All Things Sust with Haylie Spain

Colgate junior Haylie Spain is the only intern in the Office of Sustainability without a concentration or minor in environmental studies.

Spain is concentrating in political science and English, in addition to being involved with Link Staff and writing for HerCampus. She had been involved in sustainability-related issues since high school, making this internship the perfect opportunity for Spain to continue her passions.

“In high school… I joined a sustainability group similar to the internship, but on a much smaller scale. I learned a lot of the skills that I still use today,” she said. “When I got to Colgate, I applied to the [Sustainability-Representative] program. There, along with meeting my best friend and roommate of two years, I also learned valuable professional skills and more about sustainability at Colgate and its function here. After my first year, I applied to be an intern with the office and have been working (and loving it) here ever since!”

As an intern, Spain is involved with the communications committee in addition to helping first-year students involved with the Sustainability Representative (S-Rep) program work on their own initiatives. 

“On communications, Anya Steinmetz and I work on the monthly newsletter, so sign up to receive it if you haven’t already, and the Instagram @colgatesust, so please go follow!” she said. “Working on social media has definitely been a learning curve, but I enjoy creating content and interacting with people from a platform with such a broad reach. Also, the S-Rep program is underway. We have a new curriculum this year thanks to the work of Natalie Ringel and Jaanvi Sachdeva this summer, and we cannot wait to get started!”

Despite deciding not to concentrate in environmental studies, Spain believes she has learned valuable lessons and skills from her work in the Office of Sustainability.

“Working in the office has helped inform many of the projects I get involved with. I learn new things related to sustainability and talk in a more insightful and informed way every day. Sustainability is a lifetime practice and involvement, and I genuinely believe you don’t have to study it to be a practitioner and devotee,” she said.

Because of COVID-19, the interns were not able to bond and get to know one another as well as they would have liked last year. They recently went on a camping trip to remedy this. 

“We went up to Camp Colgate on the Upper Saranac Lake for a retreat. Since being on Zoom last year prevented us from really bonding as a group, we took this trip to get to know one another and plan for the year/semester ahead,” she said. “It was a really fantastic trip, and the hike up Ampersand made it even more so. The hike was super tricky but tenfold more rewarding at the top. I don’t think I’ve ever been up that high before!” 

Spain continued to speak about the many different upcoming events and programs that ENST is offering.

“We have some exciting new PE credit opportunities coming soon, so be sure to follow @colgatesust for more updates and information, and sign up for the newsletter in our bio while you’re there. Lastly, applications are open for this internship position, sophomores and up, until Sunday, so apply if interested,” she said.