This past month, UT Recycling announced their Student Internship Program which will officially start this spring semester. The program, created and organized by Megan Finan, the Academic Engagement Specialist for UT Recycling, provides students with the opportunity to conduct research on a UT Recycling program or initiative of their choice.
The idea started when Recycling Manager, Jay Price saw a similar program at Virginia Tech. Their program and guide outline helped Megan create the program at UT. Said Finan, “After serving UT Recycling for just a few months, I could see that there were many research opportunities that student interns could pursue”.
Areas of research include The Mug Project, the Grow Lab, My Tiny Trash, RecycleMania, and Zero Waste Game Days, which are some of UT Recycling’s biggest programs. The student interns’ research will shed light on how to make these programs run more efficiently, and therefore increasing recycling efforts and awareness across campus.
One of the valuable takeaways of this program according to Finan, is that students will have the opportunity to perform research, which will support UT Recycling’s efforts. Finan is excited to discover what environmental interests the students have and the kind of research they are going to pursue.
Although the internships are unpaid, students can apply for academic credit, as well as gain valuable internship and research experience. To apply, a student does not need research experience, but must be able to commit 5-6 hours a week to the program. All academic years are able to apply and Finan will assist all applicants through the application process, as well as help them identify an area of research that intrigues them.
For more information on the program, including the guide and the program application visit https://sustainability.utk.edu/student-internship-program/, or contact Megan Finan at firstname.lastname@example.org.