Six New EcoFellows Join CET!

CET Welcomes 2014-15 EcoFellows!

Fellows 2014-15 Aug

By Sonja Favaloro, EcoFellow

Hello! This is Sonja, one of six new EcoFellows who started a one-year Fellowship at the Center for EcoTechnology last week. We EcoFellows spent our first week learning the ropes of how CET operates and getting to know our mentors and other CET staff. The six of us came to CET from locations as far-flung as Kentucky and Hawaii! Our diverse backgrounds include working for the Nature Conservancy, traveling with Interfaith Peace Builders, completing degrees in environmental studies, economics, art history and politics, and working on international agriculture projects. Some of us were also leaders in our colleges’ environmental groups.

While at CET this year, the EcoFellows will be dispersed throughout the organization taking on a variety of tasks. These tasks include tabling at outreach events, managing online media, working on video documentary projects, marketing the EcoBuilding Bargains store in Springfield, assisting with home energy assessments, and working with the Green Business Services team.

Marin Goldstein, head of CET’s Outreach and Education department, was our fearless leader during last week’s training session. He invited members of each department to meet the EcoFellows and give them an overview of the department’s role in CET. We especially enjoyed hearing from the Green Business team, who nick-named us “The EcoFellowship of the Ring” and incorporated Lord of the Rings images throughout their power-point presentation! The week of training also included a chance for us to discuss our motivations for being EcoFellows and what we hope to get out of the program.

Here is a brief bio about each of the new EcoFellows:

Leah 8.14Leah Letourneau (Energy: Outreach/Green Home Services EcoFellow) graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in Environmental Studies and Politics. She is currently attending Elms College working towards a MA in Teaching. Formerly, she worked in the Office of Development at Mount Holyoke in donor relations and has worked for the past several years in the private sector at Enservio as a Service Operations Manager.

Amanda 8.14Amanda Jacir (Outreach EcoFellow) graduated from Oberlin College in 2013 with a BA in Environmental Studies and Politics. As a member of their Resource Conservation Team, she developed programs to reduce the college’s energy consumption and waste production. She has spent time abroad traveling with Interfaith Peace Builders and interning in the Water and Environment department of ARIJ in Bethlehem.

Leah and Amanda say their outreach position will include “getting the word out about CET’s programs and offering support to people who want to participate in our programs.”

Nathan 8.14Nathan Shuler (Green Business Services EcoFellow) graduated from Centre College in Kentucky with a BA in Economics. He was president of Centre’s environmental student organization and worked on campus with the college President’s Climate Committee on sustainability issues. He interned with the Nature Conservancy as a Philanthropy Intern. He also worked for the Lexington, Kentucky municipal government as a Greenspace Planning intern where he assisted in the implementation of urban sustainability and green infrastructure projects.

Nathan explains, “As the GBS EcoFellow, I will be supporting the energy specialists and green business specialists effectively manage and implement waste, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects as well as helping to maintain positive relationships with business clients. “

Jenny 8.14Jenny Goldberg (Waste: Marketing/EcoBuilding Bargains EcoFellow) graduated from Emory University with a BA in Art History in 2012 and is currently taking courses at the Harvard University Extension School in Sustainability and Environmental Management. She worked at The International Omega Foundation in Chicago, assisting with marketing campaigns and partnerships on international agricultural projects. She also worked at Emory’s Center for International Programs Abroad advising and organizing events for students interested in studying abroad.

Jenny says her role will include “working with CET’s marketing department to develop content for print and digital media and increase their social media presence.”

Caitlin 8.14Caitlin Burgess (Energy: Outreach/GHS EcoFellow) graduated from Smith College with a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. She also held a position at the Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) and directly participated in the management of a natural resource – specifically, over-fished Hawaiian fish populations. Caitlin was also a Connecticut River Conservation Coordinator, and then a Technician, for the Nature Conservancy in Northampton.

Caitlin’s focus will be “supporting all aspects of the MassSave home energy assessments including helping the Energy Specialists in the field and the customer service team in the office.”

Sonja 8.14Sonja Favaloro: (Waste: Marketing/Store EcoFellow) graduated from Bates College with a BA in Environmental Studies. While there she coordinated the Clean Sweep recycling fundraiser on campus and researched uses of art in environmental activism for her senior thesis. She has also worked as an intern with D&R Greenway Land Trust and lived at an EcoVillage in Missouri for a summer.

My responsibilities, similar to Jenny’s, will include marketing and building our online presence. I will focus on social media, blogging and other outreach for the EcoBuilding Bargains store located in Springfield.

So far I have loved the experience of working at CET, and I think the other EcoFellows agree! We have felt warmly welcomed by the organization, and are starting to be able to wrap our heads around how CET works and which programs and services it offers. We are excited to start contributing to its mission of helping people and businesses save money and reduce waste!

Want to know more about the EcoFellowship? Watch this video!


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