Sustainability Intern Archive

Find out more about our past interns and what they've achieved working with sustainability units on campus.







2017-2018 Interns and Projects

UK Dining Sustainability Unit

Name: Josey Moore
Class Standing: Junior
Major: Agricultural Economics and Business
Hometown: Fallon, NV
About her internship: UK Dining's Sustainability manager is Carolyn Gahn and our unit works to coordinate more sustainable practices within the food production services on campus. Some of our projects include composting, recycling and buying local for the 28 locations on the University of Kentucky campus.





UK Dining Sustainability Unit


Name: Colin Marshall

Class Standing: Senior

Major: Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Hometown: Paducah, KY

About his internship: I work for the sustainability office of UK Dining where we try to reduce our environmental impact though sustainable practices. Some of our continuous initiatives include buying local, composting, and waste tracking and reduction.

I am working with the UK Dining Sustainability manager, Carolyn Gahn, along with Lilian Brislen from the food connection to spread awareness of the local food on campus. By creating a webpage for students to view the various local food options on campus, we hope to increase awareness of and purchasing of local food.​


Outreach and Coordination at The Food Connection

Name: Mackenzie Gibson

Class Standing: Sophomore

Major: Public Health

Hometown: London, KY

About her internship: I work with Lilian Brislen at The Food Connection. I mainly work with The First Friday Breakfast Series and any other major events that The Food Connections presents. I coordinate between volunteers, guests hosts, partners, and event attendees. I also coordinate with our Media Specialist for outreach through social media and designs for each First Friday Breakfast. My independent project is yet to be decided, but will be overlapping public health and food systems within our community and how to make local and healthy foods accessible to students on campus.


Promotions & Outreach with the Office of Sustainability


Name: Lauren Thomas

Class Standing: Senior

Majors: Communications, Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

About her internship: I work with Shane Tedder in the Office of Sustainability to improve communications about campus sustainability initiatives. This takes the form of social media, web editing, graphic design, and email marketing.

My independent project is to develop an online Sustainability Hub to engage the student population in sustainable initiatives across campus.



Waste Reduction


Name: Cassie Odom

Class Standing: Junior

Majors: Geography & Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
About her internship: She works with Esther Moberly in UK Recycling. Her independent project will be to create and develop an on-campus thrift store.



Energy Efficiency & Conservation


Name: Oluwafeyisayo Afolabi

Class Standing: Junior.

Major: Electrical Engineering with minors in Math and Psychology.

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria.


About his internship: I work under Britney Ragland, an energy engineer here at UK. I help her with various projects but currently we are working on the University of Kentucky Emissions Reduction Plan which is committed to a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. We are still deciding what my Independent project will be, but it will likely be an extension of the Greenhouse gas project involving lighting.


Water Systems Working Group/Stream Restoration Intern


Name: Kayla Rosko

Class Standing:Junior

Major: Environmental and Sustainability Studies
Hometown: Fort Knox, KY
About her internship: I work under Dr. Carmen Agouridis to assist with the updating of UK's MS4 permit in regards to Public Education and Outreach and Public Involvement as related to Stormwater.



Water Systems Working Group/Stream Restoration Intern

Name: Sara Stewart

Class standing: Senior

Major: Natural Resources and Environmental Science

Hometown: Berea, Kentucky

About her internship: I am supporting the work of Dr. Carmen Agouridis, extension associate professor and faculty lead for the Water Systems Working Group, identifying opportunities for student, faculty, and staff involvement in stream restoration projects on campus. I am also aiding in the assessment and reporting of stormwater outreach, education, and public participation activities in compliance with UK's MS4 permit.

For my independent project, I plan on developing an Esri Story Map for water-related landmarks across campus.




2016-2017 Interns and Projects

Sarah Cooley - Built Environment Working Group

 Class: Junior

 Hometown: Louisville, KY

 Major: Architecture

 I am working with Doug Appler, a professor in historic preservation working to emphasize the connection between historic preservation, archeology, affordable  housing, and economic development.  

 We will be doing research and creating tools to use for analysis of Rail Trails. The research will pertain to abandoned railways and the demographics surrounding  them. The analysis will look at the relation between rail trails, their effect on the community, and how new rail trails could benefit communities. 




Lauren Thomas - Promotions and Outreach

 Class: Junior

 Hometown: Nashville, TN

 Majors: Communications & Environmental & Sustainability Studies

 I work with Shane Tedder in the Office of Sustainability working to improve the Outreach capabilities for the Office. This includes crafting strategies for social media, Sustainability eNews, and different types of programing and campaign management. 

My pet project is developing an engagement program for first year students to get them plugged in with Sustainability initiatives during their first months on campus.


Henrique Menezes Correa -  Energy-Efficiency and Conservation

 Class: Junior

 Hometown: Londrina, Brazil

 Major: Mechanical Engineering

 As an intern for UK's energy engineer, Britney Thompson, I have been doing research on possible cost-effective energy efficiency and  conservation applications for our campus besides helping her with other ongoing projects. I have been specifically looking into the field of thermal control of  buildings, so that we may reduce the consumption of AC units throughout the year.


Rachel Cook - Urban Forest Initiative

 Class: Sophomore

 Hometown: Perryville, KY

 Majors: Environmental & Sustainability Studies and Natural Resources and Environmental Science

I work with Nic Williamson, a co-founder of the Urban Forest Initiative. I help with the UFI website, posting the Adopt-a-tree stories and working to write stories about UK's tree canopy. I'm working with Nic on expanding UFI's outreach here on campus through these stories and with events like Mulch Madness.








2015-2016 Interns and Projects

Michaela Rogers - Waste Reduction

I work with Mari Long in the UK Recycling department on campus projects  to encourage students to be mindful of their waste disposal decisions.

This includes creating educational pieces, encouraging proper recycling and looking to improve campus sustainability through waste diversion.

I recently attended the AASHE conference alongside my mentor, and  was able to network with other students to  gather more ideas to accomplish these goals.



Final Report

Project Poster


Amanda Williams - Urban Forests

I support the work of Nic Williamson, a Forestry graduate student and co-founder of UFI. During this internship, I have done a lot with social media. I’ve created a Twitter account for the Urban Forest Initiative and have been posting Adopt-A-Tree narratives and urban forest related stories on our Facebook page. A large part of UFI involves out reach. In addition, I also planned and organized “Mulch Madness,” a service project which took place around William T. Young Library, to help UK maintain Tree Campus USA status. I’ve tabled for UFI several events in the community and have been trying to implement our Adopt-A-Tree program in more classrooms and schools.

Final Report

Project Poster


Venecia Proctor - Alternative Transportation


My work under Shane Tedder consists of updating the bike-related inventory and maps on UK’s campus. The shared-pathways map has been updated and new locations were also added. An inventory of the style, capacity, and location of bike racks around campus has been started and is still in process. I am involved in research on different ways to make UK a more bike-friendly campus in hopes to raise bike usage around campus. 

Final Report

Project Poster







GarretPieratt - Storm WateDatabase


Doug Curl, Section Head of Geoscience Information Management, has worked with me to build a database containing all of the storm water date collected by various professors on UK’s campus. One specific area of interest is the recently builtrain garden on Farm Road. The data collected from these locations will be used for professors’ own personal research and used as educational tools for students. 



Project Poster


 Zach Tyler - Energy Efficiency and Conservation

My work with Britney Thompson, an energy engineer for UK, has been to evaluate the reduction of unnecessary energy expenditures on campus lighting through the installation of occupancy sensors. Many bathrooms and hallways remain lit even during nights and weekends, when nobody is present. I have been collecting and analyzing data to identify target areas that will result in the largest energy savings and quickest payback periods. This data, once compiled and presented, should justify and result in the installation of these energy-saving sensors. 


Final Report

Project Poster


  Elise McConnell - Food Systems

I work along side anthropology professor Sarah Lyon to prepare for the UK Food Summit, occurring in the spring of 2016. The summit will host food sustainability experts from other universities as well as a multidisciplinary group of UK faculty to develop a plan of action for promoting food sustainability at the University of Kentucky.  Additionally, I am compiling a list of current UK courses related to sustainable food, and I plan to help with social media to raise awareness about related activities occurring on campus. These steps will make food sustainability work more accessible to the UK community. Besides these activities, I will help Sarah Lyon with her research on fair trade coffee systems in Latin America.

Final Report

Project Poster

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