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.
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 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.
Are you a student interested in making a difference? The following paid internships are available to Wake Forest students for fall 2014. In order to apply, please fill out this form. Applications are due by Thursday, April 17th at 5pm. Unless otherwise noted, these internships are with the Office of Sustainability.
The intern will collaborate with faculty, staff, and student volunteers to manage the campus garden at 1141 Polo Road. 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.
Communications and Outreach
The intern will work with staff in the Office of Sustainability to develop content for the campus sustainability website including, but not limited to, news stories, calendar contributions, and social media posts. The intern will contribute to the production of a monthly electronic newsletter, based on the news stories written for the website. Strong writing skills required, sustainability literacy preferred. Applications from both graduate and undergraduate students will be accepted. In addition to the application form, please submit two news-writing samples.
During the fall semester, the intern will recruit for and manage a volunteer game day recycling program for the home football season. Volunteers recruited for the effort will interface with fans, work with the athletic department to manage demand for recycling collection, prepare communication materials for the program, and promote the program to tailgating fans. This intern must be available to work on the program during the summer months, but does not have to be physically located on campus until the fall.
Greeks Go Green
The intern will 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 registered Greek organization on campus. Excellent leadership and organizational skills are required. Familiarity with and knowledge of Prezi is a plus.
The intern will attend and photograph Office of Sustainability events and maintain an active photostream on the office Flickr account. Events will range from high profile speakers to weekly community engagement events. Attendance at weekly intern meetings is required. The intern must have his or her own photography equipment and some photo editing skills. Familiarity with Flickr is a plus.
ARAMARK – Sustainability in Dining
View the responsibilities of the Sustainability in Dining Intern.
Since its founding in 2011, Greeks Go Green (GGG) has worked to involve members of the Wake Forest Greek community in reaching our campus sustainability goals.
Representatives from participating chapters meet bi-weekly to talk about the many junctures between sustainability and Greek life. The effort is facilitated by sustainability interns Emily Pence (WFU ’15) and Stewart Rickert (WFU ’16).
To date, GGG has gained traction mainly with the sororities of the Panhellenic Council on campus. This year, however, the student interns are working to expand the GGG network to include both sororities and fraternities on campus. “Although in the past sororities have accounted for the vast majority of GGG involvement, that doesn’t mean that members in fraternities on campus aren’t passionate about the environment or principles of sustainability too,” said Pence.
There may be several explanations for comparatively lower fraternity involvement: initial enthusiasm for GGG was expressed most visibly by sorority members; past student GGG interns have all been sorority women. With the addition of Rickert to the leadership team this year, the network gained its first male GGG student intern and a highly visible advocate of sustainable interests within the Greek community. According to Rickert “we began working to make Greeks Go Green more appealing to fraternities and have seen a substantial increase in participation from fraternity members this year.” Pence added that, “the increased interest that we have witnessed from fraternity members over the past semester shows a lot of potential for effecting change on campus.”
The organization currently enjoys active participation from the following fraternity and sorority chapters on campus:
Kappa Beta Gamma Kappa Alpha Theta
Kappa Kappa Gamma Alpha Sigma
Chi Omega Delta Kappa Epsilon
Kappa Delta Pi Kappa Alpha
Alpha Delta Pi Theta Chi
Delta Delta Delta Kappa Sigma
This year, members of the Greek community can look forward to a screening of 180º South and a campus cleanup day, in addition to annual energy conservation, waste reduction, and carpool challenges.
If you’d like to get involved, contact Greeks Go Green interns Emily Pence ( ) or Stewart Rickert ( ) for more information.
By Joey DeRosa, Communications and Outreach Intern
Emily Bachman (’13) was a prominent contributor to Wake Forest’s sustainability efforts throughout her four years as a student. She served as the president of the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), a shift leader and summer intern for Campus Kitchen, a regular volunteer in the Campus Garden, an intern with ARAMARK, where she worked to support sustainability in dining, and a semester-long intern with the Winston-Salem Sustainability Resource Center. In addition to her ambitious extracurricular activities, she completed a major in history with a double minor in environmental studies and anthropology.
After graduating last spring, Bachman took some time to travel. She spent two weeks in Israel with Birthright (accompanied by former fellow sustainability intern Sanders McNair) and six weeks driving across the country exploring several cities and national parks along the way.
Post-excursion, Bachman landed in Brooklyn where she is serving as the AmeriCorps Volunteer & Special Projects Coordinator for Rebuilding Together NYC. Rebuilding Together NYC is the New York City affiliate of a national nonprofit that is located in over 200 cities across the country. They are a “safe and healthy housing” organization, serving low income, elderly, handicapped, and veteran homeowners. They focus on critical home repairs including accessibility modifications for the physically disabled, and rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, Rebuilding Together NYC focuses on energy efficiency upgrades and weatherization to lower energy consumption in homes. She is also working on an independent project incorporating sustainable landscape design, including rain barrels and native plantings, into the organization’s future projects to support stormwater retention.
In the coming years Bachman plans to attend graduate school for a degree in Sustainable Urban Design and Policy and to find a career that allows her to pursue “city planning through a sustainable lens.” She says that being able to see different cities and compare the strengths and weaknesses of their designs while traveling has helped further develop and affirm her aspirations.
She says that her liberal arts education fostered her passion for sustainability and prepared her for post-collegiate life. “It taught me to think critically and holistically. My liberal arts education allowed me to explore my interests from a variety of perspectives and to understand the many different causes and potential solutions to the social and environmental issues we face today.”
What inspires you to be sustainable?
For as long as I can remember, sustainability has mattered to me. I value human life and I do not like the idea of people suffering, now or in the future. I understand that the way human beings, especially in the western world, are living today will cause suffering in the future. Rather than wait for the consequences and begin to react when it is too late, we should work immediately and proactively to develop sustainable lifestyles.
What is the biggest issue facing our generation?
Apathy. It is so obvious that we are doing things so wrong and that we need to change, but because most people are not confronted with the impacts of their unsustainable lifestyles directly on a daily basis, they are apathetic. They don’t care and they continue with the status quo. Not enough people are passionate enough.
What is your number one tip for living sustainably?
Don’t buy what you don’t need – I try to remind myself of this constantly, especially now that I am on an AmeriCorps stipend.
By Andrea Becker (’16), Staff Writer
The student intern will work with the director, community stakeholders, and student groups to develop plans for campus participation in an Earth Day 2014 celebration and related campus events. Previous experience with campus-wide event planning is preferred. Note: this is a spring semester internship.
In order to apply, please fill out this form. Applications are due Friday, November 15th at 5:00pm.
Snorkeling with sea turtles and hiking volcanoes may sound like amazing vacation highlights all on their own, but for David Song (‘15) these experiences were part of a 45-day Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, USA (WWOOF-USA) internship to learn about sustainable agriculture. It was just an added bonus that the practicum was located on the easternmost point on the big island of Hawaii, at Dragon’s Eye Learning Center.
As an EcoRep and incoming 2013 garden intern, Song looked for a unique summer opportunity that would allow him to experience sustainable living on a different level and “fully appreciate the value of food.” WWOOF-USA provided just that for him: a program that is part of the global WWOOF network, which connects volunteers with organic farmers in exchange for room and board and the opportunity to study ecologically sound farming practices.
The diversity of agriculture Song worked with on the rural, 32-acre farm near Pahoa, ranged from jaboticaba to jackfruit and everything in between including breadfruit, noni, and macadamia. Part of the information exchange consisted of learning about the aquaponic tilapia and greens system and about the Cornish hens and Dexter Cows that live on the hearty landscape.
When Song committed to the internship, he was focused on the agricultural component of the program and didn’t anticipate the culinary knowledge he would gain too. “I helped make cheese, yogurt, ice cream, scratch-flour cake, and a variety of meat dishes, starting with hunting, to butchering, and cooking the animal.” Another sustainable component he experienced was living “off the grid,” as the farm relies on solar power for both water access and electricity.
It is this full-systems approach to sustainability that he plans to bring back to campus this fall. Eager to apply his new skills, he envisions testing an aquaponics operation, increasing attention to soil composition at the campus garden, and “…on a more abstract level, promoting and explaining the value of sustainable living as a sustainability intern.”
Through the internship Song gained an understanding of what it meant to participate in a culture of sustainability outside of his previous realm and is an advocate of the program: “I would recommend it to anyone interested in agriculture, livestock, and sustainability or just to people who would like to experience something completely different, culturally.”
By Hannah Slodounik, Program Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability
Although summer is usually a time for relaxation, rejuvenation, and rest, for game day recycling intern Lauren Formica (‘16), summer is more about the three R’s of resource management: reduce, reuse, and recycle. To prepare for this fall’s Go Deacs. Go Green. football game day recycling campaign, Formica attended the Collegiate Sports Sustainability Summit this June in Atlanta, GA.
Held at Georgia Tech and hosting 110 attendees, the annual meeting is an opportunity to engage with national peers who orchestrate and support sustainability efforts in collegiate athletics. The meeting includes speaker sessions and an idea-sharing forum focused on athletic event recycling at colleges and universities. The summit doesn’t just highlight success stories; it also includes lessons learned from less-than-successful efforts.
Formica found these group interactions to be a highlight of the conference. “It made me realize there are some real advantages and disadvantages to being a smaller university. Many of the things that didn’t work at some of the larger institutions, may work well at Wake Forest because of our size,” she concluded.
Another goal of the forum is to showcase the benefits of sports-focused sustainability efforts. These include fan pride and loyalty, which Formica touts as a key reason she was interested in the game day recycling internship. “When I volunteered as a freshman, I enjoyed interacting with alumni who weren’t aware of the resources we now have on campus. They were excited about our programs.”
Formica speaks with enthusiasm about the ideas that the meeting provided, many of which she thinks could be effective at Wake Forest. “I want to continue the success we have and hope to expand upon it,” she says. These developments might include creating a strategic plan for game day recycling or garnering more program participation from both on and off-campus organizations.
Mindful of the work ahead, Formica is excited about the prospects for the fall football season. And honestly, what true Demon Deacon fan isn’t already?
By Hannah Slodounik, Program Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability