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The Office of Sustainability Welcomes a New Program Coordinator

The Office of Sustainability is excited to welcome Michelle Patterson to the role of Internship and Business Coordinator! Working closely with the International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (InCEES) and Environmental Studies, Michelle will play a central role expanding the interdisciplinary internship program to serve a greater number of students and offer a broader range of research and practice experiences. She will also be taking on office administration and business management responsibilities, as well as being a support for projects and event planning.

Prior to joining the office, Michelle was the Program Coordinator for the Office of Diversity Programs at the WashU School of Medicine, where she assisted in the effort to recruit and retain students from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine. In this context, she closely worked with the School’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA), the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), as well as the Washington University Minority Medical Association (WUMMA).

Michelle was also instrumental in launching an internship program for students at the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience (CSMB) high school located in midtown St. Louis. The program aims to provide the schools’ seniors with valuable exposure to the many facets of medicine and bioscience careers. Michelle had a critical role in the process of matching students with physicians and tracking the students’ progress. Michelle was also responsible for ensuring that the students completed a final project about their internship experience, which was presented to key members of the Washington University medical community. Many of the students who completed the internship program are now attending Washington University and plan to apply to medical school.

While working at the Office of Diversity Programs, Michelle also successfully obtained her Master for Business Administration at Washington University’s Olin Business School.

Michelle’s interest in sustainability emerged while she lived in Chicago and was working as a canvasser at Greenpeace. This led her to volunteer with other local environmental groups who were working against the development of waste incinerators in the Chicago area, all of which were planned to be built in minority or low-income ethnic communities. These groups’ goals aligned with Michelle’s belief in sustainable development of housing, environmentally friendly business practices, and preservation of natural resources that improve the quality of life of all citizens.

Bringing in a long and relevant experience at Washington University and an interest in environmental justice and community development, Michelle will add a strong value to the Office of Sustainability.

“I’m excited to start this new journey at Washington University working with a team who are just as passionate as I am about sustainability and desire to help Washington University achieve its mission as an eco-friendly institution.”