More in a Summer: A “Quality” Internship at MDEQ

Gabrielle Herin ’’18 in her K summer internship at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Gabrielle Herin ’18 in her K summer internship at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

[By McKenna Bramble ’16]

With a major in biology and a concentration in environmental studies, Kalamazoo College student Gabrielle Herin ’18 is interested in all of us – individuals and institutions alike – reducing our environmental impact. In order to learn more about the processes behind environmental laws and policies that can help with this, Gabrielle is completing an internship this summer with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

Her summer internship was arranged through K’s Center for Career and Professional Development Internship Program.

Gabrielle has spent her summer collaborating with more than 20 other college interns and their supervisor, MDEQ Environmental Education Coordinator Tom Occhipinti, on seven projects, four of which she heads as project manager.

One project is publishing the first edition of the Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) “Friends Newsletter.” Gabrielle says working on the newsletter has not only provided her the opportunity to research the goals and projects of the MDNR, but has also allowed her to develop some practical and organizational skills.

“My work on the newsletter has made me see how my writing abilities have improved since being at K,” she says. “Tom even complimented my writing in the newsletter. I feel a lot more confident that in the future, if I were to be asked to write something like this, I could definitely complete it.”

Gabrielle is a rising junior at K who plans to study abroad in France in spring 2017.

She’s also looking at life after K. Because of her K internship and the exposure she’s had to the work of the MDEQ’s Water Resources Division and Environmental Education Division, she said she is interested in exploring both as possible career options.

“Interning here is prepping me for what I would do in a potential career,” she says.

McKenna Bramble ’’16

McKenna Bramble ’16


McKenna Bramble ‘16 graduated from Kalamazoo College with a B.A. degree in psychology and currently works as the post-baccalaureate summer assistant in the College’s Center for Career and Professional Development. She enjoys writing and reading poetry, hanging out with friends and eating chocolate. In the fall she plans to apply to M.F.A. degree programs for poetry. This is one of a series of profiles she is writing about K students and their summer internships.