junior in Saybrook, majoring in Environmental Studies. He hails from a small town in western Colorado called Montrose, where he grew up fly fishing and hiking with his parents and younger sister. Eccher is interested in the intersection between environmental advocacy and teaching, as well as the unique dynamics and needs of rural schools. In his spare time, he acts as brewmaster at SayBrew, the Saybrook brewing club, participates in the club climbing and fly fishing teams, and leads Yale FOOT and Yale Outdoors trips.
Eccher has written “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts: Building Character and Culture Through High School Athletics” (2016), a broad analysis of the role athletics play in reproducing social and academic dynamics in American high schools, with a focus on rural communities.
He has also written “The Myth of the Rural Attainment Gap: Rural Access to Higher Education and the Problem of the Education Desert” (2017), a policy-minded research approach to the geographic factors at play in lagging college attendance in rural areas.
Eccher is the Curriculum and Research Director for the Teaching Peace Initiative (TPI), an education non-profit based on Yale’s campus and active in districts around the country administering peer-to-peer peace education and conflict resolution strategies. He leads a team of dedicated peace-makers working on writing and developing curriculum and analyzing data from TPI classrooms. At Yale, Peace Coaches establish relationships with Peace Teams in chapter high schools, which then administer the TPI curriculum in district elementary and middle schools.
Eccher is also a First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT) leader at Yale, in which he annually leads groups of eight incoming first-years with a co-leader on trips around the Northeast. He hopes to utilize the hard and soft skills he has developed through FOOT to become more involved with summer leadership programs for high school students and to help young people become more actively committed to and invested in the environment.