Identifying & Investigating - Summer ‘22 Interns

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Monday, 11 July 2022
Identifying & Investigating - Summer ‘22 Interns

Anyone who lives or has lived in South Eastern Wisconsin can attest that Milwaukee in the summer is a place where everyone and everything thrives. At the Urban Ecology Center, the same applies. Neighborhood Engagement, Community Programs, Summer Camps, Land Stewardship, and many other departments at UEC are in full bloom. The Center needs extra hands during the summer months which is where the help of all the summer interns come into play. With the new excitement and energy that the summer interns bring to UEC, let’s dive into a few of their stories.

30AB2F2B BB39 4A66 88BD 8FB681833264Jeremiah Smith, a freshly graduated student from Carmen High School, in Milwaukee, has been significantly impacted by the Urban Ecology Center. Jeremiah is only 18 years old and is already in his third year at UEC His first two years, Jeremiah served as an Outdoor Leader, and this year he is flourishing as a Summer Camp Intern at Menomonee Valley. Jeremiah fell in love with UEC’s mission, vision, and values. He discussed how all three inspired him to initially work with the organization and the positive people, culture, and environment are what keep him coming back. Jeremiah feels strongly that the UEC helps kids and adults stay focused on something that really matters and he’s glad to be a part of it. When he’s not spending his time at UEC, he relishes working on his clothing brand and likes to play sports as well. Wish him luck as he travels across the country to attend Whittier College in Los Angeles, California to pursue his bachelor’ Degree in International Business.

1EB6C8F4 1F1A 4AE4 AF35 2D40CFE6130FShidi Chesser, born and raised in Milwaukee, enjoys volunteering in her free time whether it’s at the Milwaukee Humane Society or the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. She also enjoys reading and can’t get enough of checking milkweed for monarch larvae. Shidi is loving her new “office” as a Land Steward Intern at Washington Park. A nice switch up from working almost 20 years in an actual office as an expediting clerk. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Steven’s Point with a Bachelor’s degree in Resource Management. She then continued her education at Kaplan University in where she received her Master’s in Environmental Policy. At 50 years, she is pursuing a career that truly fulfills her passions and she couldn’t be more excited. We asked Shidi if she had any advice for people who may be scared at taking that leap of faith in pursuing a career they’re truly passionate about; her response was short and sweet, “Just do it.” Fearless and brave with an opportunistic outlook on life, she hopes people follow their dreams and have fun in doing so.

D6EF7607 5D6A 48A4 BB07 FC9C28DFC920Bella Burzynski, another fellow Milwaukee native, will be finishing her final year this coming fall at Wayne-State University in Detroit, Michigan. She is pursuing a degree in social work and is still contemplating what route she would like to take pertaining to her field of study post-graduation. Other interns would describe her as caring, self-assured, and as someone who has a boundless sense of humor. Depending on the weather, Bella likes to hammock or play Sims in her free time. As a kid, she used to slide down the infamous UEC slide when her school would take field trips to Riverside Park as part of the NEEP program. Her experience at UEC as a kid has inspired her to want to be a part of the organization. She wanted to give back and say thank you for all UEC has done and will continue to do for the Milwaukee community. She’s doing just that as the Volunteer Programs intern.

614F2EA0 D160 46D0 953D CDD1C79D6208Matt Baudhuin, born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, traveled to Milwaukee to attend Marquette University. He graduated in December of 2020 with a Psychology and a Political Science degree while also minoring in Spanish. Matt loves to play and watch basketball, but his love for house plants surpasses his love for the game any day or time of the week. After graduating college, Matt took a trip to Arizona where he randomly fell in love with house plants and since then, he has never looked back. His curiosity only continues to grow about plants whether it’s about the environment they grow in, their physiology, or somewhere in between. As a Land Steward Intern at Riverside Park, it’s only natural that his favorite color is green. Matt is described by his supervisor as diligent, passionate, and fun to be around. He’s also volunteered at Lakeshore State park as well as at the River Revitalization Foundation. After his internship, he aspires to continue his Land Stewardship work and make it a full-time career.

A big thank you to Johnson Controls and all of the individual donors that have helped support the 2022 internship program. Thank you for providing a great opportunity and experience for so many people, no matter their story or path in life. Not to mention, getting the opportunity to be able to connect with so many incredible humans, as well as working for a greater cause: connecting people in cities to nature and each other.

Urban Ecology Center

Urban Ecology Center

At the Urban Ecology Center, we connect people in cities to nature and each other. Read more about us here!


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