Previous Interns
Over the years, the Office of Sustainability has been delighted to host many passionate students, representing a wide range of academic disciplines, as interns.  The knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm these students lent to sustainability efforts at Auburn have been immeasurable, and part of our progress as a community can be attributed to their hard work and dedication. We’ve included a snapshot about them from the year(s) they interned with our office as a simple token of recognition for their efforts.
2017-2018 Interns

Crystal Boutwell

Senior — Natural Resource Management
Nature Based Recreation Minor

Crystal Boutwell is a senior majoring in Natural Resource Management with a minor in Nature Based Recreation. She grew up in Brewton, Alabama. She initially fell in love with the outdoors through family camping, hiking, and fishing trips, but became interested in sustainability after taking classes at Auburn. Through her classes, Crystal has realized the connection between our actions and the well-being of the earth and strives to learn as much as possible about the impact of our actions in order to make wise and healthy decisions in the future. She believes that the earth and people are interwoven and that sustainable practices are necessary to provide not only a healthy earth, but also a healthy people. As an intern, she hopes to help educate students and faculty to more sustainable practices and encourage low-impact behavior in her peers. In her career, she hopes to work with rural communities to provide opportunities for economic development in healthy and sustainable ways that will better both the community and the earth.


Kenzley Defler

Senior – Environmental Science
Sustainability Minor

Kenzley Defler is a senior majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Sustainability. She was born in Louisville, Kentucky and lived there her whole life until coming to Auburn. Kenzley’s interest in sustainability began in her high school science classes and has grown since being exposed to many new areas of the field. She is especially passionate about issues of food security and enjoys her work with the Campus Kitchens Project focusing on reducing food waste and fighting food insecurity in the local community. In her second year with the Office of Sustainability, Kenzley hopes to raise awareness regarding ways to reduce our impact on the environment in order to make Auburn a more sustainable place to live.


Max Garcia

Senior – Environmental Design
Rural & Community Development & Urban Environmental Sciences Minor

Max Garcia is a senior majoring in Environmental Design with minors in Rural & Community Development and Urban Environmental Sciences. He was raised in Naugatuck, Connecticut and moved to Alabama in 2005. His admiration of the outdoors started with hiking trails and walks on Huntsville’s greenways during lunchtime. Auburn has further exposed him to the importance of human-environment interaction by researching the design of recreation and community planning. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, Max hopes to gain an understanding of how to manage sustainability on a college campus and hopes to improve student wellbeing through eco-friendly lifestyle choices.


Shelby Hall

Senior — Chemical Engineering

Shelby Hall is a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering. She is from Tampa, FL, where her interests in sustainability first began by spending lots of time near the water. At Auburn, she rediscovered her interest in sustainability when thinking about how sustainable practices should be implemented in chemical engineering industry. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how to one day implement sustainable practices in industry and bring more awareness of sustainable practices to Auburn’s campus.


Grace Harkin

Junior — Graphic Design
Marketing Minors

Grace Harkin is a junior at Auburn University majoring in graphic design and minoring in marketing. She is from New Orleans, Louisiana, but has traveled all over the United States. Through her traveling, Grace has developed a passion for the environment, and how human populations affect environments. After coming to Auburn, Grace was inspired by the efforts the city makes to be more environmentally friendly, and hopes that that mentality can become more widespread. With her internship with the Office of Sustainability, Grace hopes to use her skills as a designer to help reach the student population and make the campus community more aware of sustainability issues. She believes through good communication and teamwork, Auburn can continue to become a better community.


Hallie Nelson

Senior — Ecological Engineering
Spanish and Sustainability Minors

Hallie Nelson is a senior majoring in Ecological Engineering with minors in Spanish, Sustainability, Community and Civic Engagement. She grew up in Austin, Texas, then moved to Birmingham, Alabama where her family now lives. In her free time, Hallie enjoys going camping or listening to live music. Her interest in sustainability began while taking classes at Auburn University. Her commitment to sustainability continues to grow through her work with student groups, like the Campus Kitchen. Hallie hopes to motivate students and employees at Auburn to get involved in sustainability during her coming year as an intern.


Matthew Preisser

Senior — Biosystems Engineering
German and Sustainability Minors

Matthew Preisser s a Senior in Biosystems Engineering with minors in German and Sustainability. He grew up in Crescent Springs, Kentucky, but currently lives in Houston,
Texas when not at Auburn. He became interested in Sustainability through his passion for the environment, which started when he obtained his open water Scuba License. During his sophomore year of high school when he volunteered at the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, he recognized the need for a shift towards sustainable practices as a way to protect coastal environments. In his third year as an intern, Matthew plans to use his position as an intern to help others find a personal connection to the natural world and to educate others on the importance of protecting aquatic ecosystems.

2016-2017 Interns

Kenzley Defler

Junior – Environmental Science
Sustainability Minor

Kenzley Defler is a junior majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Sustainability. She was born in Louisville, Kentucky and lived there her whole life. Kenzley runs cross country and track for Auburn and is also involved with the Campus Kitchens Project. Kenzley’s interest in sustainability began in her high school science classes and has grown since taking classes towards the minor while in college. She is especially passionate about energy conservation and the vast possibilities held by further development of renewable resources. Through her position as an intern with the Office of Sustainability, Kenzley hopes to raise awareness regarding ways to reduce our impact on the environment in order to make Auburn a more sustainable place to live.


Max Garcia

Junior – Environmental Design
Rural & Community Development & Urban Environmental Sciences Minor

Max Garcia is a junior majoring in Environmental Design with minors in Rural & Community Development and Urban Environmental Sciences. He was raised in Naugatuck, Connecticut and moved to Alabama in 2005. His admiration of the outdoors started with hikes in the mountains surrounding Huntsville and walks during lunchtime. Auburn has further exposed him to the importance of human-environment interaction and the design of sustainable methods. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, Max hopes to gain an understanding of how to manage sustainability on a college campus and hopes to improve student life through eco-friendly choices.


Kelsey Lawrence

Junior — Industrial Design
Sustainability Minor

Kelsey Lawrence is a junior in Industrial Design with a minor in Sustainability. She is from Memphis, Tennessee, and enjoys painting, reading, and traveling. She has always been interested in environmental issues, but her interest in sustainability was piqued by professors in Industrial Design and the Honors College. While studying abroad, she was further inspired by forward-thinking, sustainable design concepts at Milan Design Week. Kelsey believes sustainable thinking is key to ensure basic quality of life for future generations. During her time as an intern, she hopes to inspire others to make sustainable choices, as well as to learn how to implement sustainable business practices.  In her career, she aspires to make sustainable strides within the field of industrial design.


Hallie Nelson

Senior — Biosystems Engineering
Spanish and Sustainability Minors

Hallie Nelson is a senior majoring in Biosystems Engineering with minors in Spanish and Sustainability. She grew up in Austin, Texas then moved to Birmingham, Alabama before starting high school. She has always loved spending time outdoors, but her interest in sustainability began after taking classes at Auburn. She learned about the ways that her actions affected the world around her and became passionate about reducing her impact on the environment. In her third year as an intern with Auburn’s Office of Sustainability, Hallie hopes to show other students at Auburn how to live more sustainable lives and reduce Auburn’s overall impact on the environment.


Matthew Preisser

Junior– Biosystems Engineering
German and Sustainability Minors

Matthew Preisser is a junior in Biosystems Engineering with minors in German and Sustainability. He grew up in Crescent Springs, Kentucky, but currently lives in Houston, Texas when not at Auburn. He became interested in Sustainability through his passion for the environment, which started when he obtained his open water Scuba License. During sophomore year of high school when he volunteered at the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, he recognized the need for a shift towards sustainable practices as a way to protect coastal environments. In his second year as an intern, Matthew plans to use his position as an intern to educate and inspire others to make a change to become more sustainable and to protect the environment around us.


Kaitlin Robb

Senior — Marketing
Communications and Sustainability Minors

Kaitlin Robb is a senior majoring in marketing and minoring in both sustainability and communications. She grew up in South Carolina at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and developed a love of the outdoors at an early age. She first became involved with sustainability after taking the Honors Sustainability class her freshman year. In the future she wants to use her marketing and communications skills to promote sustainability and make the world a better place. In her last year at Auburn she is hoping to use her involvement to make a positive impact on campus.


Diana Rowell

Junior — Industrial & Systems Engineering
Sustainability Minor

Diana Rowell is a junior in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in Sustainability. An East Tennessee native, Diana learned to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors and Appalachian Mountains at an early age. During her time at Auburn she has been involved with extracurricular activities within the College of Engineering. She enjoys spending spare time outdoors with her dog, Zoey, exploring all trails, streams and mud-puddles they can find. Diana’s true interest in sustainability began when she Co-opped with a textile company in North Carolina where she saw the true need for manufacturing industries to shift toward more sustainable practices. Diana hopes to learn how to create more sustainable practices during her internship with the Office of Sustainability to increase her understanding and educate others in industry about how to have a more sustainable manufacturing process.

2015-2016 Interns

Kristin Dobbs

Senior – Environmental Design
Nature Based Recreation; Rural & Community Development Minors

Kristin Dobbs is a senior in Environmental Design with minors in Nature Based Recreation and Rural and Community Development. An Alabama native, she moved to Auburn from Piedmont, Alabama in 2002.  Kristin has grown up enjoying outside in her free time, and through her classes at Auburn she has been exposed to sustainability efforts that has led to her conscious efforts to integrate sustainability in her design projects.  She hopes to learn through her experience with the Office of Sustainability to positively impact others while creating a sustainable environment with her design choices.


Taylor Craft

Senior – Natural Resource Management
Watershed Science Minor

Taylor Craft is a senior majoring in Natural Resource Management with a minor in Watershed Science. He grew up in Owensboro, KY where he fell in love with the outdoors at an early age. During high school, Taylor became increasingly concerned about issues surrounding poverty and sustainability. Upon arriving at Auburn, Taylor joined the Army ROTC and will commission as an explosives ordnance disposal officer after graduation.  Following his military service, Taylor hopes to join the Peace Corps and pursue a career in water quality and sustainable agricultural markets in developing countries.  Taylor believes sustainable practices are key to ensuring the livelihood of future generations.  In his free time, he enjoys hiking, hunting, traveling, reading, and cooking.


Kyle Kimel

Junior — Aerospace Engineering
Sustainability Minor

Kyle Kimel is a Junior in Aerospace Engineering with a Minor in Sustainability. He was born in Boca Raton, Florida before moving to Birmingham, Al where he attended high school. He plays on the Auburn Club Soccer Team, and is actively involved in Wishmakers on Campus. He has always loved being outside and experiencing different cultures and lifestyles while traveling. He was introduced to Auburn’s Sustainability program through previous intern, Paul Drenning, and has pursued the Office of Sustainability Internship after gaining interest from courses he has taken in the Minor. He hopes to integrate Engineering with Sustainability in his career, and looks to gain valuable, multifaceted experience during his time as an Intern.


Hallie Nelson

Junior — Biosystems Engineering
Spanish and Sustainability Minors

Hallie Nelson is a junior majoring in Biosystems Engineering with minors in Spanish and Sustainability. She grew up in Austin, Texas then moved to Birmingham, Alabama before starting high school. She has always loved spending time outdoors, but her interest in sustainability began after taking classes at Auburn. She learned about the ways that her actions affected the world around her and became passionate about reducing her impact on the environment. In her second year as an intern with Auburn’s Office of Sustainability, Hallie hopes to show other students at Auburn how to live more sustainable lives and reduce Auburn’s overall impact on the environment.


Rebecca Oliver

Sophomore — Agricultural Communications

Rebecca Oliver is a sophomore majoring in Agricultural Communications. She is from New Site, AL where she grew up on a poultry and cattle farm. Rebecca discovered a passion for sustainability issues facing our natural resources and their effect on feeding the growing population through her involvement in various agricultural organizations including 4-H and Agriculture Future of America. Rebecca previously worked as a writer for The Auburn Plainsman covering sustainability on campus. Rebecca hopes her background in agriculture and writing will help her contribute to the efforts of the Office of Sustainability to reduce Auburn’s impact on the environment.


Matthew Preisser

Sophomore — Biosystems Engineering
German and Sustainability Minors

Matthew Preisser is a sophomore in Biosystems Engineering with minors in German and Sustainability. He grew up in Crescent Springs, Kentucky but currently lives in Houston, Texas when not at Auburn. He became interested in Sustainability through his passion for the environment, which started when he obtained his open water Scuba License. During his sophomore year of high school when he volunteered at the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, he recognized the need for a shift towards sustainable practices as a way to protect coastal environments. Matthew plans on using his position as an intern at the Office of Sustainability to educate and inspire others to make a change to become more sustainable and to protect the environment around us.

2014-2015 Interns

Alexis Harrison

Senior – Environmental Design
Sustainability Minor

Born in Los Angeles, CA, she moved to Montgomery, AL, where she attended high school. She credits the move for introducing her to the importance of a collaborative relationship between a well-designed community and the beauty of the outdoors. After finding a passion for the design element involved in Community Planning and Landscape Architecture, Alexis discovered how important it would be to integrate sustainable behavior and practices from her field of study into her personal life. She hopes to learn more on the future of sustainability and wants to help make a difference by redeveloping communities to benefit both the residents and the environment.


Alicia Valenti

Senior – Public Administration
Spanish Minor

Alicia Valenti is a senior majoring in Public Administration and minoring in Spanish. She is from Niceville, Florida but enjoys traveling around the US whenever the opportunity presents itself. She began to realize the importance of sustainability when a few friends took an environmental science class in high school and posted information about pressing issues affecting the climate and life on our planet. After researching these topics and the methods that are employed to mitigate these problems, she decided that the best way to make an impact was by working with a nonprofit organization to promote eco-friendly practices and policies. She hopes that her experience with the Office of Sustainability will help educate her on the best way to make a difference and help her make a positive impact on Auburn’s sustainability effort.


Carol Linde

Senior — Political Science & Psychology

Carol Linde is a Senior majoring in Political Science and Psychology from Dagsboro, DE. Because she is interested in working with vulnerable populations and the developing world, she sees that sustainable practices are the only way to have a just and prosperous future for all. When she is not studying, she enjoys visiting new places, reading, and watching Auburn football and Netflix.


Hallie Nelson

Sophomore – Biosystems Engineering
Spanish and Sustainability Minors

Hallie Nelson is a sophomore majoring in Biosystems Engineering with minors in Spanish and Sustainability. She grew up in Austin, Texas then moved to Birmingham, Alabama before starting high school. She has always loved spending time outdoors, but her interest in sustainability began after taking classes at Auburn. She learned about the ways that her actions affected the world around her and became passionate about reducing her impact on the environment. Through working with Auburn’s Office of Sustainability, Hallie hopes to show other students at Auburn how to live more sustainable lives and reduce Auburn’s overall impact on the environment.


Nathan McWhirter

Junior – Mechanical Engineering
Sustainability Minor

Nathan McWhirter is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Sustainability Studies. He is from Madison, Alabama. Nathan became interested in the ideas of sustainability while taking the Honors Sustainability in The Modern World class sequence at Auburn. He also became interested in local and sustainable food through involvement in the Auburn Real Food Challenge, and is an officer in the group this year. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, Nathan hopes to combine his engineering background with his passion for sustainability by helping Auburn increase efficiency, reduce consumption and waste, and become more sustainable overall.


Paul Drenning

Senior – Civil Engineering
Sustainability Minor

Paul Drenning is a fifth year senior majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Sustainability. He balances engineering by playing on the Auburn club soccer team and traveling outside of Alabama whenever an opportunity presents itself. Paul finds sustainability to complement engineering, and hopes to combine the two in his future career path. The sustainability coursework at Auburn has motivated him to do his part for the environment, and will work with the Sustainability office to raise awareness on Auburn’s campus.

2013-2014 Interns

Jaclyn Brass

Jaclyn Brass is senior majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Spanish and Sustainability. She is from Rome, Ga. but loves traveling the world and experiencing new environments and cultures. She also enjoys reading and being outdoors, especially around water. Sustainability has been a lifelong passion of hers. She believes the only possible future is a sustainable one. Therefore, she hopes to combine her public relations skills with her interest in sustainability to help spread the message of sustainability.


Sam Cartner

Sam Cartner is a Junior at Auburn studying Biosystems Engineering and Entrepreneurship. Growing up in Irondale, Alabama he gained an awesome appreciation for the outdoors while exploring Ruffner Mountain State Park throughout his childhood. After working with Reproductive Physiologist, Thane Wibbles, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham on “Biology, Conservation and Recovery Strategies for the Diamondback Terrapin in Alabama,” he realized that his efforts could make a significant difference if planned and preformed in a detailed manner. Following his work at the Shanghai Ocean University in the Winter of 2012, he reached out to take the next step in supporting a sustainable planet by joining our team. Through his current work with alternative fuels, and future work with Auburn Office of Sustainability, he hopes to work as hard as he can to advocate the equilibrium from the soil to the sun that fosters the amazing life, love, and beauty we all share.


Alexis Harrison

Alexis Harrison is a junior majoring in Environmental Design, pursuing a minor in Sustainability. Born in Los Angeles, California, she moved to Montgomery, AL, where she attended high school. She credits the move for introducing her to the importance of a collaborative relationship between a well-designed community and the beauty of the outdoors. After finding a passion for the design element involved in Community Planning and Landscape Architecture, Alexis discovered how important it would be to integrate sustainable behavior and practices from her field of study into her personal life. She hopes to learn more on the future of sustainability and wants to help make a difference by redeveloping communities to benefit both the residents and the environment.


Taryn Wilson

Taryn Wilson is a Junior majoring in Entrepreneurship & Family Business. She is from Duluth, Georgia, and enjoys spending time on the nearby Chattahoochee River. Her interests include sustainable food production and integrating sustainability into the business sector. After graduating she plans to open a sustainability consulting firm from which businesses and schools can solicit help in becoming more sustainable.

2012-2013 Interns

Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson is a senior originally from Auburn. She is in her third year in the Interior Design program at Auburn, and is also working towards minors in Sustainability, Art History, and Business. Her interest in sustainability was nurtured from childhood through her interest in animal conservation and biology. She is particularly interested in creating sustainable communities which allow for better human interaction as well as more efficient buildings and pleasant atmospheres. An optimist at heart, she strongly believes in our ability to change the world through a whole-systems approach.


Alex Croninger

Alex Croninger is a junior majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Sustainability. He is from Hoover, Alabama where he spent much of his childhood hiking and rock climbing in the Moss Rock Preserve. This experience gave him an immense appreciation of the natural world and sparked his passion for sustainability. He plans to work towards creating a more sustainable world by constructing efficient and sustainable buildings and urban infrastructures that lessen their impact on the surrounding world.


Mignon Denton

Mignon Denton is a sophomore from Dauphin Island, AL who is majoring in natural resource management. She enjoys trying new things, singing, learning, swing dancing, playing with kids, and making friends with bugs and other critters. She wants to learn more about thriving school and work environments, organizational structure, walkable urbanism, and sharing opportunities. She is especially interested in K-12th grade curriculum design that enlivens, challenges, and connects students to their world.


Will Goodwin

I am from Fairhope, AL, and I am currently in the process of changing majors to find what best suits my career goals. I enjoy getting to spend time outdoors going camping, mountain biking, skating, and fishing. My primary interest in sustainability is based around my passion for biological research, such as carbon sequestration and biomimicry. Initially, I gained an interest in sustainability while taking an introductory environmental science class at Auburn University. Moving forward, I hope to to attend graduate school at a university in the western U.S. so that I can study an environment completely different from what I am accustomed to in Alabama. I have not traveled outside of the continental U.S., so I hope that my future career in the field of biological research will enable me to travel the world studying methods of improving human life based on sustainable animal and plant populations.


Ashley Griffin

Ashley Griffin is a junior in Civil Engineering and hails from Franklin, Tennessee. She enjoys writing creative fiction, watching Firefly, obscure movie references, crocheting, and kickboxing. Ashley is the treasurer of the Auburn Chapter of Engineers Without Borders and a consistent volunteer for the Recycling Department’s ‘Game Day Recycling’, serving the highest number of volunteer hours in the 2012 season. Sustainability matters to Ashley because of the potential for engineers to steer both domestic and global infrastructure to a more sustainable model, evaluating resource use and impact over a project lifespan. She hopes to work in LEED construction and development of walkable urbanism.


Katie McDonnell

Katie McDonnell is in her third year at Auburn studying Political Science and Communications. She’s from Tampa, Florida, and enjoys learning about government, history, and the written word. Growing up on the coast, she developed an early appreciation of marine life and her natural surroundings. Her interests include alternative energy and the relationship between societies and the natural world. She hopes to be an informed participant in the political system she enjoys learning about, and to go to law school after obtaining her undergraduate degree to learn more about environmental policy.


Carolina Ruiz

Carolina Ruiz is an Auburn native majoring in Interior Design with a minor in Sustainability. She has always loved the outdoors and nature, especially after traveling to her home country of Guatemala with her family. Her interest in sustainability continued to grow after studying abroad in Italy during the summer of 2011 and after seeing first hand more sustainable practices and lifestyles. She is certified LEED GA and is working toward becoming LEED AP, specializing in Commercial Interiors. In the future, Carolina hopes to help maximize building and home efficiency through sustainable building practices.


Taryn Wilson

Taryn Wilson is a Sophomore majoring in Entrepreneurship & Family Business. She is from Duluth, Georgia, and enjoys spending time on the nearby Chattahoochee River. Her interests include sustainable food production and integrating sustainability into the business sector. After graduating she plans to open a sustainability consulting firm from which businesses and schools can solicit help in becoming more sustainable.

2011-2012 Interns

Samantha Bolanos

Samantha Bolaños is a Senior in Marketing at Auburn. She was born in Miami, FL, but has spent most of her life in Mobile, AL. She is Cuban-American and some day hopes to visit Cuba and experience the wealth of culture there. She is interested in developing a career in advertising and eliminating the practice of greenwashing. Samantha loves her two pets and helping as many animals as possible. She enjoys reading, movies, being in the fresh air, and is currently writing a novel. She is intrigued about the unique ways sustainability is integrated into businesses and would like to be part of the effort in expanding those practices.


Mignon Denton

Mignon Denton is a sophomore from Dauphin Island, AL who is majoring in natural resource management. She enjoys trying new things, singing, learning, swing dancing, playing with kids, and making friends with bugs and other critters. She wants to learn more about thriving school and work environments, organizational structure, walkable urbanism, and sharing opportunities. She is especially interested in K-12th grade curriculum design that enlivens, challenges, and connects students to their world.


Sara Geonczy

Sara Geonczy is in her second year of Environmental Science with a minor in Sustainability. She comes from the northern suburbs of Atlanta, and has surprisingly survived there without a car. She enjoys learning about the American bison, landfills, walkable urbanism, food systems, and her pet ferns. She is very interested in experiential education and believes that her best learning experiences have occurred on road trips with her family crisscrossing the United States and getting to know the American landscape, both city and country.


Katie McDonnell

Katie McDonnell is in her second year at Auburn studying Political Science and Communications. She’s from Tampa, Florida, and enjoys learning about government, history, and the written word. Growing up on the coast, she developed an early appreciation of marine life and her natural surroundings. Her interests include alternative energy and the relationship between societies and the natural world. She hopes to be an informed participant in the political system she enjoys learning about, and to go to law school after obtaining her undergraduate degree to learn more about environmental policy.


Rachel Preuit

Rachel Preuit is a 4th year Industrial Design student with a minor in Sustainability from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. After studying abroad in Ireland, Scotland and England she realized European lifestyles were much more sustainable than Americans. She recently completed a course with the National Outdoor Leadership School where she backpacked in Wyoming and learned many skills that could be applied to our everyday lives to make them more sustainable. Her main interests in sustainability are helping individuals reduce their footprint and sustainable product design.


Carolina Ruiz

Carolina Ruiz is a native from Auburn in her 4th year majoring in Interior Design. She has always loved the outdoors and nature, especially after traveling to her home country of Guatemala with her family. Her interest in sustainability continued to grow after traveling to Europe this summer and seeing first hand more sustainable practices and lifestyles. She passed the LEED Green Associates exam in April and is planning to work toward becoming a LEED AP, specializing in Commercial Interiors. In the future, Carolina hopes to help maximize building and home efficiency with sustainable building design.


Morgan White

Morgan White is a sophomore from Indian Springs, Alabama majoring in Food Science. She loves to cook, spend time with her dogs, and share her passion about sustainability with others. While being a chef, she began to read more about the positive impacts organic foods and vegan/vegetarian diets have on the environment. Her interests in sustainability include sustainable cooking methods, organic and/or seasonal food, and sustainable living. She plans to open up her own restaurant that is ecofriendly and practices green cooking.

2010-2011 Interns

Raleigh Flowers

I am interested in working with the Office of Sustainability because I wish to further my education of Green and sustainable construction methods and equipment. I believe that sustainable living and construction is our future and I want to be a part of it. I am excited to have the opportunity to help Auburn University move towards a more eco-friendly and efficient campus.


Aaron Holly

Aaron Holly is a senior from Rome, Georgia majoring in Philosophy with a concentration in Religious Studies and a minor in German. He first became aware of sustainability through his time working as a Resident Assistant and participating in the Sustain-a-Bowl. He is interested the relationship between Christianity and the environment, and would like to research the theological foundations for an environmental ethic. Aaron enjoys reading, running, and being active.


Will Olson

Will Olson is from Marietta, Georgia and is a senior in Chemical Engineering with minors in Spanish and Sustainability. Will’s main interest is in alternative energy. In the future he wants to work in alternative energy and educate others about promoting sustainability. In his free time, Will likes to cook, read, and do just about anything outdoors.


Rachel Preuit

Rachel Preuit is a 3rd year Industrial Design student with a minor in Sustainability from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. After studying abroad in Ireland, Scotland and England she realized European lifestyles were much more sustainable than Americans. She recently completed a course with the National Outdoor Leadership School where she backpacked in Wyoming and learned many skills that could be applied to our everyday lives to make them more sustainable. Her main interests in sustainability are helping individuals reduce their footprint and sustainable product design.


Scott Russell

Scott Russell is a senior in Environmental Science and hails from Hoover, Alabama. Scott has always had a deep love and appreciation for nature. This love led to his interest in the interactions between humans and the natural environment. In his time at Auburn, Scott has become particularly concerned with soil quality, sustainable soil management, and remediation. He hopes to go to graduate school for soil conservation and pursue a career in land use and soil remediation in developing countries.


Hannah Shivas

Hannah Shivas is a senior from Nashville, TN who is majoring in Building Science. She first became interested in sustainability when she visited a small town in Tennessee that was devastated by copper mining. While she was there, she was amazed at the fact that the town was so destroyed that not even one tree could grow. Her main interests in sustainability are educating others about sustainability and discovering new ways to minimize her negative impacts on the environment. In her spare time, Hannah loves cooking,listening to music, and reading.

2009-2010 Interns

Clinton Cook

Clinton Cook is a senior from Birmingham, AL, majoring in Building Science with a Minor in Business Management. His main interest is in sustainable construction practices with a focus on reducing the impact that buildings have on the environment, including buildings’ embodied energy, current energy consumption, and site impact. He is an active member of the Historic Preservation Guild and an officer in the Associated Builders and Contractors.


Corey Farmer

Corey Farmer developed an interest in sustainability when he first learned that Styrofoam never biodegrades. This love for sustainability was realized during a Thermodynamics course. From this point on he made it his mission to live, and help others live quality lives which would not reduce the quality of the lives to come. His areas of specialization are with mechanical processes, but he takes an interest in many different aspects of sustainability and strives to understand the concepts behind it more fully. He is a graduate of Hartselle High School in Hartselle, Al and a senior in mechanical engineering at Auburn University.


Linsey Grace

Linsey Grace is a senior Interior Design major from Daphne, AL. She is working on a minor in Sustainability and has worked closely with AU Historic Preservation Guild. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in the commercial interior design field, specializing in adaptive reuse and restoration.


Sarah Ashley McCall

I am a 3rd Year Building Science student from Montgomery, Alabama. I grew up in an efficient family: Waste not want not. Due to this, I developed a fondness for energy and resource efficiency. Sustainability is something that was always an interest of mine, but something only the new eco-friendly political jargon has given a name and face to. I believe that sustainability needs to be a way of life and a mindset. Construction is the leading producer of waste. My goal is to be a “green” leader in the construction industry because if we begin by building sustainable structures it will lead people to greener habits. My hobbies are sports, traveling, anything outdoors, reading, animals-I pretty much like it all!


Alexander Pfeiffenberger

It was not until coming to Auburn that the term sustainability entered my vocabulary. Working as a computer technician throughout high school, I came to Auburn hoping to delve deeper into the world of digital electronics by pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering. As I became more aware of trends in climate change I gained a sense of dissonance between the lifestyle that my family and I had lived in Germany and the lifestyle that we adopted after moving to Alabama. Soon my concern about humanity’s impact on our planet and the fate of global citizens both rich and poor was synthesized with my interest in technology — developing into a personal mission of using appropriate technology to tackle humanity’s growing ecological, economic and political problems. I have been able to carry out parts of this mission as an intern of Auburn’s Office of Sustainability and by serving as captain of Auburn’s solar car team. In my spare time I enjoy photography, cycling and writing.


Kate Simpson

Kate Simpson is a senior, from Auburn, Alabama, majoring in Electrical Engineering and Wireless Hardware Engineering. Kate’s main interest is in the energy field, and would like attend graduate school for sustainable engineering. In the future, she hopes to work on developing alternative and sustainable energy sources, while also working to educate the public about sustainability issues. Kate loves to cook, read, knit, bike, and do just about anything outside.


Christi Talbert

Christi Talbert is a senior from Gadsden, AL majoring in Nutrition/Dietetics. She first became aware of global sustainability concerns her freshman year and has since become increasingly drawn to efforts seeking to tread more lightly on the earth. Sustainable agriculture, the faith community’s response to climate change, and practical ways students and families can positively impact the environment are her main interests in sustainability. Christi loves music, photography, dancing, cooking, and learning.


Emily Vollers

Emily Vollers is a junior from Madison, AL, majoring in International Business, with concentrations in French and Economics. Her interest in sustainability began in 2006 when she returned from a year of studying abroad in Denmark. She realized how Danes, as a whole, better employ sustainable practices in their daily lives than Americans do. Her interest in sustainability lies in discovering and promoting ways that individuals and businesses alike can lessen their impact on the environment.

2008-2009 Interns

Kyle Aune

Kyle is a junior from Huntsville, AL majoring in Biomedical Sciences. His biggest interest in sustainability is how the religious community responds to caring for the Earth.


David Chunn

David Chunn is a senior at Auburn University. He is studying History and is working on a minor in Political Science. He grew up in Decatur, Alabama. Apart from his sustainability internship, he is involved with Alabama Water Watch and is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. After graduating in December 2008, his goals are to attend graduate school and earn a Masters in Community Planning and to begin a career involved in community sustainability.


Rafael Egues

Rafael G. Egues traces his interest in sustainability to an article he read as a child in Highlights magazine on the causes and effects of acid rain. Since this early awakening, he has had a keen interest in learning all he could about solutions to the strains that growth places on communities. His specific areas of interest include the economic, technical, social, and political implications of building and transportation system design, of population density, and of energy production, distribution, and consumption. He is a graduate of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami, FL and a senior majoring in public administration at Auburn University.


Carrie Kilpatrick

Carrie Kilpatrick is a junior in Psychology. She hails from Hoover, AL and enjoys sewing, art, and other crafty adventures. She is also an avid outdoors woman who has always been interested and participated in making the environment a healthier place for everyone to live. In sustainability she has always focused on ways the individual can make a difference in their daily lives in order to reduce our impact on the planet.


Sheena McClusky

Sheena McClusky was raised in the small country town of Bon Secour, AL, which is about 15 minute from the beach. Being raised in such a beautiful, natural environment and always having lots of animals, a love for nature was instilled in her from the very beginning. Thus, she is now a senior in Biosystems Engineering. Upon graduation she is planning on pursuing a master’s degree in community planning where she will focus on the design of sustainable communities.


Alexander Pfeiffenberger

Alexander Pfeiffenberger was born in Germany – but has spent the majority of his life in Mobile, Alabama. It wasn’t until coming to Auburn that he found out that the environmental awareness that he has come to know in Germany – and felt was lacking in the states – was gaining ground under the umbrella term sustainability. Currently pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering in the hopes of developing technology for developing nations – Alexander is captivated by the power of technology in assisting people to live more productive and efficient lives. In his spare time Alexander is known to engage in such bourgeois hobbies as mountain biking, photography and blogging – but ultimately he still hopes to play at least a small part in changing the world for the better.


Kate Simpson

Kate Simpson is a senior, from Auburn, Alabama, majoring in Electrical Engineering and Wireless Hardware Engineering. Kate’s main interest is in the energy field, and would like attend graduate school for sustainable engineering. In the future, she hopes to work on developing alternative and sustainable energy sources, while also working to educate the public about sustainability issues. Kate loves to cook, read, knit, bike, and do just about anything outside.


Emily Vollers

Emily Vollers is a junior from Madison, AL, majoring in International Business, with concentrations in French and Economics. Her interest in sustainability began in 2006 when she returned from a year of studying abroad in Denmark. She realized how Danes, as a whole, better employ sustainable practices in their daily lives than Americans do. Her interest in sustainability lies in discovering and promoting ways that individuals and businesses alike can lessen their impact on the environment.


William Warren

William Warren is a junior in Chemical Engineering. He is from Atlanta, Georgia. He has been interested in environmentalism and sustainability since his freshmen year of college. He has a passion for engineering and sustainable technology. His plans for the future are to help solve our energy crisis.

2007-2008 Interns

Brittany Branyon

Brittany Branyon is a junior majoring in Political Science with a Sociology minor. She enjoys the outdoors, listening to U2 and the Beatles and being a nerd. She is also a quotemonger and can be found misquoting people daily. On any given night you can find Brittany watching South Park and the Colbert Report while simultaneously browsing the Internet for new documentaries. She is thrilled to finally be working for a passion of hers rather than continuing to be an “informed bum”. Brittany first became involved in the sustainability movement after a favorite professor informed her of Mountaintop Removal among other environmental tragedies taking place today. Full of energy, Brittany brings spunk and passion to the Auburn University Sustainability Initiative.


LeighAnn Elmer

LeighAnn Elmer is a senior from Birmingham, Alabama, majoring in Graphic Design. As a Sustainability Initiative intern, she is particularly interested in promoting sustainable design practices in the design community at Auburn and practicing sustainable design in her work for the Initiative this year.


Steven Gaffin

I was born in Abington, PA. My family moved to Mobile, AL when I was three years old to start my father’s Podiatry practice. As a child I was very active in scouting and earned the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of fifteen. I also played soccer and was heavily active in the Navy Junior ROTC at my high school. I graduated with honors from W.P. Davidson High School in 2004. I attended Auburn as a Mechanical Engineering major but switched to Industrial Design during my Junior Year. I became interested in Sustainability efforts when I was surfing YouTube late one night and have been hooked ever since.


Sarah Gates

Sarah Gates is a sophomore at Auburn University. She was born in Maryland and has lived in Madison, Alabama for the last six years. Sarah is currently majoring in Graphic Design, though her ultimate goal is to get a degree in Animation. She is interested in working on games and movies that both entertain and educate others about sustainability and the environment.


Philip Shell

Philip Shell is a junior at Auburn University.  He is studying Landscape Architecture and is working on a minor in Business. He grew up in Fayetteville, Georgia which is approximately 30 minutes south of Atlanta. Apart from his internship with AU Sustainability, he is involved with Campus Crusade. Philip loves being outdoors and admiring God’s beautiful creation. His primary focus this year with AU Sustainability is Parkerson Mill Creek, which runs under campus and through the intramural fields. His goals are to remove all invasive species and scatter native plants along the bank with hopes of creating a scenic focal point on campus.


Melissa Tran

Melissa Tran is an Anthropology student focusing on culture and environment. Originally from Oregon Melissa moved to Alabama in 1999. She is a married mother of two. She is beginning her sixth year working with local city government. After graduating in spring 2008 she hopes to continue doing anthropological research and working on sustainability issues in the local community.