SLS’s Fourth Summer Internship Seminar Embraces the U.N. SDGs, and More!

June 1, 2021

Serve-Learn-Sustain’s Summer Internship Program provides sustainability partners throughout Georgia with support, while offering students practical experience working on real-world community-engaged projects. In four years, the program has grown from 15 students in 2018 to this summer’s cohort of 76! A Saporta Report article that shares more about the program through a close look at three 2020 internships is accessible here. 

This year’s expanded partnerships include cohorts of interns working on the Smart Sea Level Sensors and Urban Heat Island Projects, under the auspices of the Global Change Program, as well as interns working with a diversity of partners through the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), including with Georgia Tech's Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation's Smart Community Corps program.  The 2021 cohort also includes interns representing five universities in the pilot Global Communities Internship Program, funded through the Atlanta Global Research and Education Collaborative. These partnerships have brought students from beyond Georgia Tech into the SLS Internship Program, and we are excited to welcome them! They hail from Morehouse, Spelman, Agnes Scott, Valdosta State, Emory, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Atlanta Metropolitan State College. A full list of 2021 interns and partners can be found here.

Also this year, we have launched our first Internship Program Advisory Council, which brings together key partners from across Georgia Tech to help us strengthen and institutionalize the program in ways that advance the Institute’s new Strategic Plan. See the list of members and learn more about the Advisory Council here. We are grateful for our partners’ support and partnership.

Starting with the kickoff session May 19th, this summer’s seminar program, in which all interns participate, is focused on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, equity, and grassroots sustainability innovation.  The seminar program offers interns an opportunity for community building with peers working in similar thematic areas--such as urban agriculture, education, and resilience--as well as professional development, and deeper learning and reflection.  Undergraduate and graduate student interns will attend professional development sessions in mid-July offered by the Career Center and tailored to support the students in telling the story of their internships, strengthening their job application documents, and honing interview skills. The seminar program meets weekly on Wednesdays and alternates between small and whole group sessions; below are dates and themes for the remaining whole group sessions of the summer. All sessions engage at least one current internship partner/supervisor, and reflect the program’s aim to bring together academic partners, community partners, and students in areas of shared passion, and to connect local exemplars of social innovation to global frameworks and the momentum they can generate. Please reach out to Ruthie Yow, SLS Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist, if you’re interested in attending, and she’ll send you a link! 

June 2nd, 4-5pm: Municipal Innovation, SDG #11, featuring Asile Patin (Civic Engagement Manager, Center for Civic Innovation) and Jason Brookins (IT Director, Clayton County Board of Commissioners

June 16th: 4-5pm: Resilient Systems, SDG #13, featuring Akissi Stokes (Wundergrubs), Rich Simmons (Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute), and Russ Clark (Georgia Tech Research Network Operations Center and Smart Sea Level Sensors Project

June 30th: 4-5pm: Urban Agriculture, SDG #2, featuring Carol Hunter (Truly Living Well), Rosario Hernandez (Historic Westside Gardens), and J.Olu Baiyewu (Aglanta, City of Atlanta)

July 14th: 4-5pm: Global Leadership & Refugee Communities, SDG #16, featuring Jongdae Kim (Re’Generation Movement) and Refuge Coffee (Speaker TBA)

July 28th: 4-5pm: Education and Youth Empowerment, SDG #4, Presenters TBA

August 4th: 4-6pm: Closing Session: Equitable, Innovative Partnerships for the Goals, SDG#17, Digital Presentations from Interns by Theme