The Sustainability Fellowship Program began in the fall of 2009 with one student intern and has since grown to engage as many as twenty interns in a given semester.
Fellows are compensated with three credits per semester for their commitment to Sustainable UMass initiatives and are mentored by a faculty sponsor. Students and sponsors collaborate to set academic goals and a midterm and final report of some sort is usually expected.
Each fellow is hired to focus on a specific aspect of sustainability on campus. Categories include Energy Programs, Green Building, Food Systems, Academic Programs, facilitation of the Green Office Program, Transportation, Waste and Recycling, Outreach and Web Communication. Projects are determined on an individual basis to further the implementation of sustainable practices on campus in all of these areas.
In addition to responsibilities to faculty advisors and the planning and implementation of projects, fellows are required to spend a few hours each week in the Sustainability Office. This structured time commitment allows for collaboration between interns and a greater sense of community between all members of the program. In total, participants are expected to spend about nine hours each week on sustainability related work.
Fellows will have the chance to attend meetings of the Chancellor's Sustainability Committee (CSC, formerly EPAC) which are scheduled monthly and will serve on the subcommittee of EPAC most relevant to their area of interest.
Subcommittees include Education, Outreach & Research, Food, Green Building, Waste Reduction, Transportation and Energy. Collaboration with CSC is an excellent networking opportunity and allows insight into the decision-making process concerning sustainable projects.
The Sustainability Fellowship Program aims to continue to make UMass sustainable in all areas of operation while providing an enriching experience for individual program participants. Fellows will walk away with experience, knowledge and a greater passion for sustainable change than they previously possessed.