By Kristin Cassidy and Kelley Doyle
Being involved on campus is an essential element of your college experience. As interns working on the OnCampus ecoAmbassador program, we were lucky enough to continue our extracurricular involvement throughout the summer while preparing the program for its September 1st launch date.
Even though we were interns, we were an integral part of the small team working on the OnCampus program. Rather than fetch coffee and make copies –which we are thankful to say we never did– we created and edited resource guides for more than 30 activities in addition to marketing the program to colleges across the country. By the end of our internship, we had contacted over 85 colleges!
The OnCampus ecoAmbassador program provides EPA resources to college students to complete activities that “green” their campuses and promote environmental awareness. Students register their activities online on the EPA OnCampus website and interact with other ecoAmbassadors through a Facebook page. Past ecoAmbassadors have initiated composting programs, coordinated Earth Day events, and certified campus buildings as Energy Star compliant.
One of our favorite days this summer was when we filmed an OnCampus PSA with celebrity Rachael Leigh Cook. We were nervous while waiting for her outside in the 100 degree heat, but as soon as we saw her smiling, as she strutted toward us in 6-inch heels while avoiding treacherous D.C. potholes and cobblestones, we knew we had nothing to worry about. She filmed the PSA like a pro, accepted our gift bag of EPA items graciously, and bid us good-bye with big hugs and thank-you’s.
But what’s next for us? We’re grateful for our 10 weeks at the EPA and are eager to return to school for our senior year. We couldn’t just abandon all ties to the EPA… so we’re registering for ecoAmbassador activities this fall! At American University, Kristin will be creating a lesson plan and teaching local elementary students about an environmental issue of her choice. At UC Berkeley, Kelley will build upon her existing extracurricular commitments in the Greek community by organizing a recycling program for fraternities and sororities on game days during the football season.
About the author: Kristin Cassidy and Kelley Doyle are summer interns in the Office of Environmental Education. Kristin is a rising senior at American University majoring in international relations and Kelley is a rising senior at UC Berkeley majoring in environmental sciences.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.