My Internship: Building Community Around Sustainable Transportation Alternatives

Karly Trinite ’13, Environmental Studies, is the Sustainability Outreach Intern in UMBC Off-Campus Student Services

Karly Trinite 2Before I applied for my internship with UMBC Off-Campus Student Services, I knew it was right for me. My passion throughout college was always taking the information I learned as an environmental studies student and sharing and applying it beyond the walls of my classes. Through collaborations with Tanvi Gadhia, UMBC’s Sustainability Coordinator, Ryan Williams from International Education Services, and student leaders Patrick Hixenbaugh, David Wecht, and Jack Neumeirer, I was able to put on some very fun and informative events for my fellow students that helped bring the UMBC  community together around sustainable transportation alternatives.

Events like “Being Green Off Campus” allowed students to learn about more sustainable lifestyle choices, and to develop and share their own visions for the future of the UMBC commuter community. Those visions influenced leaders of campus departments and student leaders, and fueled new attention to campus policies and practices affecting commuters. Student input and organizing fueled the creation of Retrieverfleet, UMBC’s new bike share program, as well as UMBC’s student-conceived, student-led Community Garden initiative.

At first, my internship seemed daunting because nobody wants to host an event that doesn’t attract participants and inspire new thinking and action. However, I quickly realized that this was a learning experience that allowed me to make a difference in the UMBC community that has given me so much. In the future, I hope to continue promoting sustainability as an activist and science teacher in high-needs schools. This internship has helped me prepare me for a career in which I will need to be able to make my voice heard and to hear, and elevate, others’ voices.

Contact the author, Karly Trinite, at karl2@umbc.edu.

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