Sustainability Internship Program

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    The Sustainability Internship Program (SIP) is an initiative through the Office of Sustainability that offers hands-on learning experiences for undergraduates that advance the overall mission of greater social, economic and environmental sustainability in the campus community. This unique program provides an intellectual framework for students to apply classroom learning to project based engagement. This summer we piloted our first 10 week program.  We will be running the SIP program again in the spring and summer 2015 terms.  SIP consists of:

    1. internship placement at a UIC department

    2. weekly seminars and field outings that cover a range of educational and skill building topics

    3. leadership development and project management experience

    Seminar topics include: environmental and energy sustainability issues, cultural sustainability issues, institutional challenges and change management, campus structure and administration, campus sustainability programs and job readiness.

    This program is the result of various collaborations with: UIC Dining Services, UIC Campus Housing, Utilities, Facilities Management, Bike UIC, the College of Engineering, University of Illinois Hospital and the Energy Initiative.

    As part of the SIP program interns:

    • Develop a work plan and project goals
    • Meet frequently with project supervisor
    • Share experiences with SIP cohort
    • Attend weekly seminars and outings
    • Report on campus sustainability using the SIP blog
    • Present project results at a poster presentation

     

    SIP 2014 Poster Presentation Pamphlet

  • Utilities Department

     

    Matt BriciuStudent Name:   Matt Briciu

    Major:  Electrical Engineering

    Graduation Year: 2017

    Internship Project:  Utilities Department

    Why are you interested in sustainability? I want to be able to leave a more sustainable planet for the future generations by learning how to live a more sustainable life myself.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities? Labeling and photographing water, gas, electric, and steam meters with their corresponding buildings along the east and west sides of the campus. Creating organized spreadsheets of the data of the meters in order to calculate how much consumption of these resources our buildings use.

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?  Exploring the campus and learning about all the awesome underground tunnels we have under our feet at UIC.

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    AndrewStudent Name:Andrew Pable

    Major:  Electrical Engineering

    Graduation Year: Sophmore

    Internship Project: Utilities Dept.

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  I have an interest in maximizing potential and being as efficient as possible when I design or work on any project, so it just makes sense to work in Sustainability.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  Inspecting utilities equipment, Creating reports explaining utility usage, Data acquisition

     What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?  Learning how the campus functions, gets energy, and where that energy is being used.

    Tree Campus

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    Name: Hulliams Kamlem              

    Major: Public Health

    Year: 2014

    Internship Project: Tree Campus Care

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  Sustainability is a multidisciplinary field working toward ensuring the ability of current and future generations to enjoy healthy and safe living conditions. I see it as a noble mission and a way to gain knowledge about the environment.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities? My internship responsibilities are:

    1. Help maintain Tree Campus USA recognition

    2. Update the campus tree inventory, accounting for removal of trees and new plantings

    3. Maintain and organize the campus tree inventory in excel (keeping track of tree ID, species type, measuring of girths, location, etc. using GIS equipment)

    4. Assist in the mapping of trees using ArcGIS 10.1

    5. Assist in the update of the Campus Forestry Plan through data collection, writing, analysis of environmental, public health and financial benefits

    6. Gain meaningful experience in sustainability related field work related to urban forests

    What is your favorite thing about the SIP program so far?  I have learned a lot by participating in the weekly seminar and exchanging with peers and experts on the field of sustainability science. The fieldtrips provided great insight on a range of topics from recycling to energy production. Finally, I really enjoyed the experience of working outdoor on a campus trees inventory.

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    Name: Alyssa Straits

    Major: Bioengineering

    Year: Sophmore

    Internship Project: Tree Campus

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  I have been working with trees for the past few summers. Since we’ve been actively combating the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer throughout the United States by cutting down millions of trees, I’ve become very interested in sustaining the urban forest throughout the Chicagoland area.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  Taking an inventory of newly planted trees, including trees at the new grove & mile square health center. The inventory process includes taking down the DBH, height & crown spread of each tree while also noting species & assigning each tree a unique ID. After this, we enter all the data into the system, and we will later enter it into a software called I tree to see calculations such as carbon sequestration.

    What is your favorite thing about the SIP program so far?  My favorite part is getting to learn about my peers’ projects and going on various field trips to learn more ways to be sustainable beyond our own project. I also enjoy the opportunities that I’ve had to teach others the importance of having trees in an urban environment.

    Recycling

    Name: Wasif Ahmad

    Major: Nursing

    Year: 4

    Internship Project: Recycling Rates

    Why are you interested in sustainability? I am interested because performing acts of sustainability that preserves our natural resources and that decreases fossil fuel emission are necessary to ensure us maintaining a good standard of living in the future. We are emitting green house gases and using natural resources at a unsustainable rate and I want to learn how I can contribute to the sustainability cause as much as I can.

    What are your internship responsibilities? I analyze and look at recycling data. We currently get reports from our recycling and trash vendors every month. I look at these spreadsheets and analyze trends in the rates. I also look at the recycling rates on a building level. My main goal of the internship is to find what has caused the recent decline in recycling rates and what can be done to alleviate this decline.

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far? My favorite part is working in an intellectually stimulating environment. The internship provides a great opportunity to learn by providing such opportunities like the weekly seminars. I also enjoy the environment and meeting the other interns/workers.

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    AlecName: Alec Piironen

    Major: Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Year: Senior

    Internship Project: Recycling

    Why are you interested in sustainability? Through my studies I have learned much about the Earth, most importantly our interdependence upon it. Societies worldwide have grown exponentially at Earth’s expense ultimately destroying it, sustainability (sustainable living) is a strong and promising solution. Sustainability allows us to grow and thrive in a healthy balance with our natural environment which many have come aware of. If we want to thrive, Earth must thrive with us and I want to make sure that happens. I want to protect the Earth.

    What are your internship responsibilities? Within my internship, I’m responsible for raising awareness of the recycling practices and protocol taking place at UIC as well as a recent project I’ve been focusing on involving the redistribution of spare glassware leftover in abandoned research laboratories in order to reduce waste and expenses for researchers.

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far? The recycling internship has given me the opportunity to experience a field I’ve been interested in for years. It allows me to work with and meet new individuals such as researchers, experienced recycling professionals, and a diverse group of students allowing us to collaborate. It’s been stimulating, challenging, and a great opportunity overall.

    Food Recovery

    AracelyStudent Name: Aracely A. Lara

     Major:  Mechanical Engineering

     Graduation Year:

     Internship Project:  Food Recovery

    Why are you interested in sustainability? Sustainability allows me to be creative and opens the doors to incorporating engineering concepts to shaping the actions that have an impact in our environment. Preserving and maintaining the essence and beauty of our earth is something that strikes an inner passion for justice in being part of that change.

     What are some of your internship responsibilities?

    1. Reduce Food waste in all UIC- Dining Halls to help feed people.

    2. Re-purpose food through composting

    3. Initiating a new Food Recovery Network Chapter on-campus

    4. Outreach to partnering agencies to donate food

    5. Coordinate and design signage/flyers for volunteer recruitmentnate marketing tactics to spread food waste management awareness throughout campus

     What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far? 

    1. Having full lead in my project with lots of room to incorporate my ideas and turn them into action.

    2. Having a great opportunity to start a new chapter on campus that will have a positive impact on our environment.

    Green Laundry

    MandyStudent Name: Mandy Kaewken

    Major:  Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Graduation Year: 2015

    Internship Project:  Green Laundry Intern

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  It’s hard for me to pick an aspect of sustainability that I am interested  in because sustainability has so many intriguing components. I would say that the idea of living our lives without jeopardizing the future of the planet is probably the most fascinating thing about sustainability to me.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  I work with Campus Housing to implement a rental program where residents can rent drying racks out for a semester. It encourages air drying when doing laundry which reduces electricity consumption. I have to do research on the type of washers and dryers that are offered to our residents to find out how much electricity they use. I have to research and get quotes on drying racks to see which type of racks is the most feasible financially. I also have to come up with a promotional campaign for the drying rack rental program.

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?  I like the opportunity to implement a program that would make UIC even more of a sustainable campus. I also really enjoy the presenters at our weekly seminar because they give me new perspectives on sustainability and it makes me feel that what I am doing in the SIP program is significant.

    Green Events

    Emma LockmillerStudent Name: Emma Lockmiller

    Major:  Communication

    Graduation Year: 2015

    Internship Project:  Green Event Intern

    Why are you interested in sustainability? I came into this internship not knowing much at all about sustainability. I am an individual who enjoys learning, so I was excited and nervous at the same time to jump into a project in a field that I wasn’t familiar with. Through the seminars and my internship project, I have retained a larger interest in sustainability.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  As a Green Event Intern, the main purpose of my internship is to create Green Guides for the University. There are many different guides that cater to student organizations, UIC departments, the student centers, and the UIC Forum. These guides list tips on how to put on a sustainable event at UIC through different categories.

     What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?   I like learning from my mentor/boss Shelby Egan. She knows a lot about sustainability, how to be a professional, and how to work hard. It’s been great to see and learn how someone in this industry conducts their work. Shelby is also great at explaining things to me about sustainability that I didn’t know before.

    Greenhouse Gas Inventory

     

    RaymondStudent Name: Raymond Truong

    Major:  Chemical Engineering

    Graduation Year: Sophmore

    Internship Project:  Greenhouse Gas Inventory

    Why are you interested in sustainability? I’m interested in sustainability because I want to help create a better balance between the demands of society and the resources around us. I’m interested in the impact of greenhouse gases on the Earth’s atmosphere and environment.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  Some of my internship responsibilities are recording the amount of electricity produced by the solar panels on top of DH and LH. I’m also responsible for recording the total electricity, high temperature water, and chilled water used in buildings on west and east side. Lastly, I’m currently responsible for doing a complete green house gas inventory for the UIC Rockford campus.

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?  My favorite part of the SIP program so far is learning about UIC’s carbon footprint, and what things we’re doing to reduce some of our carbon emissions. I also like the weekly seminars a lot!

    Stormwater Management

    SMannytudent Name: Emmanuel Dominguez

    Major:  Civil & Materials Engineering

    Graduation Year: Fourth Year

    Internship Project:  Stormwater Management

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  Sustainability as a new science interested me because our actions as humans in this world will shape the present and future generations.I believe that humans and the environment should live productively in harmony. From an engineering perspective, I hope to use everything that I know to help build more sustainable communities.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?

    My internship responsibilities include:

    1. Collect and analyze land cover data

    2. Calculate stormwater runoff around the UIC area using the EPA Stormwater Calculator

    3. Analyze data and do some hypothetical modeling for future sites of green infrastructure

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?   My favorite part of the SIP program so far have been the informative seminars we have every week. It is good to be educated on all aspects of sustainability. The seminars are a good way to learn more about important issues in sustainable development and to directly apply what we learn to our internship.

    Social Media

    Steve TinneyStudent Name: Stephen Tinney

    Major:  Industrial Design

    Graduation Year: 2015

    Internship Project:  Social Media

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  Always have been. It’s in my innermost being. I care about our planet and people. The path humanity is on is not a sustainable one and my inner desire is to create things to help everyone everywhere live in harmony.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  To update the O.S. website and stay current with Twitter and FB postings related to sustainability. Creating graphic design flyers, posters and invites.

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far? 

    Field trips, and the people I work with.

    Capital Programs

    Kushal BasnetStudent Name: Kushal Basnet

    Major:  Bio-Engineering

    Graduation Year: Sophomore

    Internship Project:  Capital Programs

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  I believe that sustainability is an important topic because it has a huge impact on the welfare of the environment and the society. We must try to achieve the maximum amount of sustainability in all areas in-order to create a better future.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  I am mostly in charge of organizing all the projects files that come in though my office. I also keep track of and create data for on going projects.

     What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?   My favorite part of the SIP program so far is being able to share my thoughts and seeing how they are related to other peoples thoughts in the seminars.

    Energy Initiative Media

    AyeshaStudent Name: Ayesha Riaz

    Major:  Architecture

    Graduation Year: 2016

    Internship Project:  Energy Initiative Media Intern

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  I am interested in Sustainability because it is something that does not exist in isolation, and that it is interdisciplinary. I’m interested in it because it demands more than one perspective and there isn’t a single field that can claim to be exempt from being a part of the solution because literally everything is affected by it.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  My internship responsibilities include collecting information and updating the Energy Initiative website, as well as maintaining the Energy Initiative blog and newsletter. I am currently conducting interviews to combine into a promotional video highlighting their annual Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE).

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?   My favorite part of the SIP program so far is the amount of exposure I have gotten to energy-related issues around UIC. It’s incredibly interesting to learn the logistics behind what actually powers the whole campus. Same with learning about where our recycled material goes and how complex the systems actually are.

    Housing Move-Out

    JoseStudent Name: Jose J. Bahena Jr.

    Major:  Electrical Engineering

    Graduation Year: 2017

    Internship Project:  Housing Move-Out

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  My interest in sustainability involves taking responsibility in what happens to our environment. I believe that because we take resources from our environment that it is important we recycle and waste less of those resources for our planet does so much to help our growing population. Pollution varies from different outcomes such as: the burning of fossil fuels in creating greenhouse gasses and causing global warming and air pollution, water pollution by dumping waste and harmful chemicals that could poison us and species that live in that environment, and landfill waste that could deteriorate the land when similar waste is distributed as in water pollution. So not only recycle and waste less, but also search for other reliable power sources that won’t harm the environment. In this case, we need to do our part in keeping our environment, and planet, to be sustainable.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  My internship responsibilities involve obtaining qualitative data regarding move out waste issues and behavior, identify ways to reduce move-out/move-in waste and where materials will go after diversion, survey methods for housing waste collection in use by peer institutions, work with UIC Housing and Sustainability staff and others to adapt to UIC processes, and suggest initial goals for waste diversion.

     What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?  My favorite part of the SIP program so far is designing possible recycling posters to help pay more attention to recycling and reduce waste with useful facts about recycling and UIC’s progress in recycling.

    UIC Hospital Recycling

    Diana BernatekStudent Name: Diana Bernatek

    Major:  Chemical Engineering

    Graduation Year: 2017

    Internship Project: UIC Hospital Recycling

    Why are you interested in sustainability?   I think it’s important to help the UIC community to leave a smaller carbon footprint in the Chicagoland area because it helps us save some money, provides a great example for other schools, and overall makes the lives of UIC workers and students much more efficient and easy.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  Overall, the outtake of this internship should be an overall increase in recycling in the hospital. I’m working with a few people and we’re promoting recycling through brochures, flyers, signage, etc. I also plan on creating a campaign and training so that it becomes a hot topic and people think about their recycling habits more. Joe Iosbaker and I are also working on implementing more bins and totes into the hospital as well.

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?  I’m constantly learning something new about the UIC community and environmental issues which is great because it lets me know that I will take away a lot from this internship. I’m also learning how to work with professionals and how the “real job world” works. Everyday I’m gaining experience from this internship and it will help me tremendously in the future.

    Technical Support with Facilities Management

    PerlaStudent Name: Perla Jiménez

    Major:  Mechanical Engineering

    Graduation Year: 2017

    Internship Project:  Technical Support with Facilities Management

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  Sustainability is necessary in all professional fields and all aspects of society in general. Going into mechanical engineering, I want to make sure I know what challenges, issues, resources, goals, and solutions already exist concerning sustainability.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?  At my internship, I take on varying responsibilities. There are several architects and engineers in the office, and I assist them in any way I can. I’ve done miscellaneous paperwork, accompanied them to client meetings and site visits, worked on AutoCAD drawings, and performed heat and energy calculations, among other tasks.

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?   I love having the opportunity to see the specific responsibilities that engineers have on a day to day basis. I feel that I have a better understanding of at least one possible field I could go into. If I had to pick a single event, I would say the trip to the recycling plants has been my favorite. I am very interested in the life cycle of consumer goods. Especially after the second plant, I feel that I have a solid understanding of the work and criteria involved in recycling various materials. I am interested in the design and development of products in such a way that reusing or recycling is the intention. I believe that goods can be designed so that extracting and re-purposing the materials is a simpler, less energy consuming process.

    The Great Stuff Exchange

    NinaStudent Name: Nina Pellizzari

    Major:  Earth and Environmental Science

    Graduation Year: Junior

    Internship Project:  The Great Stuff Exchange

    Why are you interested in sustainability?  I think much can be learned from reducing the amount of “stuff” in our lives:
    “I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and threw them out the window in disgust” -Thoreau

    What are some of your internship responsibilities?

    1. Improving the efficiency of the Great Stuff Exchange program

    2. Collecting and managing the storage of used labware and office supplies

    3. Creating and managing the GSX website

     What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?   I think the SIP program’s educational offerings are terrific; the program’s comparable to an intimate, exemplary LAC education in sustainability.

    Bike Planning

    Brian Tomkins Bike InternStudent Name: Brian Tomkins

    Major:  Urban Planning and Public Affairs

    Graduation Year: Senior

    Internship Project:  Bike Planning

    Why are you interested in sustainability?   I wanted to learn what keeps the world moving forward. When thinking about progress, the term “sustainability” comes to mind. However, the word sustainability has no true definition. Scholars around the world are in a constant debate on what sustainability means. To me, Sustainability is something that should be practiced by all people to keep the world moving forward. At the Office of Sustainability, I have been fortunate enough to learn different practices to keep the world moving forward.

     What are some of your internship responsibilities?  I have been responsible for proposing new bike lanes and bike racks on campus. I have conducted numerous field studies on campus and conducted a literature review to learn the most practical way to propose new bike lanes and bike racks. I have the task of then designing these proposals via different programs which has been challenging, but also rewarding. Also, I am an administrator on the “I BIKE UIC” Facebook page.

    What is your favorite part of the SIP program so far?   Every day I learn something new. This internship is crosses different academic disciplines and educates me in ways I have never tried before. I couldn’t be happier to be in such an inclusive and productive atmosphere.

  • Applications are now open! Internships are available to UIC undergraduate students who are available to work 10 hours per week during the Spring term. Hurry!

    To apply, please do the following:

    1) Review the internship opportunities

    2) Fill out the application form at the bottom of this page

    3) Submit your resume and cover letter detailing your experience and interests in sustainability to Elizabeth Schmidt, Office of Sustainability, eschmi21@uic.edu

    Spring 2015 Internship Opportunities:

    African American Cultural Center

    Center for Literacy – internship 1, internship 2

    Children’s Center – internship 1, internship 2

    Dining Services

    The Energy Initiative – internship 1, internship 2

    EnterpriseWorks Chicago – Internship 1, internship 2

    Great Cities Institute  - internship 1, internship 2

    Office for Capital Programs

    Office of Sustainability

    Smart Grid

     

    2015 Spring Sustainability Internship Program Application

    These internships are available to UIC undergraduate students who are available to work 10 hours per week during the Spring 2015 term. After filling out this completed application form, please send your resume and a cover letter detailing your experience and interests in sustainability to Elizabeth Schmidt, Office of Sustainability, eschmi21@uic.edu. Applications due midnight, Nov 30th, 2014.
    • University Identification Number (XXX-XX-XXXX). Please do NOT enter your Social Security number.
    • Please select a differnet option

     

  • Check out out our current student blogs below.

    Campus Housing: Green Laundry

    SIP Blog Mandy Kaewken

    Campus Housing: Move Out Recycling

    SIP Blog Jose Bahena

    Dining Services: Food Recovery Program

    SIP Blog Aracely Lara

    The Energy Initative

    SIP Blog Ayesha Riaz

    Facilities Management: Technical Support

    SIP Blog Perla Jiménez

    Office of Capital Programs

    Alyssa Lopez

    SIP Blog Kushal Basnet

    SIP Blog Ryan Mitchell

    Office of Sustainability: Bike UIC

    SIP Blog Brian Tomkins

    Office of Sustainability: Green Events

    SIP Blog Emma Lockmiller

    Office of Sustainability: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculation

    Adali Ramirez

    Raymond Truong

    Office of Sustainability: Recycling

    SIP Blog Alec Piironen

    SIP Blog Wasif Ahmad

    Office of Sustainability: Social Media

    SIP Blog Steve Tinney

    Storm Water Run Off Research

    SIP Blog Emmanuel Dominguez

    Office of Sustainability: Tree Campus

    SIP Blog Alyssa Straits

    SIP Blog Hulliams Kamlem

    UIC Hospital Green Team

    SIP Blog Diana Bernatek

    Utilities Management

    SIP Blog Andrew Pable

    SIP Blog Matthew Briciu