Introducing our Maryland Fall Interns!
We're happy to have three students working in our Baltimore office this fall! Coming from different schools, backgrounds, and perspectives, all three will be helping us advance our organizing and research on zero waste, sewage and septic systems, and more. You'll be hearing more from them on this blog soon; but in the meantime, here's a little bit about them!
Adam Gaynor, Master of Public Health, University of Maryland
My interest in the environment stems from how it effects our health. I spent a lot of time outside growing up. Most of the time was spent in parks and trails away from the urban settings where many of us spend most of our time. I have the spent the past several years living in different cities which sparked my interest on how the ways we modify the environment in cities affects our health.
I am a current graduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and am currently working towards a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in community and population health. This concentration in community and population health allows me to focus on how diseases can be prevented to groups of people, rather than focusing on treating people at the individual level. I have had an interest in the factors that contribute to chronic diseases since I started the program in 2018. My past research has been on how air pollution in urban settings leads to chronic diseases such as asthma and hypertension.
After working on how air pollution effects our health in urban settings, I wanted to go further and explore our health is affected by water quality. This led me to Clean Water Action, where my research is focusing mostly on the effects of commercial composting, landfills, and incinerators on our health. The ultimate goal is to find real solutions for reducing the amount of pollution we produce in order to create positive outcomes for everyone’s health in Baltimore City.
When I graduate in December, I plan on working in chronic disease prevention through community programming and education. This includes working with people to stay as healthy as possible by making healthy choices and by working to improve their environment in order to achieve the best possible health outcomes.
David Rekoski, Master of Business Administration, University of Baltimore
My name is David. I am a first-year graduate student in the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore. My area of study is in finance and economics, with a focus on the financial implications of the green economy. I am from Towson, Maryland, and graduated college with a degree in Political Thought and Social Justice. This major has taken me to West Africa to research the environmental impacts of third-world industrializing nations. During my time in college, I have written papers on the nature of justice and the individual’s relation to the environment.
After college, I got into the restaurant industry, working in numerous Baltimore fine-dining restaurants. During this time, I became introduced to local agriculture and initiating zero-waste policies into the restaurant industry, in order to promote more sustainable practices. Consequently, this led to an interest in the financial side of these concepts, including collective choice and sustainable practices to develop the localized economy. This includes zero-waste initiatives and developing clean sources of water to further the economic benefits of the community. As a result, I chose to engage in graduate school to understand the financial implications of environmental policies within the green economy.
By working with local restaurant, and the agricultural community within Baltimore, I have been able to develop insight into the issues surrounding the community on the impact of environmental issues that individuals face in implanting greener sustainable practices, including the effects that business owners face when trying to incorporate sustainable practices. This interest in creating an environmentally sustainable economy, has led me to intern at Clean Water Action.
While interning at Clean Water Action, it is my hope that I will be able to gain a greater insight into the financial issues in which the implementation of sustainable practices would affect the community. Additionally, it is my intention to understand the financial distress that sewage backups and the degradation of clean water has on the community. This research will allow for a greater conceptualization of the economic implications that these issues have on the greater Baltimore community.
After this intern, it is my intention to utilize this understanding to continue academic research on the economic effects of zero-waste and clean water. Eventually, I would want to continue this research into a Doctor of Economics to formalize research into academic studies to gain further insight into the benefits of a green economy on the welfare of the community.
Solomon Brooks, Environmental Technology Program, Western School of Technology and Environmental Science
Hello, my name is Solomon Brooks and I am proud to be interning at Clean Water Action! I currently attend Western School of Technology and Environmental Science in Catonsville as a senior in the environmental technology program. My school provides a work-based learning program in order for me to partake in the privilege of being able to participating in this wonderful experience for the duration of the school year.
I have been interested in the concept of environmental justice since the Flint, Michigan crisis first began, and have done projects in school pertaining to the concept as applies to a broader context. I saw the concept firsthand, and closer when the issue of the BRESCO incinerator became more publicized in Baltimore. As a person interested in the pursuit of justice and equity for disadvantaged communities, I became interested in Clean Water Action’s Baltimore office as somewhere I could intern with the work-based learning program and I see it will be an amazing experience! With Clean Water Action, I will be working on, and am interested in Baltimore’s sanitary system overflows and sewage issues, especially concerning the expedited reimbursement program through Baltimore city addressing overflow into houses. I plan to participate in a variety of activities with Clean Water Action in order to help address the issues that the organization is working on in Baltimore city and Maryland.
Next year I plan to go to college to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering and I strongly believe that the work Clean Water Action is doing, especially as applies to sewage will give me insight into the social and ethical ramifications of work I could potentially do in the future, should I become a Civil Engineer. While I am interning here, It can be banked on that I will do my best to contribute in any way I possibly can in order to further the good work being done by Clean Water Action and carry on the insight I gain here into the far future. I am willing and ready to put my all into helping pursue a sustainable and bright future for the Baltimore community and peoples!