Josephine Justin illuminates impact of EPIC-Network programs through analysis during her EPA internship
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
US Environmental Protection Agency
One of my favorite things about Charlotte is the light rail which connects us to so many diverse places around the area from my university to libraries to green spaces to restaurants.
What was your first interaction with a school-community project and the impact it had on you?
One of the first school-community projects I heard about was how Arizona State University environmental resource management students generated recommendations to improve Apache Junction’s solid waste program. At the time I came across this case story, I was working on my honors thesis on the topic of waste management and reduction. Their research design and findings helped with my own research and was very insightful.
How did you first learn about EPIC-N?
I learned about EPIC-N through my internship with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since EPA partners with EPIC-N.
What are some of the top priorities you are working on this year?
This year with EPIC-N I am working on adding to, and stewarding the EPIC-N project library database of all of the individual projects completed during EPIC partnerships between schools and the communities. Doing this will make it easier for EPIC-N to analyze the data and tell stories.
In what ways are you looking to engage, or work with others, either from within the EPIC-Network, or in general?
As a part of the EPIC-Network, I hope to collaborate with others to update, analyze, and tell stories from the master project database on community improvement partnership projects with local communities and universities. It is my hope that what we are working on will help municipalities learn how to address challenges including those associate with resilience.
Why do you tink the EPIC-Network is important?
The EPIC-Network is important because they match a city and its needs with a university and its resources. Doing so allows for the unique opportunity to find solutions while also empowering students and fostering change in the local community.
What is your favorite part of the EPIC-Network?
My favorite part of the EPIC-Network is getting to work with such a passionate and hardworking team! They encourage me and offer much needed advice and guidance on not only the projects we’re working on but my life outside my internship and in college.
What do you want a community, or university, to know about the EPIC-Network?
EPIC-Network is a one of a kind opportunity for you to be involved in, as a community or university, that can lead to growth and positive change for your students and residents.
What led you to participate within the EPIC-Network in your current capacity?
As an intern with the US Environment Protection Agency, I am working with EPIC-N on the topic community resilience since they are partner.
I hope my work through the internship will lead to collaborations with others to update, analyze, and tell stories from EPIC-N’s project library on community improvement partnership projects with local communities and universities. It is my hope that what we are working on will help municipalities learn how to address challenges including those associate with resilience.
Josephine Justin is currently a senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. She is currently interning with the US Environmental Protection Agency and is working on projects with their partner, the EPIC-Network. After graduation, she hopes to do her masters in Urban Planning with a concentration in environmental planning. At UNC Charlotte, she is a member of the advanced Model United Nations team and Charlotte Green Initiative. She admires the work EPIC-Network is doing in uniting communities and universities to improve life for local residents.