On April 7 – 8, MobilizeGreen held their second annual Conference and Diversity Career Fair in Seattle, Washington at the University of Washington and had the pleasure of inviting a few of Medgar’s STEM students; Nathalie Breary (Environmental Science major), Kimberly James (Biology major, minoring in Chemistry), Sandra Fenelon (Biology major) and Janelle Walker (Mathematics major, minoring in Environmental Science). The students departed New York on Wednesday, April 6th and returned Saturday morning, April 9th.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Environment and Equity”. They explored diversity in the workplace and the idea that “The environment has no color and it will take people from all race, color and ethnicity to bring about a sustainable change in our environment”; a very important topic that is rarely addressed especially for students from a predominantly black institution as Medgar Evers College. This information session took place on Thursday, April 7th where the floor was open for questions and answer bridging from topics mentioned by panelist.
On Friday, April 8th the students had their ultimate chance to network, and this they did! Among the list of companies that were present, mostly in the Federal and State category, offered research experience for the coming summer, internships, part-time and full-time positions. Each student had a different goal. Nathalie, the Environmentalist, made a few great connections for graduate school studies and internship opportunities. Kimberly, a graduating senior, networked with a company called Earth Justice and spoke about her recent visit to China and discussed about new practices international students should implement in order to mitigate the effects of air pollution especially if they are studying for three to five years. She was then encouraged to apply for full-time or part-time positions with the company. Sandra, also a graduating senior, whose passion is to attend medical school and become an Obstetrician-Gynecologist, went so far into networking that she met a professor who teaches in Oregon who referred her to a doctor for future research to know what in the environment could affect a women’s pregnancy. She also discussed what reminders; supports and accountability systems can be structured into routine practices to keep equity as a high priority. Incredible, right! We wish you all the best, Sandra! Lastly, Janelle, who graduates in the coming fall has already secured her plans for the summer in a Research Experience for Undergraduates, made a great connection with a recruiter at Seattle Parks and promised to keep in touch.
Overall, it was a great experience for each student. A special thanks to Tiffany Bobb-Semple, a former Medgar Evers College Alumni who recently completed her internship at Boeing in Seattle. She attended the first MobilizeGreen conference, and from her affiliation and knowledge about the organization, Janelle accepted an internship opportunity at Rockwell Automation last summer and these four ladies had a chance to attend this year’s conference. A special thanks to Leah Allen, the founder and director of the annual MobilizeGreen conference for providing travel and housing for our students and showing them a great time. Last, but certainly not least, a special thanks to Kallie Leschen-Lindell, the person who ensured that the students did not miss a beat and all arrangements were made in a timely and professional fashion. Thank you to the entire MobilizeGreen staff for a great two days!
Written by Janelle Walker
On behalf of Nathalie Breary, Kimberly James and Sandra Fenelon.