Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Penn State Students: Apply Now For City Semester In Pittsburgh To Learn About Urban Sustainability

Penn State University students interested in a career in sustainability are invited to apply for enrollment in
City Semester Pittsburgh, an individualized internship program specializing in urban sustainability facilitated through the Penn State Center Pittsburgh. The dates for summer session are May 15 – Aug. 9, 2023.

The deadline to apply is March 15.

“We are now in our eighth semester of this program, and we have seen a tremendous impact on Penn State students and the Pittsburgh community,” said Tom Bartnik, director of Penn State Center Pittsburgh. “We’re looking forward to another cohort of students from all backgrounds and interests join us in shaping the future of sustainability in Pittsburgh with our local community partners and beyond.”

City Semester Pittsburgh is a personalized learning experience available to Penn State students in all majors. Participants live in Pittsburgh and are placed in a summer internship in urban sustainability, with an option to pursue a hybrid version of the program.

“Getting a placement for an internship really helped me start my career in sustainability,” said Caroline McGonigle, who participated in the program in the summer of 2021. “Learning the background of urban sustainability topics helped me in my professional development because I could take that knowledge and apply it to working for Sustainable Pittsburgh.”

Each selected student is placed in an internship program with a community partner that aligns with their interests and goals. 

Past partners include, but are not limited to, Grounded Strategies, Riverlife, Tree Pittsburgh, PA Solar Center, Green Building Alliance, City of Pittsburgh, LaQuatra Bonci Associates, Civil & Environmental Consultants, The Breathe Project and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

“I was able to explore a new city, meet local and state leaders, and find a new career path in my field of agricultural sciences,” said Capricia Williams, who participated in the program in the summer of 2021 and interned with Sankofa Village Community Garden. “As a Black woman, I was able to give back to my community and be a mentor for Black youth. This internship expanded my understanding of agriculture beyond the grass fields of State College. I have found a niche where I truly belong.”

Each student will also be required to complete a 3-credit course entitled “EARTH412 - Urban Sustainability” which takes place at the Penn State Center Pittsburgh and explores climate action, social justice and equity, sustainable design, urban food systems, housing and transportation, clean energy policy, circular economies, and neighborhood planning.

The program features guest speakers working within the industry and sustainability-related field trips, including Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Frick Environmental Center, and Tree Pittsburgh Education Center.

"I had a great experience with the class, my internship, and living in Pittsburgh,” said Adam Kurtz, who participated in the program in the summer of 2022. “I really liked the field trips as well as the guest speakers – both of which made the concepts we discussed in class much more relatable and helped to visualize how to be sustainable."

For more information about the City Semester Pittsburgh experience, take a look at this short video.

Penn State students can Click Here to apply.

(Photo: Jasmine Pope, Sankofa Village Community Garden; Capricia Williams; Senator Jay Costa; Mike Keefe, intern with Chatham University and Ayanna Jones, Sankofa Village Community Garden.)

[Posted: February 28, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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