The EcoFellowship Program has proven to be tremendously effective in building understanding and promoting action at the grassroots level. Each year CET recruits and trains recent college graduates from across the country, preparing them to take on today and tomorrow’s most pressing environmental challenges.

This time of year is always bittersweet. While we are so encouraged by the profound impact of these five individuals, it is always hard to say goodbye. Here are just some of the things they did in the past 11 months:

  • Avery Cross updated the food waste estimation guide published on the RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts website. This is a valuable tool used across the country.
  • Willow Cohn managed the EcoBuilding Bargains Bash – making it our most successful yet! Willow unfortunately had to miss the graduation as she’s already begun her next chapter as a Sustainability Analyst at Bell’s Brewery in Michigan.
  • Jorge Guarin began developing an educational series for businesses on a variety of topics, collaborating with 1Berkshire, the official Berkshire County Regional Economic Development Organization and Regional Tourism Council.
  • Shelby Kuenzli created multiple videos about CET’s impact for Earth Month, expanding the way we communicate about our valuable work.
  • Morgan O’Connor worked on developing powerful tools for Solar Access, a new program for middle-income homeowners.

Their accomplishments were celebrated with a graduation at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment this past Saturday, June 23, following a reunion for the program at the Kern Center. We heard from Nancy Nylen, who worked at CET for 36 years, about the history and vision for the EcoFellowship. We also heard from Sonja Favaloro ’15, who is now the Marketing Director for BuildingGreen. Sonja spoke about her experience at CET, and how she’s applied it in her role at BuildingGreen. She also shared this advice:

“To the graduating class, if you sometimes experience “environmental angst” like I have, or worry that you won’t find the right way to contribute to the massive problems that we are facing, I would encourage you to take comfort and inspiration in the fact that there are many organizations out there doing great work, and you can contribute in many varied ways, even if they aren’t the ways you initially envisioned yourself contributing. I look forward to seeing what you accomplish and how you grow.”

We couldn’t say it better ourselves. We are so proud of the work that Avery, Willow, Shelby, Jorge, and Morgan accomplished, and we can’t wait to see the impact they have on the world around them. Thank you so much for all your work this year to make green make sense.

kern center alum

EcoFellowship Alumni Reunion at the Kern Center, a Living Building at Hampshire College.

Herman Miller Katie Jorge

Herman Miller chairs help fulfill the “wellness” aspect of the Living Building Challenge. Jorge Guarin ’18 and Katie Costantini ’17

Herman Miller Shelby

Shelby Kuenzli ’18

EcoFellowship Alum Hitchcock

Casey Simpson ’14, Sonja Favaloro ’15, Cory Mansell ’16, Diana Vasquez ’16, and Jenny Goldberg ’15 pose at the EcoFellowship Graduation at the Hitchcock Center.

Hitchcock Center alum and staff

Sarah Hebert ’14, Megan Denardo (a staff member at CET) with her husband Andrew, and Jorge Guarin ’18.

Alums at EcoFellowship Graduation 2

Diana Vasquez ’16, Casey Simpson ’14, Chiara Favaloro ’17, Katie Costantini ’17, Aliza Heeren ’17, and Cory Mansell ’16

Hitchcock Center Katie Matt John Ed

Katie Costantini ’17, Matt Brodeur ’17, and CET staff members John Hopkins and Ed Rutledge.

Nancy address

Nancy Nylen shared the vision of the EcoFellowship, and how far it has come.

Sonja at EcoFellowship Graduation

Sonja Favaloro ’15 passes on words of advice and encouragement to the class of 2018.

Emily at EcoFellowship Graduation

Emily Gaylord, Director of Communications & Engagement, read words of wisdom from CET staff who were unable to attend the graduation.

Jorge Certificate

Nancy Nylen, Jorge Guarin ’18, Ed Rutledge

Morgan Certificate

Emily Gaylord, Nancy Nylen, Morgan O’Connor ’18, and Casey Simpson ’14. Casey, who works at CET, worked closely with Morgan during her EcoFellowship.

Shelby Certificate

Emily Gaylord, Shelby Kuenzli ’18, Nancy Nylen

Avery Certificate

Emily Gaylord, Avery Cross ’18, Nancy Nylen

Alum at Hitchcock Center

Alumni pose at the Hitchcock Center.

EcoFellowship Class of 2018

The EcoFellowship Class of 2018. Willow Cohn ’18 couldn’t be in attendance as she’s already begun her next chapter as a Sustainability Analyst at Bell’s Brewery in Michigan.