Project-based internships with the Office of Sustainability are available to Wake Forest students. Interns contribute to the success of the overarching mission of the office.
The Office of Sustainability hires interns twice a year, as positions become available. Join the campus sustainability listserv for notification of application periods. Typical internships include:
- Campus Garden
- Communications and Outreach
- Greeks Go Green
- Earth Day Planning
- Alternative Transportation
- Sustainability in Dining
- Energy Management
Meet our current interns on our staff page.
Suzanne Mullins, OoS News Intern: How has the garden evolved during your time as an intern?
Akua Maat: As a Campus Garden intern for the past two years, I’ve spent a lot of time getting comfortable with the physical garden space and certain agricultural practices—there’s definitely a learning curve. The garden is constantly changing—we’ve added new growing spaces, expanded plots, incorporated honeybees into the ecosystem, and even conducted some planting and growing experiments with heirloom seeds.
Suzanne Mullins: What do volunteers learn when they visit the garden?
Akua Maat: As the garden changes, volunteers are invited to witness and enjoy its transformation. As garden interns, our personal goal is to make local, ethical, and sustainably-sourced food the norm.
Nick Judd: We want to educate volunteers about how sustainable produce is grown and distributed so they are empowered to incorporate more sustainable purchasing practices into their lives.
Megan Blackstock: We inform Campus Garden volunteers about the issues surrounding the differences between industrial and small-scale farming, and how they can influence these practices with their own habits. Through firsthand exposure to organic, small-scale farming and articulated learning outcomes on normalizing sustainable agriculture, we hope to enlighten volunteers on their degree of options in choosing environmentally and socially conscientious foods.
Suzanne Mullins: What is growing in the garden right now?
Megan Blackstock: Right now, our garden is mainly directed at producing heirloom variety crops; these are at risk of going extinct due to our world’s heavy dependence on a small number of hybrid seeds for farming. In mid-to-late spring, we mainly focus on summer crops such as eggplant, tomatoes, squash, watermelon, and strawberries. In the fall, we plant mostly leafy plants that can withstand the unpredictable weather patterns of the fall and early winter months.
Nick Judd: During this particular semester, we have made efforts to maximize space and expand growing potential by extending a plot, building a second strawberry box—out of recycled wood, I might add—and we are even planning to implement a trellised bean patch.
Suzanne Mullins: The Campus Garden gives first-hand experience with sustainable practices. How do Wake Forest students, particularly those who volunteer at the garden, perceive their relationship to sustainability?
Akua Maat: Watching the garden grow these past few years, and learning about food alongside volunteers, has offered us a rare opportunity to connect with food origins in novel ways. When you regularly interact with something, you start to understand it as valid, worthy, and important; our hope for volunteers is that they experience this understanding. We invite them to ask questions about seeds, crop growth, and the weather. On the other hand, we share our knowledge about soil nutrients, food seasonality, crop rotation, and organic growing. We also like to extend these conversations to a larger audience through events. For example, we have held Spring Equinox celebrations where we partnered with the local community to have a pop-up farmer’s market, live music, and a celebration of wheat. We have screened documentaries during the fall season and had samples from local breweries and eateries for volunteers to enjoy as they painted pumpkins and crop signs. These events have provided an avenue for students to engage in sustainability and find ways to fit sustainable practices into their lifestyles.
Suzanne Mullins: Lastly, what does sustainability mean to you?
Akua Maat: For me, living sustainably means living a life and making choices that take the environment and all of its inhabitants into deep consideration.
Megan Blackstock: Sustainability for me is defined as the environmental, economic, and social development of the world into a more future-friendly society. Personally, I love teaching people about small-scale farming, as it helps to cut down on the purchase of the environmentally-damaging industrial produce that we see in most—if not all—of our grocery stores. In addition, I try to make an effort to live what I teach. I am constantly thinking about where my food came from and whether or not I am making smart, local food choices.
Nick Judd: Sustainability is a big part of my life here. On campus in particular, it extends to my home life at the Sustainability Theme house where we discuss, participate in, and hold events focused on sustainable initiatives.
Alyshah Aziz graduated Cum Laude with a major in Politics & International Affairs and a minor in Middle East & South Asian Studies. Alyshah served as an Alternative Transportation Intern for six consecutive semesters. She is working as a Business Analyst within Deloitte’s Federal Human Capital Consulting division.
Alyshah’s reflection on the internship: My internship with the Office of Sustainability helped me strengthen my skills in research, writing, marketing, and creativity. My time in the office and my friendships with Dedee, Hannah, Annabel, initiative co-sponsors, and interns are invaluable to me. My biggest takeaway that I will always carry with me is to think critically of what I read, hear, and see. The weekly intern meetings taught me to listen to what I hear and/or see and then investigate. My internship has lead me to view the world and all the activities of humankind from a holistic perspective.
Are you a student interested in making a difference and gaining professional development experience? The following paid internships are available to all Wake Forest University students for fall 2016. In order to apply, please fill out this form. Unless otherwise noted, these internships are with the Office of Sustainability. Please note, interns are required to attend an on-campus sustainability orientation August 24th – 26th.
Internship applications are due by Thursday, April 28th at 5:00pm.
Have a great idea for a sustainability-focused internship? Submit a unique internship proposal. We are always looking for new, innovative ways for students to generate sustainability-focused solutions on campus. Your proposal should include an articulation of the need for the proposed project and the landscape of issues surrounding the project. Proposals are due to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 4th, 2016.
We sent off our graduating interns from the Class of 2015 with hearty congratulations on their outstanding achievements.
Bridget Keeler graduated with a major in economics with a minor in environmental studies. After working as the campus dining intern for ARAMARK her sophomore year, Bridget studied sustainability abroad and returned to serve as a Greeks Go Green intern for the 2014-2015 academic year. She is working at Aramark headquarters in a one-year management program, Accelerate to Leadership.
Her reflection on her internship: My time with the office allowed me to further explore my interest in sustainability, and made me realize that my career path points toward the sustainable business sector. Working in the office provided me with invaluable information and experience, and I am very grateful for the guidance that was provided by Dedee and Hannah.
Araceli Morales-Santos graduated Cum Laude with a major in biology with a minor in Spanish. Araceli served as a Campus Garden intern in fall 2014 before going abroad in spring 2015. She earned a Fulbright Scholarship and will be an English teaching assistant in Brazil.
Her reflection on her internship: As an intern with the Office of Sustainability I gained valuable work experience and career tools that I will carry with me everywhere I go. Moreover, I was impressed at the level of professionalism that this internship offered and expected from each of the interns. What I most appreciate from my experience with the Office of Sustainability is the regular check-ins…[the] constructive criticism was helpful for me because professionally, it has helped me grow. As an intern, I also enjoyed all work and time spent in the garden. There is nothing more special than heading to the garden on a warm afternoon with a nice breeze and getting your hands and feet dirty harvesting and talking to the volunteers about their day and interest in gardening. I can’t thank the Office of Sustainability enough for offering me the opportunity to have this wonderful experience.
Emily Pence graduated Cum Laude with a major in mathematical business and minor in French. Emily served as a Greeks Go Green Intern for five consecutive semesters.
Her reflection on her internship: I am so thankful to have been able serve as an intern for the Office of Sustainability over the past few years. My internship has helped me grow into a more thoughtful, dynamic and professional individual, and has provided me with an opportunity to learn from and work alongside some of the most passionate and devoted members of the community. It has been such a rewarding experience to have been on a team with students who come from such diverse backgrounds, yet who share a similar commitment to stewardship and environmental sustainability. Looking back on my time at Wake Forest, my internship has been one of the most valuable and formative experiences I have been fortunate enough to have; it will be one that will stay with me as I enter the next chapter of my life.
Macaela Seward graduated with a major in biology and was commissioned with distinction as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Chemical Corps. Macaela served as the Sustainability in Dining intern for the 2014-2015 academic year. She will begin training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. In the fall she will be moving to South Korea to be the Chemical Officer for an Assault Helicopter Battalion.
Her reflection on her internship: My experience as the Sustainability in Dining Intern was eye-opening. Being sustainable as an individual is very different than at a corporate level, and it was incredibly interesting to learn how sustainable practices are implemented. In my internship I learned all about what food purchases are made and how we select vendors, as well as being able to run a project of my choosing and helping to prepare the STARS 2.0 review. It has been a great experience being the Dining Intern, and I will certainly be able to apply the skills I’ve learned in this internship – time management skills, creativity, resilience, tenacity – to the future.
Natalie Solomon graduated with a double major in psychology and religious studies with a concentration in Religion and Public Engagement. Natalie served as a Campus Garden Intern in the spring of 2015. She will begin a five year journey to earn a Doctorate in Psychology from Stanford Consortium in the fall.
Her reflection on her internship: Recently in the garden, the strawberries came up and I felt a profound sense of fulfillment and happiness. My internship has deepened my understanding of therapeutic resources. I have really loved that my internship included a physical component, that of literally gardening, and that my internship in the garden highlighted that the body and mind are the vehicles for pain, pleasure, and prayer. I have completed my Religion and Public Engagement Concentration on this fluidity of the inner and outer components of a person, much informed and influenced by my work in the garden. The garden has helped me to literally ground what I am learning in class and intern meetings, as well as provide a therapeutic outlet. This is a resource that was very rewarding to share with others. I honestly felt like my work in the garden reconnected me with the therapeutic resources of the outdoors that were central to my childhood in rural Southern Africa. My internship in the garden has provided me with a wider perspective and deeper understanding of sustainable agriculture, components of education, stewardship to the Earth, and benefits of the outdoors.
We wish all of our former interns who graduated with the Class of 2015 a fond farewell:
Jack Sypek, energy conservation intern with Facilities and Campus Services, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a major in biology.
Elena Dolman, staff writer, graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors in English.
Shoshanna Goldin, former Sustainable Community Development intern, graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors in interdisciplinary studies – global health.
Maegan Olmstead, former Communications and Outreach intern, graduated with a major in communications.
David Song, former Campus Garden intern, graduated with a major in biology.
Nicky Vogt, former Campus Garden intern, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a major in politics and international affairs with double minors in Spanish and psychology.
Are you a student interested in making a difference and gaining professional development experience? The following paid internships are available to all Wake Forest University students for fall 2015. In order to apply, please fill out this form. Unless otherwise noted, these internships are with the Office of Sustainability. Please note, interns are required to attend an on-campus sustainability orientation August 19th – 21st.
Internship applications are due by Friday, April 10th at 5:00pm.
The intern will collaborate with expert garden mentors, faculty, staff, student, and community volunteers to manage the campus garden across from Spry Soccer Stadium on Polo Road. Management entails all aspects of growing seasonally appropriate crops including, but not limited to, developing and maintaining rotation and cover cropping plans, starting and transplanting crops, watering, mulching, and composting food/yard waste. The intern will coordinate garden volunteer opportunities, explore service learning possibilities with interested faculty, and organize major events in the campus garden. The successful candidate will be enthusiastic, outgoing, and will have strong organizational skills. Experience with medium-scale community gardening is strongly preferred.
Greeks Go Green
The intern will co-lead the Greeks Go Green initiative by holding weekly meetings with established Greeks Go Green representatives and organizing monthly presentations and events throughout the semester. The intern must be an active member of a recognized Greek organization on campus. Excellent leadership and organizational skills are required.
ARAMARK – Sustainability in Dining
Learn more about the responsibilities of the Sustainability in Dining intern on ARAMARK’s website.
Facilities & Campus Services – Energy Management
The intern will assist Facilities and Campus Services with communications, energy competitions, monitoring energy usage on the campus through computer programs and by physically walking around the campus, occasionally during late hours. Other responsibilities include gathering, compiling, and analyzing data from various WFU departments, coordinating with the Office of Sustainability and attending meetings as necessary. The intern must have experience using Excel and a passion for reducing energy usage.
Propose a Unique Internship
Have a great idea for an internship, but don’t see it on our list? Feel free to submit a unique internship proposal. We are always looking for new, innovative ways to promote sustainability on campus. Your proposal should include an articulation of the need for the proposed project and the landscape of issues surrounding the project.
The outdoors has always been a part of Kathleen Pritchard’s life. A 2010 graduate of Wake Forest University with a degree in political science and minors in biology and environmental science, Kathleen has carried out her passion for the environment by continuing her studies in environmental law and policy; she is now a third year law student at the University of Texas in Austin.
After graduation, Kathleen took two years off before continuing her education. Her hiatus began with a return to a former post at Wilderness Ventures, where she guided backpacking and climbing trips in the Pacific Northwest. She then spent time in Oxford, MS to study for the LSAT and to gain experience at a small family practice law firm. Once she completed this, she gathered her things and traveled to Argentina where she spent seven months teaching English. She refers to this stint as one of her most rewarding experiences since graduating from college, as she had to learn Spanish on the go and was living with a host family in a small town in the Santa Fe province. Telluride, CO was next on her list, where she enjoyed skiing and hiking every moment she could before it was time for her to begin law school in Austin.
Kathleen continues to live her passion at the University of Texas where she joined the Texas Environment Law Journal, participated in the Environmental Law Clinic, worked on a directed study with her environmental law professor, and most recently, interned at the Environmental Protection Agency in Denver, CO.
While at Wake Forest, Kathleen worked as a communications and outreach intern with the Office of Sustainability. She credits the internship for her decision to pursue professional work in sustainability. Her advice to students trying to figure out what they want to do after graduation: follow your passions. Kathleen began by testing the intersection of her passions and talents as an intern for the office.
After she graduates from law school, Kathleen will be clerking for Judge Sam Sparks, a federal district judge in Austin, Texas.
Contributed by Maegan Olmstead (’15)
Are you interested in planning a campus wide event? Do you want to work with a highly collaborative team of peers? If you answered yes to both of these questions, apply for the WFU Earth Day Planning internship. The intern will work with the Office of Sustainability, community stakeholders, and campus organizations to plan and execute the Earth Day 2015 celebration at Wake Forest. From organizing stakeholder meetings, planning the entertainment line-up, developing outreach materials, securing community support, and managing marketing, this paid internship will provide resume building experiences.
Previous experience with campus-wide event planning is preferred. Note: this internship will start in November and carry through the spring semester. All enrolled students are encouraged to apply including undergraduate, graduate, part-time, and full time students.
In order to apply, please fill out this form. Applications are due Friday, October 10th at 5:00pm.
“Did you know, only food and paper go in the North Dining Hall dish return? All wrappers, lids, and caps must be thrown away.” Thanks to a robust outreach campaign and a great story in the Old Gold & Black, Deacons are making history with the first post-consumer composting program on campus. During the span of the nine-day campaign, 3,600 pounds of food and paper waste was collected by Gallins Family Farm and transported to their offsite facility for composting.
Although this diversion is something to celebrate, we can never take our eye off the ball. Turning the same 9-day campaign, 900 pounds of food waste was turned away and sent to the landfill due to contamination. One milk carton, or a couple of plastic wrappers, can render a whole container of food waste unusable.
As a campus community, we have the opportunity to turn North Dining Hall (NDH) into a near zero-waste facility. Aside from making sure you follow the collection rules, tell a friend about composting at NDH and remind them, “when in doubt, throw it out.” Also check out this compost bulletin board kit and post it around your residence hall or in your departmental lounge.
Still confused about what to compost or why it matters? Reference the compost FAQs below and email email@example.com with any further questions.
North Dining Hall Compost FAQs
What happens if something other than food and paper go in the dish return?
All of the food and paper must be thrown away. If anything that can’t break down naturally in a three month time period enters the dish return, all of the waste in that batch is landfilled.
What should I do if I’m not sure whether something can be composted?
When in doubt, throw it out. It’s better to throw something small away than to ruin a whole batch of compostable waste.
What is compost?
Compost is organic waste which, over time, breaks down to become nutrient-rich soil.
Where do the food scraps and paper go?
Gallins Family Farm picks up food and paper waste collection bins from campus. They turn the organic waste into rich compost called Carolina Dynamite that nearby farms, gardeners, and landscapers purchase. Some of it comes back to our own campus garden on Polo Road.
Why does Wake Forest compost?
Composting helps reduce the amount of waste Wake Forest sends to the landfill. Not only does aerobic composting reduce the amount of methane that enters the atmosphere; it also reduces the cost of the waste we pay to be landfilled.
Karleigh Ash graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. Karleigh worked for the Office of Sustainability as the Photography intern in the spring of 2012 as well as this past year.
Her reflection on the internship: My internship with the Office of Sustainability has really shaped my college experience for the better. I was lucky enough to start interning in the spring of my sophomore year and I have been connected in various ways ever since. I have learned things about how to live a sustainable lifestyle that will stick with me for the rest of my life. My fellow interns and our mentors Dedee and Hannah have been such an inspiration to never let the problems we face get too overwhelming. There is always something that we can do, no matter how small.
Glenn Bergesen graduated with a BA in Psychology and a double minor in Environmental Studies and Biology. Glenn joined the sustainability team as the Earth Day Planning Intern in the spring of 2014.
His reflection on his internship: I could not have asked for a more rewarding and challenging experience. It allowed me to learn from and work with some of the best and most wonderful faculty and staff members at Wake. The work was fun, engaging, and the Office of Sustainability knows how to get things done! Thank you for all that you do and I know that my experience here will forever shape how I pursue a future in sustainability.
Patrick Doran graduated with a BS in Business and Enterprise Management. This year he served as the Sustainability in Dining intern for Aramark.
His reflection on his internship: My internship exposed me to a wonderful field that works to leave a legacy and benefit others, namely posterity. I especially value my experience as sustainability is becoming increasingly prevalent in business, with companies becoming attuned to consumer demand for sustainable practice. Above all else, my internship gave me the opportunity to work with a group of people who are endlessly friendly, considerate, and passionate about what they do.
Dominik Haja graduated Cum Laude and earned departmental honors with a BS in Chemistry with a Biochemistry concentration. Claire Nagy-Kato graduated with a BA in Chemistry and a minor in Environmental Studies.
Dominik and Claire both served as Energy interns for the Office of Energy Management.