Sustainability honored for internship program

SIP UI Health Waste Audit; sustainability

Sustainability interns conduct a waste audit with UI Health. (Photo: Amanda Madrigal)

The Office of Sustainability earned an honorable mention for its sustainability-related success at the 2017 Resource Recycling Conference in Minneapolis.

The National Recycling Coalition, a nonprofit with materials management as its focus, presented the recycling awards last month to recognize people, programs and organizations that are model resources for the coalition’s more than 6,000 members, all from areas of waste reduction, reuse, composting and recycling.

SIP Recyling Facility

UIC Office of Sustainability interns take a field trip to the Lakeshore Recycling Facility in Forest View. (Photo: Amanda Madrigal)

For UIC, an honorable mention for Outstanding Higher Education spotlighted the Office of Sustainability’s semester-long undergraduate Sustainability Internship Program. Since 2014, the program has connected 130 students with sustainability projects on and off campus, allowing them to be part of impactful work and make meaningful connections with leaders in recycling, energy and food industries. In the past, students have interned for the UIC Energy Initiative, Facilities Management, Bike UIC, the College of Engineering, Centers for New Horizons, Ameresco, Chinese American Service League, and more. Interns also work one-on-one with a mentor over the spring or summer and attend weekly seminars and field outings that focus on energy sustainability, cultural sustainability, campus structure and job readiness, among other things.

“This national recognition shows that we’re participating in the mission of the university by educating our students and preparing them for their careers,” said Cynthia Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability. “It’s a nice model for what other institutions could do.”

Apply for an undergraduate sustainability internship.

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