Katie Constantini ’16 et al. on "The EcoFellowship Experience: How CET is training the next generation of environmental leaders"

On Friday, February 10th, five fellows from the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) spoke to the log lunch crowd. CET is a forty-year-old non-profit located in Pittsfield, Northampton, and Springfield that works with residents, businesses, contractors, and communities in Massachusetts, promoting and facilitating energy efficiency and waste reduction. CET, which focuses on tangible impacts, helps homeowners, farms, and even governmental departments (such as the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources) access rebates and incentives to “go green.” CET’s work does not only help the environment; their efficiency-improving and waste-reducing initiatives also save contractors and homeowners money, make homes more comfortable, and help businesses perform better.

Katie Constantini ’16, along with Lexie Vining, Aliza Heeran, Chiara Favoloro, and Matt Brodeur described their various EcoFellowship experiences in marketing, high performance building, digital communications, green business, and community outreach.

Katie, who is six months into her ten-month Community Outreach and Education fellowship at CET, spends much of her time tabling at markets, festivals, and other events. She has learned how to talk about environmental issues with people of all ages, political leanings, and levels of familiarity with sustainability. Katie noted that this is an important skill, as these “tough conversions” are becoming more crucial. She also gives presentations and works with young students in the community. Katie is currently writing a climate change education resource guide geared toward Massachusetts middle, high, and technical schools. She has also helped organize community events such as an upcoming speaker event, which will focus on “tangible actions people in the community can take to confront climate change.”

The fellows also emphasized the way that CET supports the fellows’ career development through monthly professional trainings and opportunities to attend conferences. CET is very invested in the fellows’ futures, helping them “explore the environmental field and see what’s next,” said Katie.

Current seniors should check out the 2017-2018 EcoFellowship positions! Applications are accepted until February 28th.

– Sophia Schmidt ‘17