Summer 2021 Student Projects

Luke Babik

Class of 2022Major: International PoliticsMinors: Spanish, Sustainability LeadershipCommunity Partner: Pennsylvania Environmental Council

During his summer internship with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), Luke explored trail use in urban and traditional settings. He worked with a grant program through the Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape and was tasked with promoting successful grant projects to inspire other organizations and to build momentum in the outdoor recreation community in the region.

Brianna Bennett

Class of 2022Major: Biobehavioral HealthMinor:  Crime/Law/PsychologyCommunity Partner: Brashear Association

Brianna spent her summer interning with the Brashear Association — a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of families in several South Hills neighborhoods. She assisted with the organization’s food bank and planning an upcoming community center in Knoxville, which will include career services, food assistance, youth and senior programming, and more. 

Aubrey Bloxdorf

Class of 2022Major: Landscape ArchitectureMinor: Sustainability LeadershipCommunity Partner: Grounded Strategies

This summer, Aubrey interned with Grounded Strategies to help in their mission to improve social, economic, and environmental health of communities in the Pittsburgh area. She focused on civic volunteerism through educational programs and workday events to combat the vacant lots in the region.

Claire Brier

Class of 2022Major: Community Environmental Development – International Development OptionMinor: Sustainability LeadershipCommunity Partner: New Sun Rising  

This summer, Claire interned with New Sun Rising, a nonprofit that aims to build vibrant communities through culture, sustainability, and opportunity. She assisted in events and projects focused on civic volunteerism and its contributions to sustainable development.

Catherine Devereaux

Class of 2022 Major: Landscape Architecture Community Partner: Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy 

During her summer internship, Catherine worked with the team at Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, specifically on the Mellon Park project. She helped with design tasks and community engagement that will lead to upgrading the park and its amenities to align with community members’ goals and visions.

Evan Gregg

Class of 2021Major: Landscape ArchitectureCommunity Partner: Grounded Strategies

For his internship with the nonprofit Grounded Strategies this semester, Evan learned about using the power of vacant lots to shape an equitable and sustainable future. Grounded Strategies has become a leader in transforming vacant parcels across Pittsburgh to help local communities. Evan worked with the team to provide resources to the community, clean sites, plant gardens, and educate through engagement.

Qiannan (Katherine) Guo 

Class of 2021Major: Landscape ArchitectureCommunity Partner: LaQuatra Bonci Associates

As an intern with the landscape architecture firm LaQuatra Bonci Associates this summer, Qiannan worked with the project team on the Larimer community plan and redevelopment. The plan aims to revive vacant property and manage stormwater runoff in the area.

Caroline McGonigle

Class of 2023Major: Community Environmental Development – Social & Environmental Responsibility OptionMinor: Sustainability LeadershipCommunity Partner: Sustainable Pittsburgh

For her summer internship with Sustainable Pittsburgh, Caroline developed and managed a resource library, which aims to help businesses and municipalities become more sustainable. During her time researching green infrastructure resources for the library, Caroline also explored local sustainable facilities including Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes and the Frick Environmental Center.

Caroline Newman

Class of 2022Major: Earth Science and PolicyMinor: Earth and SustainabilityCommunity Partner: Breathe Project 

This summer, Caroline interned with the Breathe Project and assisted with its work in air quality and environmental justice in Pittsburgh. She used footage from a network of cameras on local plants and facilities, as well as web resources, Smell PGH and Plume PGH, to map and log air-pollution events in local neighborhoods. This research will help the organization work with Pittsburgh leaders to enforce the Clean Air act.

Charlotte Schmitt

Class of 2021Major: Landscape ArchitectureMinor: SociologyCommunity Partner: Brashear Association

As an intern with the Brashear Association this summer, Charlotte worked within the Southside and Hilltop communities of Pittsburgh and learned the importance of community engagement in sustainable development efforts. In her role, she helped to create design suggestions for a new community center based on feedback from community members.

Katie Shank

Class of 2021Major: Earth Science & Policy – Climate Change optionMinors: Geography, Art HistoryCommunity Partner: Allegheny County Conservation District

This summer, Katie interned with the Allegheny County Conservation District and helped with field work and collecting content for the organization’s communications channels. She focused on urban conservation and riparian buffers, which play a significant role in providing clean water and making cities resilient.

Allysa Temple

Class of 2022Major: Earth Science & PolicyMinor: EthicsCommunity Partner: City of Pittsburgh Planning Department

During her internship with the City of Pittsburgh Planning Department, Allysa focused on addressing equity and justice in urban neighborhoods through the Shade Tree Commission. She explored the impact of climate change and heat waves on certain areas, and how planting street trees in minority or low-income communities can provide more equity and justice.

Alysha Ulrich

Class of 2023Major: Earth Science & Policy (Schreyer Honors College)Minors: Political Science, Environmental Resource ManagementCommunity Partner: City of Pittsburgh Planning Department

Alysha interned at the City of Pittsburgh Planning Department this summer and helped to analyze the influence of energy policy on sustainability advancement. She worked closely with The Sustainability & Resilience (S&R) Planning Division of the City of Pittsburgh, which aims to minimize Pittsburgh’s environmental contributions to the climate crisis.

Morgan Vonada

Class of 2022Major: Earth Science & PolicyMinor: Sustainability LeadershipCommunity Partner: Pennsylvania Resources Council

Morgan interned with the Pennsylvania Resources Council this summer and explored the topic of urban waste. She assisted with programming focused on recycling and resource conservation, education, and community engagement. Her major projects included analyzing constituent data from collection drives and educational events and the expansion of the organization’s zero-waste kit to other locations across the state.

Capricia Williams

Class of 2022Major: Animal Science – Science OptionMinor: Wildlife & Fisheries SciencesCommunity Partner: Sankofa Village Community Garden

During her internship with the Sankofa Village Community Garden, Capricia explored the presence of food apartheid in neighboring communities of Pittsburgh, specifically Homewood. She worked with the team and local Learn and Earn students on community events and urban agricultural education.

Taylor Zampogna

Class of 2022Major: Wildlife & Fisheries SciencesMinor: Sustainability LeadershipCommunity Partner: Tree Pittsburgh

As an intern with Tree Pittsburgh this summer, Taylor focused on the importance of civic ecology and how it can create real change in an urban environment. She worked with volunteers and helped with many of the organization’s programs to engage community members in creating long-lasting sustainable systems that neighborhood members will be able to maintain.

Hejin Zhang

Class of 2022Major: Landscape Architecture (Schreyer Honors College)Community Partner: LaQuatra Bonci Associates

This summer, Hejin interned at LaQuatra Bonci Associates with the landscape architecture team. She focused on helping to design and enhance the stormwater management plan for the Larimer community, including illustrating their new methodology of capturing stormwater from parks and slowing the flow into the local river.  

Mitchell Zotter

Class of 2023Major: Meteorology & Atmospheric ScienceCommunity Partner: Breathe Project

During his internship with the Breathe Project this semester, Mitchell joined in on the organization’s goal to encourage advocacy for better air quality in Pittsburgh. He assisted with community outreach and analyzing data from online resources to capture the smell and movement of polluted air in the region coming from several plants and facilities.