College interns helping the Alliance this summer

2017 interns

From left: Marissa O'Neill, Candace Powning, and Hunter Spitzer

Three interns have joined us this summer, contributing their energy and interests to our work.

Marissa O’Neill, a senior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, is serving as a communications intern through the university’s service-learning internship program, APPLES. She studies public relations and Hispanic literature and culture and recently returned from a spring semester abroad in Seville, Spain. Marissa is helping us with website content and media outreach for the East Coast River Relay.

Why did you want to work at the Alliance?  "I have loved the outdoors and been interested in protecting the environment since I was young. This internship allows me to combine that passion and my passion for journalism to help make the East Coast River Relay a success."

What do friends say when you tell them about your internship? "Many of my friends are runners and outdoor lovers as well, but most of them had never heard of the East Coast Greenway. They have all been excited to learn about all the trails right in their backyard in the Triangle — and that one day there will be 3,000 miles of a connected greenway."


Candace Powning is a rising senior at Wesleyan University, where she is pursuing a double major in American Studies and Hispanic Literature & Cultures. Candace is working out of our New England office in Providence, R.I., focusing on the 2018 New England Bike Walk Summit and the East Coast River Relay.

Why did you want to work at the Alliance?  "I have been interested in environmental advocacy and sustainable transportation for a long time, and I had intersected with the East Coast Greenway Alliance in the past through my work with local Rhode Island parks and bike organizations. I am especially passionate about this kind of work in New England because I have grown up here, enjoying the trails and bike paths frequently. Also, the Alliance is a great way to learn more about about transportation advocacy and urban planning. " 

What do friends say when you tell them about your internship? "My friends are generally unfamiliar with the necessity and practicality of linking bike routes all the way up the East Coast. Since they view bike paths as largely recreational facilities, I tell them about the relationship between the Greenway and transportation safety, sustainability, accessibility, and equity."


Hunter Spitzer is a sophomore studying environmental science and math at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Joining us as part of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation nonprofit internship program, Hunter is focusing on developing the Greenway Ambassador program in the Triangle region.

Why did you want to work at the Alliance?  "I've always loved  cycling, and from bicycle commuting around campus I became interested in trail connectivity and the East Coast Greenway."

What do friends say when you tell them about your internship? "When my friends ask me about the East Coast Greenway, I like to invite them out to ride the route and show them what the ECGA helps make."


Read more of our July 2017 newsletter

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