Series: SITC @ UNH Spotlights: Phoebe Adame
This semester, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in collaboration with the non-profit, College for Social Innovation, launched a new pilot program: SITC @ UNH. UNH students now have an additional option for a meaningful fall or spring semester internship experience focused on changemaking and sustainability. The SITC @ UNH spring cohort is comprised of three undergraduate Fellows who are participating in hands-on learning through high quality and well supported 30+ hour per week internships with UNH departments in Durham. SITC @ UNH Fellows work on strategic sustainability projects and actively promote making change on campus to peers. In addition to contributing to UNH’s cutting-edge sustainability practices and strengthening the campus community, they are building their credentials and skills through this transformative learning experience.
Phoebe Adame is one of these students and has been really enjoying her semester. Phoebe is a sophomore studying Environmental Science with a dual major in Sustainability and a minor in Spanish. For her internship she is working with the Sustainability Institute at UNH and Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) founded by UNH alumnus, Alex Freid. Through her internship, Phoebe is planning, promoting and helping to execute the UNH Trash 2 Treasure program (T2T).
T2T is a student-run program that collects students’ unwanted goods at the end of the school year in May and resells them at a lower cost at the start of the next school year in August. The annual fall sale promotes reusing unwanted school supplies, furniture, cleaning materials, and other goods instead of simply disposing of them. Unfortunately, the program was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One challenge Phoebe has faced is adapting the usual program to fit COVID-19 protocols and safety measures. While in past years Trash 2 Treasure has been able to collect goods from off-campus housing and apartments, this year it will only collect from UNH housing. She has had to devise unique safety protocols and work with the UNH community, including the Police Department, Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), and Housing and Residential Life. Despite these challenges, she is working to design plans for collection, cleaning and summer storage, as well as seeking volunteers for the fall sale.
Phoebe advises students to consider the prospect of SITC @ UNH as an opportunity for those “involved in student orgs, playing on a sports team or have commitments closer to home” and “to be aware that you don't have to leave UNH for a SITC experience.” For students who don’t want to be away from campus for a semester, but still want to have an immersive, rigorous and meaningful experience and gain the confidence and competence to become part of the next generation of problem solvers, SITC @ UNH is for them. Phoebe advises students to reach out to the Changemaker Collaborative at the Sustainability Institute as, “they're flexible with hours or activities that you [students] want to do.” She was excited to work on something she is passionate about at UNH as well as earn 16 credits for her work.
SITC @ UNH also incorporates two courses related to each student’s individual work plan and internship. Phoebe has learned through her class on Social Innovations, “how we as Fellows can implement equality ideals into our organization and recognize what our organization already practices.” She also studies professional development and has been practicing how to present herself as a professional and how to network. Phoebe aspires to work in a leadership role such as project management, but more specifically to work as a sustainability or environmental consultant. Her experience with the Trash 2 Treasure program has taught her useful business skills such as “building a professional personality, how to write a formal email, send thank you letters, write summary letters after meetings and other general office responsibilities.” She is grateful for these skills to help her after graduation in attaining her dream career.
UNH DEPARTMENTS: Interested in hosting a SITC @ UNH fellow?
Contact Jennifer Andrews, Sustainability Project Director