Introducing You to the 2018-2019 EcoFellows!
Five new EcoFellows have recently joined our team here at the Center for EcoTechnology! From touring Smith College and learning about their campus wide green efforts, to visiting the EcoBuilding Bargains store, to viewing CET on the live television show Mass Appeal, these past few weeks have been a whirlwind of learning, engagement, and fun. We are so excited for all the opportunities and projects to come, and want to introduce you to each of the EcoFellows so that you can learn a bit more about each of us!
Morgan Laner – Program Operations Fellow
College: Rollins College
Fields of Study: Environmental Studies major, Sociology minor
Past Experiences: Morgan spent two years working for the Rollins College Sustainability Program, acting as the Recycling Specialist in her first year and transitioning to Program Lead Coordinator in her second year. Some of her successes in the sustainability program included banning plastic bags from campus and creating an Eco-Reps program. For two years Morgan was president of EcoRollins, the largest environmental student program at Rollins. Morgan has also interned at the Post-Landfill Action Network, City of Dallas Office of Environmental Quality, and LORD Green Real Estate Strategies.
What excites you about Western Massachusetts? “I am really excited to explore the bike trails and pick my own fruit at a farm!”
Favorite Green Action: Carrying around her little reusable set of silverware and straws
Fun Fact: Morgan has traveled to over 20 countries!
What they’re looking forward to most: “I’m looking forward to going out in the field with waste specialists to see how they interact with different clients to create recycling and food diversion programs that make everyone happy.”
Jonathan Ruiz – Community Outreach Fellow
College: University of Michigan
Field of Study: Environmental Studies, Urban Planning concentration
Past Experiences: Jonathan was the project manager for his research team, called Sustainability Without Borders, at University of Michigan. The team designed and built prototypes for various aquaponics, electrical turbines, and biosand filters. Jonathan also conducted research at Michigan to help reduce printing paper waste, and additionally worked with the Office of Procurement to buy sustainable products.
What excites you about Western Massachusetts? “What excites me most about Western Massachusetts is that you get a diversity of culture and environments. One moment you’re in the city grabbing coffee at a café, but then you can go a couple of miles down the road and be immersed in nature and the natural environment!”
Favorite Green Action: Correcting peoples’ recycling mistakes
Fun Fact: Jonathan can do a backflip
What they’re looking forward to most: “I’m looking forward to working with the local community and helping people understand the benefits of using sustainable programs, which saves energy, waste, and money!”
Olivia Horwitz – Community Outreach and Communications Fellow
College: Bard College
Fields of Study: Environmental and Urban Studies, focus in Food Systems and Agriculture
Past Experiences: In Olivia’s time at Bard, she created sustainability kits for freshmen to promote environmental habits on campus. She was additionally a campus waste reduction intern at Bard and worked on several vegetable farms, including one on campus. In the summer of 2017 Olivia conducted research on sustainable greenhouses in the Peruvian Andes with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development.
What excites you about Western Massachusetts? “The hiking trails and the music venues!”
Favorite Green Action: Composting and the repurposing of food waste
Fun Fact: Olivia took magic lessons for two years when she was eight
What they’re looking forward to most: “I’m looking forward to gaining knowledge on sustainable and practical solutions for the environment, while at the same time being able to translate environmental jargon into applicable and palpable terms for community members and myself. I’m also looking forward to tabling, marketing, and shadowing home energy audits to learn about renewable energy logistics.”
Becky Kalish – Communications Fellow
College: Oberlin College and Conservatory
Fields of Study: Environmental Studies and Viola Performance
Past Experiences: Becky was a member of the Oberlin College Green EDGE Fund, a student-run board that manages a set of accounts designated for loan and grant allocation. The mission of the fund is to support projects that promote environmental sustainability within the college and city community and projects that meaningfully improve efficiency and reduce resource consumption. Becky was treasurer of the EDGE Fund, and enjoyed both managing the fund’s financial accounts and playing a role in approving grant submissions. In the summer of 2018 Becky was an Environment Program Intern at PCI Media, an organization that inspires and empowers communities worldwide to take action on social justice, health, and the environment.
What excites you about Western Massachusetts? “I’m really excited about exploring all of the cute cafes, restaurants, and parks!”
Favorite Green Action: Walking and biking, instead of driving, whenever she can
Fun Fact: Becky is terrified of mice
What they’re looking forward to most: “I am excited to learn how marketing plays a role in the environmental field and how CET can best spread the knowledge of all the projects going on to the outside community. I am looking forward to gaining new skills and honing in further on my specific interests!”
Natasha Nurjadin –Building Science Fellow
College: Wesleyan University
Fields of Study: Double Major in Earth & Environmental Sciences and History
Past Experiences: Natasha was a student sustainability coordinator for three years at Wesleyan, working primarily on energy efficiency efforts. She also organized Waste Not, the annual tag sale with recycled items. Natasha was an intern at WeatherBug Home, working on a team focused on residential energy efficiency. Natasha’s passion is to figure out what we as individuals can do in the fight against climate change, and hopes to spread the “environmental word” to those who may not have been exposed to it before.
What excites you about Western Massachusetts? “I am excited to explore the many different restaurants and cafes!”
Favorite Green Action: “I love exploring the outdoors and seeing the different environments, especially as the seasons change.”
Fun Fact: A couple years ago, Natasha hiked the Himalayas and did not have phone service or outside contact for 10 days
What they’re looking forward to most: “I am looking forward to learning from industry leaders in energy efficiency and waste reduction, as well as figuring out my strengths in the environmental services industry. I am also looking forward to making lasting connections with my colleagues!”
We have really enjoyed getting to know one another and learn about all the programs CET is involved in. We look forward to the rest of our EcoFellowship experience together!