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Elizabeth Duncan

 Elizabeth Duncan

  •   Major: Political Science, Minor: Environmental Science and Sustainability

  •  Semester in which you participated: Fall 2016

  •  Internship: Research in Science Policy Intern at Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (Falls Church, VA)

I interned at a small nonprofit organization that worked to distribute grants and provide technical assistance to communities across the US that were experiencing a lack of government support in environmental crises. These crises usually involved local residents getting sick because they lived on top of/near toxic waste sites, or their air/water was contaminated and infecting the community. My responsibilities included researching Superfund and Brownfield sites that were in the communities we were working with, as well as examining EPA laws and regulations for pollution. I was able to write memos based on my research for clients, and I truly felt like I was helping them progress towards a cleaner environment and living situations. Several other interns and I were also able to conduct a nationwide training call on social media and community outreach for clients looking to expand their action groups. This was an amazing experience!

Feel free to contact me with any questions about UCDC or if you’d just like to chat!



Why did you choose the UCDC Program?

I chose the UCDC program because I knew that it would give me an opportunity unlike any other. My program coordinators supported me in taking classes, gaining job experience and living in Washington, D.C.- the place I really wanted to work. I knew that there would be countless opportunities to network with other UC students, potential employers, and even my professors at the UC Center. This program is definitely the most rewarding experience I’ve had in college.

What was the highlight of your semester in DC?

My two favorite things that I did in DC were taking a bus up to New York and waiting in line all day to see Hamilton the Musical, or getting to sit in on an oral argument at the Supreme Court for a class assignment.

 What advice would you give students considering the program?

I would tell students that they should definitely apply to the program ASAP, and keep applying if they do not get in the first time. Make it happen! If you get the opportunity to go, you will have tons of support in getting to do exactly what you want- whatever the field. The opportunities in DC are very diverse, and every student has something to gain.