GroupOn May 20th, the Office of Sustainability wished farewell and good luck to six graduating interns.  We are proud of their work on behalf of our office and on behalf of our campus partners.  Their undergraduate accomplishments are just the beginning of many contributions they will make as members of the Wake Forest community.

Sanders McNair graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Politics and International Affairs.  He earned honors in History and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for exceptional history students.  Sanders worked for the Office of Sustainability, as the Campus Garden intern, from the fall of 2011 to the spring of 2013.  He plans to seek employment at a renewable energy company or in the environmental/energy policy sector after traveling internationally to work on organic farms through the WOOF network.

His reflection on his internship: I can say without a doubt that my experience as an intern with the Office of Sustainability was one of my favorite parts of my time at Wake Forest. I learned a great amount about environmental issues and sustainable agriculture and improved the social and professional skills that I will use in my future career. Most of all, I made connections with students, staff, faculty and administrators through this internship that I hope will not be lost after graduation.

Joey Matt graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.  This year he served as the Energy Intern for the Office on Energy Management.  He is currently considering his post-graduation options.

His reflection on his internship: I’m fortunate to have had this internship. The position provided an outlet to learn from some of the brightest and most passionate members of this university. My experiences shaped my understanding of the diligence, patience, and commitment required to induce environmental changes. Going forward, I feel confident that my internship sharpened my professional and people skills that will aid me in my future endeavors.

Erin Murphy graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and minors in Environmental Studies and Politics and International Affairs.  She was also a member of Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honors Society.  Erin joined the Office in the fall of 2011 as a Game Day Recycling Intern, served as the RecycleMania Intern in the spring on 2012 and spent her senior year serving as one of two interns leading the Greeks Go Green initiative.  This summer, Erin will head to New York City for an internship at an advertising and marketing agency.

Her reflection on her internship: My internship with the Office of Sustainability has been an amazing experience that has led me to grow personally and professionally. I got the opportunity to work on many different projects over my two years as an intern and each of them taught me something extremely valuable that I will take with me when I leave Wake Forest. Being an intern helped me realize the value of hard work and dedication and how you can really make a difference in the community you are a part of. It was so rewarding to work with such an amazing group of people at the Office of Sustainability, and it is an experience I will remember forever.

Dedee and KianaKiana Courtney graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and minors in both Sociology and Environmental Studies.  She joined the Office of Sustainability in the spring of 2013 to serve as the Communications and Outreach Intern.  After graduation she will return to her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia to serve with Teach for America for two years.

Her reflection on her internship:   I truly enjoyed working with the Office of Sustainability this semester.  It was a wonderful learning opportunity, in that I met some of the great people on our campus and in our community working towards making the world a more sustainable place.  These experiences have affirmed that I want to pursue a career in environmental justice.

Austin Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English with a minor in Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies.  He is also the recent recipient of the Excellence in Entrepreneurship award.  Austin joined the Office of Sustainability as the Game-day Recycling Intern in the fall of 2012 and stayed on as the Earth Day Planning Intern in the spring of 2013.   In September, he will move to the Philippines to produce a documentary film and multimedia web project that examines Filipino life and culture through the stories and messages of street artists.

His reflection on his internship: Working with the Office and the other interns was the highlight of my last year at Wake. Everyone was so friendly and funny and got along really well. These are the superstars on campus. They are great, passionate people who care about their community. I had a blast working on my projects and will definitely take this experience with me as I go on to the next stage in my life.

De'Noia and DedeeDe’Noia Woods graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Studio Art.  She was also the recipient of the Ted and Nancy Meredith Art Scholarship for art majors.  De’Noia has served as the Photography Intern for the Office of Sustainability since the fall of 2010 and also served as the Community Grassroots Coalition Intern in the fall of 2011.  Before pursuing graduate studies, she will take the next year to explore employment opportunities.

Her reflection on her internship: I learned so much as an intern under Dedee’s supervision.  I grew as a professional and an environmental artist.  I was able to merge my passions for art and sustainability to produce meaningful products that have a lasting impression.  By allowing the addition of artistic creativity to come into the campus sustainability realm, it gave another dimension to the great work that the office is currently doing.  I am grateful for this tremendous opportunity to work with the office and I see sustainability being a part of my life for the future ahead.

By Annabel Lang, Wake Forest Fellow for the  Office of Sustainability