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5 Questions With Campus As A Classroom Intern Christina Conrad

Christina Conrad standing along the shore of a lake - 5 Questions with Campus As A Classroom Intern Christina Conrad - College of Natural Resources News NC State University

Christina Conrad, a senior studying environmental sciences in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State, is one of six students in the College of Natural Resources to be selected for the 2022-23 cohort of the Campus As A Classroom program.

For the Campus As A Classroom program, coordinated by the NC State Sustainability Office, students interns will be working on a variety of projects that serve to advance sustainability at NC State. Conrad will be studying the microbial composition of compost in order to optimize the process at the campus compost facility.

We recently spoke with Conrad about her experience in the Campus As A Classroom program and how the College of Natural Resources has helped prepare her for the internship. Check out the Q&A below to learn more.

What kinds of things will you be doing during your internship?

During my internship, I will be learning about sustainability and the many different ways it impacts life on NC State’s campus — and life around the world. More specifically, my project will examine greenhouse gas reduction in composting and the impacts it has on microbial communities. This will involve working in the lab and visiting the university compost center to conduct research. After gathering data, I will work to share the information with the academic community and the general public. 

How did you find out about Campus As A Classroom and why were you interested in it?

I found out about Campus As A Classroom through a university emailing list. I was immediately drawn to apply because it was about sustainability and improving sustainability on campus. As an environmental sciences major, I was interested in the opportunity to apply my knowledge from classes to real issues within my community on campus.

In what ways did the College of Natural Resources prepare you for this internship?

The College of Natural Resources prepared me for this internship mostly through information I learned about sustainability in my classes. The students and faculty also helped prepare me as I have developed more complex perspectives and ideas regarding sustainability.

What are your long-term goals and how does this internship factor in?

While I am not exactly sure what my career looks like after NC State, I know that my long-term goals involve continuing to be involved in environmental-related research. I also would like to help connect this type of research with the general public through more widely accessible information and resources. This internship is a great example of this kind of idea as I get to conduct research and find ways to communicate the information to a wide range of audiences.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned while at NC State?

I think the most important thing that I have learned while at NC State is that every experience can be an important experience. There is a large variety of resources and opportunities available at the university, and I feel very lucky to have had access to them. From the few out of many that I have been able to participate in, I can sincerely say that each has had an impact on my perspective and on my academic career. My time at NC State has made me understand that I should be involved in my communities as much as I can, and to participate fully within those communities to contribute and soak up every bit of experience that I can.