Jolene Mafnas, our 2017 Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) summer intern, is a senior at William & Mary studying public health and environmental science policy. Jolene’s focus is sustainability. Last fall she began a William & Mary Dining Service sustainability internship. Jolene says her passion is sustainability, and as a sustainability intern, she has worked on a farm that grows food for the William & Mary Dining Services, helped manage the dining hall composting site, supported recycling, and promoted healthy eating. Jolene pursued the VCE internship to learn more about gardens and gardening as they relate to sustainability. She cites the Help Desk Highlights, which she authored, as just one example of the projects she is working on that support sustainability.
Among her other projects, Jolene is creating a searchable database of the Horticulture Help Desk questions and answers and is designing a public education survey to help determine if Horticulture Help Desk and VCE public education programs lead to changes in behavior among participants. She is also drafting an integrated pest management information sheet and maintaining the volunteer schedules for the Arlington County Fair and the Urban Agriculture Symposium. Additionally, she developed a VCE exhibit for this summer’s American University’s Field Day. To gain exposure to regional sustainability issues, Jolene attends a wide variety of meetings, such as the Potomac Watershed Board, with MGNV Extension Agent Kirsten Conrad.
Jolene says she definitely sees gardens in her future – perhaps starting with vegetables in pots. She will be at VCE through August 26.