Meet the 2022 Summer Climate Interns!

July 12, 2022
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Summer 2022 Interns with DEP staff during a virtual meeting.

The County’s Climate Team is happy to welcome Najila, Lulu, Kristina, Feh, Daniel, Rachel, and Lumina as interns and fellows for the summer! Each of these passionate individuals will collaborate on a variety of projects to advance county climate action, including researching environmental policies, analyzing data, developing social media posts, and more. Learn more about each intern below! 

 

Najila Ahsan

Najila (she/her) is a senior at University of Maryland Global Campus studying Environmental Management with a focus on sustainability. She was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and she moved to the United States when she was a child. Her short time in Dhaka sparked her interest in the natural and built environment and their relationship with each other. Najila is passionate about sustainable urban design. She likes to explore ideas on reducing negative ecological and social impact of the built environment.

Najila has also been involved in designing spaces and facilities that promote social equity and environmental sustainability. Najila a volunteer at the Neighborhood Design Center, which is a non-profit organization that provides pro bono planning services to support community-led initiatives. Currently, she’s working on an accessible and ecofriendly outdoor gathering space in a neighborhood in District Heights, Maryland. Najila lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland with her husband. She enjoys crafts—particularly pyrography—very much. She has a whole room dedicated mostly to her arts and crafts supplies.

 

Lulu August 

Lulu (she/her) is a recent graduate of Richard Montgomery High School and a rising freshman at Harvard College. Though she is undecided on her intended major, she is interested in fields surrounding civic engagement, women’s studies, and environmental studies. During her time at Richard Montgomery, Lulu co-led a campaign inspiring fellow students to write postcards to their state representatives in support of HB150, a bill (now law) that funds compost and food recovery programs in MD schools, and helped advertise the implementation of a compost program with her senior year.

Currently, Lulu interns for the Peer Outreach With Energy Resources (P.O.W.E.R.), in which she helps connect MCPL Summer Reading Themes with environmentalism by crafting collaborative energy-related presentations for kids across the county. In her spare time, Lulu enjoys playing with her younger siblings, dancing, and baking. She looks forward to translating her passion for environmental protection into impactful solutions through this Climate Internship!

 

 

Kristina Campbell

Kristina (she/her) is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Superior, where she pursued a master’s degree in Environmental Sustainability Management. She is originally from Rhode Island but now lives in Rockville, MD. Kristina has worked as an Environmental Policy intern with the Rhode Island Government. She researched, wrote, and delivered a policy proposal to the RI Senate to reform the juvenile justice system by implementing sustainable community service programs (green spaces) for young adults instead of detention.

Last fall, she worked with a non-profit on their environmental, social, and economic impact and developed a five-year waste management plan. She likes to volunteer with the Zero Waste Campus Council (ZWCC), where they share challenges, solutions, insights, and data related to Zero Waste initiatives. She also assists with The Peace and Justice Committee at the Westerly Friends Meeting. They develop social action and social justice programs in the area and support refugees looking for homes and work. In Kristina’s free time, she likes to hike, kayak, read, garden, meditate, practice yoga, and travel. She is also slowly switching to a zero-waste lifestyle.

 

 

Feh Gana 

Feh (she/her) is a rising senior at Poolesville High School, where she is a part of the Global Ecology Magnet Program. She is particularly interested in the effects of climate change on lower income areas, and environmental justice and how it intersects with racial equity. She strives to learn more about environmental sustainability and is passionate about environmental education.

She has been involved in planning events for Montgomery County students, such as the Environmental Sustainability Youth Town Hall, where she was able to help staff answer student’s questions on the recent changes to the climate policy and plans of Montgomery County. Feh is also part of MocoLMP, an organization dedicated to bringing justice to lynching victims in Montgomery County. Outside of her work, she enjoys learning about marine wildlife, crocheting, and practicing violin. She is looking forward to collaborating with others and making a great impact this summer!

 

 

Daniel Mahoney

Daniel (he/his) is a graduate student at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy in pursuit of a Master of Public Policy degree. Prior to attending graduate school, Daniel worked for the global public affairs and crisis communications firm, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, for over five years and assisted clients in the energy and technology industries with stakeholder engagement, congressional outreach, media analysis, and more. He is also an alumnus of American University, where he graduated in 2016 with a B.A. in International Studies.

As an undergraduate student, Daniel interned for a variety of organizations and companies with efforts focused on climate change and environmental sustainability, including the Alliance to Save Energy, Montgomery County DEP, and Greenpeace. Though originally from outside Philadelphia, PA (Drexel Hill), Daniel has lived in the DMV for most of his life and he enjoys running, cooking new recipes, hosting game nights with friends, and hiking.

 

 

Urvi Patel

Urvi (she/her) is Master of Public Policy with specialization in Environmental Policy student at University of Maryland College Park’s School of Public Policy. She graduated with Bachelor of Science degree in Environment Science and Policy from University of Maryland, College Park in May 2021. As an undergraduate, she has worked as sustainability intern at Howard Community College’s Office of Sustainability and as policy intern at environmental consulting firm. During start of summer, she worked as an intern Vision Zero team in Montgomery County, that works to eliminate serious and fatal injuries from roadways and is transitioning to be a climate intern her supervisor for Vision Zero is out for grand jury duty. Apart from work, she enjoys hiking, gardening, and traveling. She looks forward to work as climate intern to gain experience related with environmental protection as well as work towards helping protect the environment.

 

 

Rachel Whiteheart

Rachel (she/her) is a Master of Community Planning student at the University of Maryland College Park and is an alumna of Cornell University (B.S. in Environmental Engineering, 2014). Upon graduating from Cornell, Rachel moved to Baltimore, where she has lived, and worked in the ecological consulting field, for the past eight years.

As a Professional Engineer, Rachel has developed designs for storm drain networks, streams, wetlands, Low-Impact-Development (LID), and a host of other green infrastructure systems. Rachel’s professional interests include environmental justice and equity, stormwater infrastructure’s role in fostering equitable cities, and the community’s role in designing and maintaining stormwater infrastructure. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys being out on her bike, planting trees and gardening around Baltimore, and rock climbing.

 

 

Lumina Zhang

Lumina (she/her) is a rising sophomore at Winston Churchill High School and a student advocate. She is very involved in student government and has experience serving on the school, county, and state student government associations. She is very passionate about environmental awareness and amplifying the student voice, particularly through environmental education.

She works at the Youth Activism Project as an Activation Hub Team Lead where she helps youth start their own organizations. She has facilitated many workshops and events before, including the MCPS Environmental Sustainability Youth Town Hall, that spread awareness about climate change. Lumina also co-founded Eco MoCo, a student-led organization that focuses on environmental advocacy and leadership development. Outside of advocacy, she enjoys playing piano, making recycled art, composing music, and writing. She looks forward to creating a bigger impact through this internship!

 

Interested in Joining the County’s Climate Team?

The County’s climate team would love to bring on a diverse group of qualified students and recent graduates who have strong experience, education, or interest, in climate, sustainability, racial equity, and clean and renewable energy policy  in Fall 2022  Keep an eye out for the call for applications in the Montgomery County Public Schools’ StudentView newsletter, on DEP’s Green Jobs Board, or subscribe to the County’s climate newsletter for updates. Please email us at climate@montgomerycountymd.gov with any questions.

Compiled by Lulu August, Montgomery County Climate Intern (she/her)

 



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