The Sustainability Intern Class of 2023 has been through a lot in their four years at Wake Forest. From their first year on campus being interrupted by a global pandemic to a fertilizer fire and even a short-lived rabid raccoon scare, they certainly faced their share of challenges. Yet they were able to persevere and do what Wake Forest students do best: make a difference in an increasingly complex and unpredictable world.
These 12 individuals, representing a combined 23 different majors and minors, took on leadership roles within the Office of Sustainability to advance sustainability on campus and throughout the Wake Forest community. While their contributions at Wake may technically be coming to an end, the impact of their work will be felt long after they are handed their diplomas. We wish them the best in their future endeavors and we are excited to see the impact they will have on the world!
Sustainable Student Engagement Intern: Fall 2022, Spring 2023
First-Year Leadership Intern: Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021
Meredith graduated summa cum laude with a BA in communication (with honors) and environment and sustainability studies and a minor in film studies. She was recognized with the Outstanding Student Leader of the Year Award through the Office of Student Engagement’s SOAR Awards and a Champions of Change award for student leadership by the Office of Sustainability. Meredith has accepted a position working in ESG advising as an associate with Malk Partners in La Jolla, CA.
The longest-serving intern in the Class of 2023, Meredith has left an indelible mark on campus sustainability and has fully embodied what it means to empower others to lead. As a member of the inaugural class of SLG–the sustainability leadership group for first-year students–she quickly emerged as a change-maker and continued to hone her skills as the First-Year Leadership Intern, where she helped grow the program into what it is today. Along the way, she was the spark that inspired Earth Talks, now a signature Earth Month event. This year, in addition to her official role developing and conducting sustainability workshops for student leaders across campus, she selflessly worked to provide career preparation resources and advice to other students trying to navigate their way into a career in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) work. Her drive and perseverance will undoubtedly make her a force to be reckoned with the ESG world.
Energy—Building Systems Data Intern: Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Green Labs Intern: Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Abby graduated summa cum laude with a BS in biology and psychology. Abby’s next stop is Tarrytown, NY, where she will begin her position as Associate Scientist with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
As the only intern in the Class of 2023 to serve four consecutive semesters, Abby was the epitome of reliability and continuity. Over the past two years, she brought her infectious energy to Wake Forest’s lab spaces and Facilities & Campus Services. As the Green Labs Intern, she was integral in both reducing energy consumption and expanding recycling efforts on the Reynolda Campus and at Wake Downtown. As the Building Systems Data Intern, she helped collect and analyze countless data points regarding CO2 levels in campus buildings, work that will create direct opportunities to reduce energy usage. Her skill set and enthusiasm will continue to be put to great use as she begins her career as a scientist.
Communications & Events Intern: Spring 2023
Campus Garden Intern: Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Emily graduated magna cum laude with a BA in environment and sustainability studies and minors in global trade and commerce studies and Middle East and South Asia studies. She was recognized with the Change-Maker Award for Social Change from the Office of Civic & Community Engagement and the Senior Student Leader of the Year Award through the Office of Student Engagement’s SOAR Awards. Emily is heading to Great Falls, MT to work as the Conservation Fellow at Sun River Watershed Group.
Emily is someone who just wants to leave the world a better place than she found it, and her work with the Office of Sustainability highlights that desire. From working with community and school gardens in Winston-Salem to partnering with indigenous agricultural leaders to creating a robust and welcoming Spring Equinox Celebration this spring, she has a unique ability to bring people together while also advocating for marginalized communities. She has helped broaden the scope of the office and engage new stakeholders, all while being a pillar of maturity and reliability. As indicated by her OCCE award, Emily is a true change-maker with a kind heart who has a positive impact on the lives of everyone she meets.
Social Media Assistant: Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Lauren graduated summa cum laude with a BA in art history and economics.
Lauren joined the Office of Sustainability team early in her Wake Forest career, bringing her social media prowess to the office and navigating the challenges brought on by the pandemic. As one of the few second semester first-year students to ever be selected for an internship, her enthusiasm, energy, and friendly demeanor brought light to the team. A dual threat with a passion for both the arts and economics, Lauren has a bright future ahead of her.
Alternative Transportation Intern: Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Charlotte graduated summa cum laude with a BA in environmental science and minors in art history, politics and international affairs, and writing. Starting this fall, she will pursue her JD at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, GA.
While Charlotte only joined the intern team her senior year, she has been involved in sustainability efforts on campus from the start. As a member of SLG ‘23 and a change agent with Greeks Go Green, she quickly became an impactful leader for sustainability, creating behavior change campaigns aimed at her peer networks. This year, Charlotte was instrumental in the university’s efforts to increase Zipcar usage and better support the adoption of electric vehicles on campus. Her work culminated in a comprehensive report on alternative transportation that will prove invaluable to both the Office of Sustainability and Transportation and Parking Services.
Sustainability and the Arts Intern: Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Gretchen graduated summa cum laude with a BA in environmental science and minors in anthropology and dance. She was recognized with the Knox Dance Scholar Award by the Department of Theatre & Dance. Gretchen will be staying in Winston-Salem this summer as she begins her role as the Wake Forest Fellow in Campus Life.
Another sustainability stalwart who joined the team her senior year, Gretchen had made a name for herself as a highly engaged member of SLG ‘23 and an impactful Greeks Go Green change agent. But it was clear that she found her true calling at the intersection of her two passions: sustainability and the arts. Her crowning achievement was Wakeville, a student-led interdisciplinary arts festival she co-organized that featured sustainability throughout. A talented dancer and choreographer, Gretchen also performed her own piece inspired by her experiences with sustainability. We are grateful that Gretchen will be staying at Wake and look forward to partnering with her in her role as a Wake Forest Fellow.
Energy—Carbon Data Intern: Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Janelle graduated summa cum laude with a BS in engineering (with honors) and minors in mathematics and physics. She was recognized with the Celebrating the Whole Engineer: Academic Excellence and Outstanding Character Award by the Department of Engineering. Janelle’s next step takes her to Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH, where she will pursue a master’s degree in earth sciences.
With her experience working with data and her willingness to take on any task, Janelle made a big impression on her supervisors in Facilities and Campus Services, quickly earning their respect and admiration. She was vital to the often thankless and unglamorous work of carbon accounting, a process central to Wake Forest’s 2040 carbon neutrality goal. As the first person to hold the Carbon Data Internship, Janelle has set an incredibly high bar for her successors to live up to. We have no doubt she will find similar success at Dartmouth next year and look forward to seeing where her journey takes her.
Waste Reduction & Diversion Intern: Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Lily graduated summa cum laude with a BA in biology and minors in anthropology and environmental studies. Lily will be moving to Eugene, OR to pursue her JD at the University of Oregon School of Law.
When it comes to waste reduction and diversion, Lily did it all. Her work touched countless areas of campus life and operations: recycling at football games, diverting textile waste, expanding a paper towel composting program, assisting with the Deacs Donate program, and more. In addition, her focus on education helped student groups gain a comprehensive understanding of their role in waste reduction and diversion. Lily’s contributions to the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling and the Office of Sustainability will undoubtedly live on in the coming years.
Sustainable Dining—Carbon Reduction Intern: Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Quin graduated magna cum laude with a BS in mathematical economics and a minor in environmental studies.
Quin made the Sustainable Dining—Carbon Reduction Internship her own. As a student hired for her experience working with data, she quickly proved that she is a force to be reckoned with in a multitude of areas, including student engagement, education, and even associate training. Her maturity, willingness to ask tough questions, and fearlessness in sharing her ideas helped grow the office’s relationship with Harvest Table and showed the impact that a single student can have on sustainability operations when they’re passionate and determined to make a difference.
Sustainable Clothing & Style Intern: Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Roxie graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Anthropology. Following graduation, Roxie will sit for the MCAT and then travel to Nepal to conduct an ethnographic study of caste-based healthcare inequality before applying to medical school.
Anyone who knows Roxie knows that there is nobody better suited for an internship focused on sustainable clothing and style. From the beginning, she has been passionate about fashion and outspoken about how harmful the industry is to people and the environment. To combat the status quo and encourage resourcefulness in the way people dress, she created Deac Boutique, co-founded Wayward Fashion, and founded Artists for Humanity. This year, her creativity continued to thrive as she planned and hosted a sustainable Halloween costume contest, led several workshops at WakerSpace, and created a moving art exhibit on the impacts of fast fashion. Existing at the intersection of art, environment, social justice, and medicine, Roxie is destined for a unique and successful future.
Outdoor Learning Spaces Intern: Fall 2022
Katie graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English and minors in Anthropology and Education. Her next step takes her to Athens, OH, where she will pursue a master’s degree in Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Services at Ohio University.
A huge advocate for the power of the outdoors, Katie was a natural fit for the role of Outdoor Learning Spaces Intern. She helped to maintain the Tohi Garden, a space with native plants that were culturally important to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and helped to develop the Three Sisters Garden, Wake Forest’s second garden honoring indigenous practices. Her work in connecting faculty and their classes to these spaces was instrumental in expanding the office’s commitment to engaged learning.
Waste Reduction & Diversion Intern: Fall 2022
Molly graduated summa cum laude with a BA in economics and environmental science. Molly will be moving to New York, NY to join the Finance Leadership Development Program at Xylem.
During her time as a sustainability intern, Molly did a bit of everything. From student engagement and educational presentations to social media and graphic design, she took a comprehensive approach to tackling waste-related behaviors on campus. Her outgoing personality made her a natural at interacting with students, and she was even able to develop and pilot a peer education program with dEaCOfriendly, Wake Forest’s largest student-run sustainability organization.