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Meet Middlebury Summer Interns

July 11, 2013

Kristen Degraff
MiddView Intern- Sustainability Point Person

Year 2013.5
Hometown Middlebury, VT
Majors Psychology

Summer Projects As a MiddView Intern I am helping to plan this year's orientation for the incoming class. Then as the Sustainability Point Person, I attempt to find the areas during MiddView that can be done sustainably and make sustainable choices every step of the way. For example, incoming freshmen will receive orientation information on USBs rather than paper and MiddView t-shirts will be ordered from SustainU Clothing.

When I'm not working I spend a lot of time with friends enjoying the Vermont summer and singing my heart out (off-mic) at Karaoke.

I'm most looking forward to meeting the class of 2017 and helping them transition to their new home.

Zach Drennen
Divestment Researcher

Year Rising Senior Feb
Canandaigua, NY
Majors Political Science and Economics

Summer Project I'm looking at the financial and moral rationale for fossil fuel divestment in the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, a $700 billion portfolio.
When I'm not working I liked hiking, jumping into rivers, reading, writing, and going to karaoke night.



Natalie Valentin
Local Food Marketing Assistant

Year Rising Junior
Hometown Simsbury, CT
Major Environmental Policy

Summer Projects This summer, I am working with Dining Services to educate the student body about local food systems at and around Middlebury. I am currently working with two film students to create a series of short documentary films highlighting local farmers and food producers from whom Middlebury purchases. I will also be analyzing Dining's purchasing records from the past year to determine exactly how much food we source locally as well researching ways for Dining to procure more local food and further engage with the growing local food movement. I created a Local Foods page for the Dining Services website and am working to improve labeling of local products in the three dining halls. I am also planning a kick-off event for the Fall where students can meet our local providers as well as watch the films we make throughout the summer.

When I'm not working I love going down to the farmers market, cooking family-style meals with friends, long morning bike rides, reading in my hammock, hiking, exploring Vermont's many beautiful swimming holes, taking my dogs on runs on the TAM and dancing outside at summer concerts.

My favorite summertime local food is Blue Ledge goat cheese with some pick-your-own strawberries. Yum!

Julian Macrone
Sustainability Specialist

Year Rising Senior (frightening...)
Hometown Clifton, NJ
Majors Philosophy and Environmental Policy

Summer Projects Currently I'm gathering information on how we can best utilize alternative modes of transportation to get around Middlebury and the region, as well as researching methodologies for building occupancy studies to help base future energy-saving efforts on Middlebury's campus. I'm also working on putting together ideas that will ground strategic planning for sustainability at the College. Once the fiscal year ends, I'll start collecting the data necessary for completing the College's annual greenhouse gas inventory, which tracks our progress towards carbon neutrality.

When I'm not working I dabble in pole vaulting. My favorite parts about being at Midd over the summer are the amazing outdoor activities, being able to take weekend days to tour Vermont's awesome breweries, and Middlebury's geographic proximity to places where Phish plays concerts.

I look up to Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes. I say that because I think the greatest challenge in life is to hold on to childish playfulness and curiosity for as long as possible, and that's something Calvin taught me at a very young age. Plus he's just so darn good at pointing out how adept we humans are at stressing our relationship with nature.

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest

531 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753