Fellowship Program

Find out what former fellows thought of the program. Hear what Fellowship Alumni had to say in their own words.

What former Fellows say:

“The PEC Fellowship was an incredible experience that I will not soon forget as I move forward in the Environmental field. I came in with an idea of what areas I wanted to concentrate in, but through this program I have fine-tuned my goals and am now set on a path better suited to these newfound interests. Upon returning to school, I adjusted my major and added a GIS minor because of how much I enjoyed learning it with the PEC. I’ve already recommended for all of my friends to apply next year!”

~​ Preston White James Madison University, Class of 2016

“The Fellowship exposed me to an array of environmental topics and issues that I wouldn't have ordinarily encountered. All of the staff showed us different aspects of working for a nonprofit, which was quite useful, and the overall experience altered and refined my intellectual and career interests.”

~Samuel Zacher, University of Chicago, Class of 2016

“The PEC Fellowship prepared me for a major transition into post-graduate life and specifically into the process of finding a job in the D.C. area. The technical, communications, and field experience I gained in the program helped me enter into interviews with strong anecdotes to display my expertise. It helped me to speak confidently about different perspectives on environmental conservation, energy, and development issues. I was hired as a Research and Publications Intern at the Environmental Law Institute just three weeks after the program ended, mostly thanks to the Fellowship and the fact that it showed my employers that I had a keen interest and knowledge of environmental land-use issues. I also gained an incredible group of friends throughout the summer and a great resource in the form of the PEC staff who continue to help me in my transition to DC life.”

~Lauren Faccinto, Kenyon College, Class of 2014

“The PEC showed me where effective environmental conservation intersects with solid community planning. I learned that the environmental movement should be cultivated within the context of our day to day lives, and I think the PEC's many programs, by doing just that, make a huge impact on the region where I live.”

~Natalie Sheffield, College of William and Mary, Class of 2016

"The fellowship helped me transition from an academic setting to real, meaningful environmental work. PEC showed me the whys and hows of protecting land and communities and helped me imagine my own future in environmental protection more clearly. The staff repeatedly went above and beyond to make the fellowship a success, and I am so thankful I got the chance to learn from them."

~Chelsea Johnson Lawrence University Class of 2014


"I wasn't familiar with land conservation tools, such as easements or riparian buffers. It was eye-opening to learn about the different methods and policies behind conservation! This time in the beautiful Piedmont has taught me how to protect the places I love." ~Terry Chen, UCLA (Fellowship '13)

 
“I’ve known about PEC as a land conservation group, but I didn’t realize there were so many other aspects to it. It was really interesting to learn about water quality, waste management, 
communications, habitat restoration, land use policies—and how they all tie in with land conservation.” ~Caroline Massie, UVA (Fellowship '13)
 
“I was surprised by how interesting I found the section on agriculture—something I didn’t know a lot about. I learned about organic, local, and conventional farming and how they all 
tie into our food system—and it really interested me.” ~Sarah Wheatley, Holyoke College (Fellowship '13)
 
"I had a tremendous experience and learned a lot. I didn't understand the connection between law and conservation until I got here, and I learned that law is ingrained in what a group like PEC does." ~Henry Bell, Middlebury College (Fellowship '13)
 
“This program gave me an exhaustive background in environmental issues, and helped me to connect personally with this landscape… I also learned more in these seven weeks than in a typical semester of college—and the learning stuck because it was hands-on.” -- Peter Hawes, University of Mary Washington (Fellowship, '11)
 
"It is inspiring to work for an organization that does so much good in the world and is so widely respected." --Dorsey Clarke, Sewanee University of the South (Fellowship '10)
 
"The PEC Fellowship was one of the best work experiences I have ever had. It allowed me to get out in the field and learn new things I never had in college." --Josh Crump, Virginia Commonwealth University (Fellowship '10)
 
"By being exposed to so many aspects of PEC's work, I found that I could make an informed choice as to what excites me, and then pursue it professionally." --Chris Orvin, Northwestern University (Fellowship '08)

 

“One of the activities from my Fellowship was shadowing an energy auditor on an energy audit. I very much enjoyed the philosophy of making the best of what we already have and the technical side of testing home energy efficiency. Upon receiving my Master’s degree, I became a certified energy auditor myself.” -- Adam Weber (Fellowship '08), now an Energy Auditor at Smart4Power in Dubai, UAE

 

“I consider conservation and preservation volunteer opportunities more strongly since working with PEC. I know these efforts rely heavily on volunteers and have wide-reaching benefits.” -- Ben Chrisinger, PhD Candidate at University of Pennsylvania (Fellowship '08)

 
“The Fellowship program really opened my eyes to the beauty of the Piedmont and the importance of keeping it beautiful. I grew up in Northern Virginia, but never really embraced conservation until I participated in the Fellowship. Now many of the causes I support, politicians I vote for, and choices I make have a focus in environmental conservation. I live in Leesburg, VA, and continue to support PEC.” -- Tommy Burk (Fellowship '07), now a Senior Geospatial Analyst at DigitalGlobe
 
 
 
 
 

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