The Sustainability Intern Class of 2022 is affectionately referred to as the GOAT (greatest of all time), and rightly so. Never before has the Office of Sustainability seen such a large and impactful group of interns graduate in a single year. These 14 individuals, representing a combined 52 semesters of service, have shaped the work of our office and left a permanent mark on sustainability at Wake Forest. As a class, their leadership, dedication, and impact has been simply unmatched. 
These students have become such an integral part of our sustainability family and though we will miss their presence on campus, we know that they will do amazing work in the world and brighten the lives of all those they meet.

            

Class of 2022 Interns
Sakina Barthe-Sukhera (Community Gardening Intern, former Campus Garden Intern) graduated magna cum laude with a BA in environmental science and minors in Arabic and religious studies. She was recognized with the G. McLeod Bryan Pro Humanitate Award from the Department for the Study of Religions, the Change Maker Award for Social Change from the Office of Civic & Community Engagement, and the Bridge Builder Award through the Office of Student Engagement’s SOAR Awards. Sakina will be moving to Raleigh for a grounds technician summer internship at North Carolina State University. 

Sakina has dedicated her college experience to cultivating a relationship between Wake Forest, the natural world, and sustainable agriculture through the Tohi Garden and the Campus Garden. She also extended her passion beyond campus to the Winston-Salem community through her work in community gardens. Her academic knowledge and accomplishments are impressive and, along with her heart of gold, will carry her far in the world. Sakina has left an indelible impact on Wake Forest University and we can’t wait to see what her next chapter holds for her. 

Karly Bruder (Waste Reduction & Diversion Intern) graduated summa cum laude with a BA in politics & international affairs and a minor in environmental studies. Karly’s next stop is with the United Nations, where she will intern in the Donor Relations Department of the U.N. Mine Action Service.

It seems like Karly’s time at Wake Forest flew by, perhaps because she completed her degree in just three years. While Karly’s academic prowess is clearly impressive, her dedication to sustainability is equally so. As part of the inaugural class of the Sustainability Leadership Group (SLG), Karly came to Wake on a mission and never looked back. Her arsenal of skills, combined with her humility, positive attitude, and friendly demeanor, leaves us beyond confident in her future impact on the world.

Paige Bryan (Greeks Go Green Intern) graduated summa cum laude with a BA in biology with honors and a minor in studio art. Paige is heading to Colorado to work for Sanborn Western Camps as a camp counselor. 

Paige was a late addition to our intern team, but was well worth the wait. As a senior, she became the first Greeks Go Greek intern to have not been a representative before, but you would never know it by seeing her in action. Paige took Greeks Go Green to new heights, providing one-on-one mentorship to representatives and change agents, while simultaneously instilling an unprecedented sense of community within the group. Her people skills and project management expertise will serve her well in her future endeavors.

Vanessa Christabel (Social Media Intern, former Plant-Forward Dining Intern) graduated magna cum laude with a BA in biology and minors in anthropology, environmental studies, and psychology. Vanessa is heading to the University of Pennsylvania to pursue an MA in environmental studies with a concentration in environmental sustainability.  

Vanessa is one of those rare student leaders who left their mark in multiple areas on campus. When considering whether to hire her for our plant-forward dining internship prior to her junior year, we were told by one of her references that not hiring Vanessa would be one of our greatest regrets. Two years later, it is beyond clear that he would have been right. Vanessa’s ingenuity, collaborativeness, tireless work ethic, and impressive skill set made an indelible impact in both plant-forward dining and sustainability communications at Wake. We have no doubt that Vanessa will continue to inspire and succeed at UPenn and wherever her path leads her.

Karl Gustafson (Outdoor Learning Spaces Intern) graduated summa cum laude with a BA in environmental science and a minor in history. Karl is heading to Finland to attend the University of Helsinki in pursuit of an MS in environmental science & global sustainability.

Karl truly lights up any space he walks into. During the isolating days of the COVID pandemic, he created space for students to restore a sense of community through outdoor movie screenings and gathering spaces. Karl’s vast skill set helped him expand his role into the Outdoor Learning Spaces Internship that exists today. Since then, Karl has welcomed students, faculty, and staff from all over campus to learn from and find solace in new, unexplored places. His ingenuity and dedication in all he does is inspiring and his presence on our campus–along with his sense of humor and ability to reach the top shelf–will be greatly missed. 

Anna Loynes (Waste Reduction & Diversion Intern) graduated magna cum laude with a BS in accounting. Anna will be pursuing the always coveted “Double Deac” status as she remains at Wake Forest to complete her MS in accounting.

Anna has been a leader for sustainability since her first semester on campus. She was integral in the development of the Compost Crew and our student-facing plant-forward dining efforts, in addition to a variety of other initiatives. She was truly a jack of all trades when it came to campus sustainability. Anna’s dedication, passion, and sticktoitiveness were an irreplaceable asset at Wake Forest and they will certainly continue to serve her and others well wherever her future takes her.

Sophia Masciarelli (Communications & Content Development Intern) graduated magna cum laude with a BA in environment and sustainability studies with honors and minors in anthropology and politics & international affairs. This summer, she will serve as a fellow with the Piedmont Environmental Council, a Virginia-based nonprofit.

Sophia is a ray of sunshine; her optimism and kindness radiate in every space she enters. Her passion for intersectional environmentalism permeates through her interdisciplinary academic and extracurricular endeavors. Sophia has developed a deep understanding of sustainability communications and, through her writings, has been a source of connectivity across campus. We can confidently say that our world is better with Sophia in it and she gives us hope for the future of the planet.

Julia McElhinny (Environmental Education Intern) graduated summa cum laude with a BS in biology with honors and minors in environmental studies and mathematics. Julia was awarded the Edgar Christman Award for Service from the Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the Cornerstone Award through the Office of Student Engagement’s SOAR Awards this year. Following graduation, she plans on working as a field research technician before applying to graduate school to pursue further studies in ecology or environmental science. 

Julia’s accomplishments simply cannot be conveyed in a short paragraph. She has been the lifeblood of the environmental education program for the past three years, teaching thousands of middle school students and training dozens of Wake Forest students to do the same. Her vision, tenacity, and organization were instrumental in the program’s success and expansion. However, Julia did not stop there. She left her mark in every possible area of sustainability, leading a talk on intersectionality, organizing plant-forward outreach events, spearheading Compost Crew efforts, and much, much more. Wherever Julia lands will be unbelievably lucky to have her.

Josh Milon (former Campus Garden Intern) graduated summa cum laude with a BA in anthropology with honors and minors in biology and cultural heritage and preservation studies. Josh will be spending the next year or two working in contract archaeology (Cultural Resource Management) while applying to master’s programs in archaeology. 

Josh served as a Campus Garden Intern during perhaps the most important year of the garden’s existence. Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, the Campus Garden became a haven for students seeking outdoor opportunities, educational escapes, and connections with others during the heart of COVID-19. Josh helped to transform the garden into the space it is today. His knowledge, curiosity, and passion were a huge asset to our office and we can’t wait to see him shake up the anthropology world.

Anna Price (Sustainable Consumption Intern) graduated summa cum laude with a BA in psychology and a minor in linguistics. She was the recipient of the M. Stanley Whitley Award, given annually to a senior linguistics student for their academic achievement and intellectual curiosity. For her dedication to sustainable fashion on campus and her leadership in the Diggs-Latham Community Garden, Anna was also recognized as the Senior Student Leader of the Year through the Office of Student Engagement’s SOAR Awards. Anna will be heading to Colorado Springs this fall to work as a middle school science teacher through Teach for America.

Anna epitomized resilience in her 2.5 years with our office. Working to change students’ consumption habits is a tall task under any circumstances, let alone during a pandemic, but there could not have been anyone better suited for this role than Anna. Tying together her passions and areas of expertise–psychology and sustainability–she was relentless in pursuing different avenues, initiatives, and events, all while creating an intentionally inclusive community. This past year, all of her efforts aligned as she found unprecedented success focusing on students’ clothing consumption decisions. Her tenacity, planning skills, and problem solving abilities will be a gold mine for all of her future employers.

Brandon Staats (former Travel Offset Policy Development Intern) graduated summa cum laude with a BA in politics and international affairs with honors and a BA in economics. He is also a military graduate with distinction. Brandon will be moving to London to pursue a master of philosophy degree in development studies (focusing on sustainable economic development) at the University of Cambridge, while simultaneously working as a consultant in business development at Axon International.

Brandon’s academic accolades speak for themselves. A gifted and hard-working student, he is certainly among a select group of individuals. However, what really sets Brandon apart is who he is as a person and what truly drives him. Through his military service and his desire to better the lives of those around him, he wholeheartedly embraces Pro Humanitate. There is no question that Brandon is destined to be a changemaker who leaves the world a better place than he found it.

Jack Temple (Energy Intern) graduated magna cum laude with a BA in environment and sustainability studies. He will be staying at Wake Forest for an additional year to complete an MS in management and become a “Double Deac.”

Jack served as a guinea pig for a new internship model, one that reported to and was guided by a campus partner. Thanks to Jack’s dependability, enthusiasm, and professionalism, the experiment was a rousing success, leading his supervisors to eagerly ask for more interns, as long as they can all be like Jack. Anyone who meets Jack immediately realizes that he is simply a great, kind-hearted human being. His combination of professional skills and personal qualities make him a rare catch and a true joy to work with.

Saritha Venkataram (Graphic Design Intern) graduated with a BA in economics and minors in Middle East & South Asia studies and psychology. She is heading to Atlanta, GA to work at The Link Group as an Associate Project Manager. 

Getting to know Saritha over the last year has been an absolute privilege. She has an eye for design that has positively impacted the work of our office and every intern. Saritha’s insight and innovation has enabled our office to elevate the work of our partners in Facilities & Campus Services in unparalleled ways. Her creativity, artistry, problem-solving, and leadership skills combined with her kind demeanor have made every day spent in her company a joy. We can’t wait to see all she will accomplish in her next chapter in Georgia.

Caroline Walker (Campus Garden Intern, former Graphic Design Assistant) graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English with honors and a BA in Spanish. For her academic accomplishments, Caroline is a member of Phi Beta Kappa (Academic Honor Society), Sigma Tau Delta (English Honors Society), Sigma Delta Pi (Hispanic Honor Society), and the Mortar Board. She will be moving to Cambridge, MA to pursue a law degree at Harvard University.

Caroline’s resume is, simply put, ridiculously impressive. Not only has she seemingly done everything on campus–from graphic design, waste diversion, and sustainable agriculture with the Office of Sustainability, to the OGB and community service, to Student Government, President’s Aide, and the Board of Trustees–but she has done it all well. No student has ever joined our intern team earlier in their first year, something that will come as no surprise to those who know Caroline. A born leader with unlimited potential, Caroline has a bright future ahead of her in law or anything else she may choose to do.