As an intern with Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), Sarah Honan ’17 says she is developing “a unique and important insight into the environmental field. Being here has given me a new perspective on what the environmental field has to offer.”
Honan is involved in a number of sustainability projects, including those that promote the use of electric vehicles, which afforded her the opportunity to test-drive electric vehicles from BMW, Cadillac, and Tesla.
The state Cabinet-level office is the first in the country to oversee both environmental and energy agencies. The EEA internship program, which is managed by John Clarkeson ’75, provides each participating student with a broad understanding of a number of clean energy and environmental issues as well as an appreciation of the opportunities for public service in addressing these issues.
Exploring these issues in practice, Honan is spending the summer working with EEA’s Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA). The OTA works to reduce the use of toxics, especially in the workplace. Honan is rewriting and redesigning web content to aid OTA’s outreach efforts.
In addition to her responsibilities within the OTA, Honan has had the opportunity to attend a series of weekly speakers that Clarkeson invites to discuss with interns the different opportunities available in the environmental field, as well as important skills needed for specific career choices.
“Everyone in the office is willing to discuss their careers with you, each person having a different perspective,” Honan says.
Managing the intern program is just a small part of Clarkeson’s responsibilities at EEA. His primary role is to manage the Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Program. Through the Program, Clarkeson provides more than $30 million in design and construction financing for critical infrastructure throughout the state. He also works on climate change adaptation issues, and was a key contributor to the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaption Report.
Hailing from Medfield, Mass., Honan is majoring in economics and is the goalie for the William Smith lacrosse team. A member of the 2015 Liberty League All-Academic Team, she has earned a number of recognitions for her athletic and academic performances, including the First-Year Achievement Award, Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week, and ECAC Mid-Atlantic Player of the Week.
“Sarah has been a real asset to EEA this summer,” Clarkeson says. “Not only has she excelled in her work at OTA, she helped lead the intern softball team to a stunning defeat of the staff team at softball. We quickly learned not to hit the ball near an accomplished lacrosse goalie!”
Above, John Clarkeson ’75, Sarah Honan ’17 and Secretary Matthew Beaton pose for a photo in the EEA Office in Boston, Mass.