The Serve-Learn-Sustain Internship Program’s inaugural summer is well underway! The 17 participating interns are dynamic Georgia Tech students--spanning years and majors-- who are working at a broad variety of organizations and offices. Below they describe their work and offer some insight into the myriad ways they enact SLS’s mission-- “creating sustainable communities”-- in collaboration with 15 fantastic SLS partners!
Chloe Kiernicki, Architecture and International Affairs
I am interning with the City of Atlanta Office of Resilience within the Urban Agriculture Department. So far, I have worked on site plans for future sites under Georgia Power line easements, met with members of other offices/departments on projects surrounding topics ranging from “parklets” to getting children to interact with nature, and have interacted with community members in Atlanta already working in agriculture.
Thanh Nguyen, Biomedical Engineering; Minor in Operations and Supply Chain Management
I am planning an extended-orientation program called EngageATL through the Center of Student Engagement in partnership with SLS. This involves scheduling direct volunteer sessions with sustainability community partners in Atlanta and creating educational programs aimed at teaching incoming Tech students about community partners as well as about Tech's initiative to support and build sustainable communities.
Madison Nisi, Materials Science and Engineering; Minor in Earth and Atmospheric Science
I'm collecting data for the Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) through surveying market customers. The data I collect and analyze will be used to help promote and expand GFMA's food equity programs, such as Nourish and the Fresh Stop Market initiative.
Gabby Oliverio, Economics & International Affairs; Minor in German; Certificate: Finance
I am working for the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) which focuses on attracting and supporting business in the state of Georgia. I am under the International Relations division where I work on briefing materials for GDEcD members, the Governor, and those from Georgia companies who are going abroad to better understand the culture and business environment of other countries. I also work on protocol that is necessary when hosting delegations from abroad.
Mary Lillian Ambler, History, Technology, and Society
At Global Growers, I am working as a Community Development Intern. Because Global Growers operates a network of community gardens, it is important that the gardeners/growers are aware of best gardening practices. In my position, I have assisted in creating and marketing gardening workshops for both children and adults. I have also created a variety of educational materials that have been distributed in the gardens.
Mo Jamison, International Affairs
I am a recent graduate (BS INTA 2018) interested in public health, city planning, and global development. I am working in Georgia Tech's Serve-Learn-Sustain office.
Katie Martin, Masters Student in Public Policy
Over the summer I am working as the Community Impact Intern with Southface. I am working on issues of energy efficiency, transit oriented development, and green infrastructure through the lens of equity. My work focuses on community engagement in communities which are underrepresented in decision making.
Michael Bryan II, International Affairs; Minor in Law, Science, and Technology
My host organization is the TransFormation Alliance which is a collaboration of community advocates, policy experts, transit providers and government agencies that believes equitable transit-oriented development can promote community building practices to link communities near transit stations with the opportunities they need to thrive. My current project for them is to update and revitalize their policy statements, in order to create a more cohesive platform for its members to present its values around equity.
Adrianna Bernardo, Biomedical Engineering
I am working with EngageATL to maintain a program that provides incoming students with a "launch pad" into Progress & Service. In order to do so, work involves recruiting participants and leaders for the program as well as community partners and educational activities.
Mengqiao Gao, Environmental Engineering
This summer I am interning with Groundwork Atlanta, a nonprofit organization working with local Atlanta parks and organizations. Currently, I am planning workdays at community parks and gardens to do planting, invasive species removal, and trash cleanup. I will also be helping with the Aglanta Eats and Urban Agriculture programs and working with the Green Team, a group of high school students doing sustainability work.
Tony Chen, Industrial and Systems Engineering
This summer, I am working as the community engagement intern at the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance. The most important thing that I'm doing this summer is reviving the monthly Proctor Creek Newsletter which will serve to inform residents of the Proctor Creek area about development projects in the area and different ways that community members can be heard through the planning process of these projects. Writing the newsletter involves interviewing different stakeholders in these development projects and attending informational and community engagement events and meetings.
Haley Liakakos, Biochemistry; Minor in Health Medicine and Society Minor; Minor in Biology
As an intern for Center for Sustainable Communities, I get to be Associate Project Manager for the ECO District Hampton Roads Project. The ECO District goes into communities and helps turn them into societies that thrive in economic, social, and environmental sustainability. I am helping start up the ECO District in Hampton Roads by putting together a team and doing research in the community on how to best to implement sustainability projects.
Ananya Jain, Material Science and Engineering
I am working the US Green Building Council (USGBC) on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the city of Atlanta. I am helping build the Youth Network around the UN Greater Atlanta RCE. Along with project management around various campaigns at USGBC, I am in charge of collecting and analyzing data from media to increase the efficiency of outreach.
Bianca McAlister, Biology; Minor in Spanish
This summer I am working with Georgia Tech’s Landscape Services within the Facilities Management sector I focus on help maintaining the health and growth of plants around campus. The two primary projects that I am working on are reviewing and cataloging the biodiversity of shrubs and other non-tree plantings in addition to identifying areas on campus that are good candidates for invasives removal. My host organization wants to create a performance landscape, a landscape that is both appealing to the eye in addition to integrating landform, hydrology, soils, and biological communities. The goal of this performance landscape is to improve air quality, increase biodiversity, and have plants soak up stormwater instead of the water resulting in runoff.
Camille Quick, Environmental Engineering
I am working with the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 to help create an air quality monitoring plan for a community in Southwest Atlanta. We are addressing community and economic development concerns about the sustainability of revitalizing the in-town neighborhoods. We are leveraging partnerships with local universities, research groups, and community engagement organizations to better understand the conditions of the site.
Adrianna Fu, Industrial Engineering; Minor in Computer Science
During my time at Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading, and Serving (Marietta YELLS), I have been exposed to what a sustainable community really looks like. YELLS hosts a variety of different programs, all aimed to encourage students and families in the Franklin Gateway community (Marietta, GA) to reach goals and engage in the community. I take part in a lot of the behind the scenes work that makes the program run, and as a side benefit, get to work with kids too!
Isabella Stubbs, Environmental Engineering; Minor in Global Development
I am working with both Serve-Learn-Sustain and the City of Atlanta Office of Resilience on research, outreach, and program recommendations for the newly recognized Greater Atlanta RCE. For SLS, my focus is on researching best practices and making recommendations for the (college-level) Youth Network. With John R. Seydel from the CoA, I am working on connecting RCE Greater Atlanta to the city's 100 Resilient Cities strategy and possible partners throughout the city.