Cory Fictenbaum, Scott Campbell
Ramapo College "May H Weis Environmental Award" Scholarship & Internship
(this is separate from the seasonal internships above, and is only open to current students at Ramapo College in NJ)
The award was established In 1984, with a generous donation in May Weis’ memory by her son, Leonard W. Weis, Ph.D. It is a joint program between Ramapo and The New Weis Center "My mother was a graduate of Barnard College in 1912,” writes Dr. Weis. “She and my father always stressed that no one can ever take one’s education away, which is why it is so valuable.” May Weis represented the Women’s Alliance of the American Ethical Union at the United Nations and always had an interest in the care of the environment.
The two recipients of the May H. Weis Award will participate in a 1-year internship from May 2023-May 2024, receive a monetary stipend and a FULL TUITION SCHOLARSHIP for one semester at Ramapo College. During their internship, they will receive training to work as environmental educators and nature camp counselors, plus additional responsibilities as outlined below. Applicants must be current full-time undergraduate or graduate students at Ramapo College.
Ramapo College May H. Weis Internship Award: Requirements and Responsibilities (click here for PDF)
> NOTE: This scholarship and internship opportunity has been filled for the 2023-2024 term. Applications for the next term will be accepted beginning in late winter 2024, for the 2024-2025 internship period.
Andrew Herrera, John Curnyn
Olivia Trezza & Veronica Klenk
Charlene Trippeda & Mikayla Bivona
Liam Hickey, James O'Neill
CURRENT 2022-2023 "May H Weis Environmental Award" Interns:
Alexa Hergenhan - Educator/Camp Counselor
Alexa is a Sustainability major with a minor in Psychology at Ramapo College, NJ, where she maintains a 3.7 GPA. She is very involved in community service activities and volunteer service. Alexa is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Order of Omega, which is an honor society for members of fraternity and sorority organizations that recognizes leadership and academic excellence. Her goals are to continue learning about sustainability and the environment to help make a difference in the world and participate in organizations that are giving back to the planet.
PREVIOUS Ramapo College "May H Weis Environmental Award" Interns
Veronica Klenk (2022-2023 Intern Educator/Camp Counselor)
Veronica graduated from Ramapo College of NJ with a degree in Environmental Science (with a 3.95 GPA!) During her time at Ramapo, Veronica was involved in several organizations, including the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, the RCNJ Birding Club, Biology Club, and Beekeeping Club. She also worked in the campus greenhouse and organized several volunteer events focused on teaching students gardening skills. Veronica has also been involved in off-campus activities including volunteering with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. She is also an assistant designer for a local upcycled clothing brand. She hopes this internship will help her learn more about nature through hands-on experience and will help her advance in the fields of environmental education and conservation. Once her internship at Weis is complete, Veronica will be starting a new position as a marine technician at the Rutgers Aquaculture Innovation Center in Cape May, NJ in spring 2023.
Olivia Trezza (2022-2023 Intern Educator/Camp Counselor)
Olivia is a Sustainability major at Ramapo College, where she maintains a 3.8 GPA. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester since starting at Ramapo and is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society. After working at Ort Farms for three years, she took an environmental science course that led to her appreciation and passion for environmental preservation and environmental education. At Ramapo, Olivia is the secretary for 1STEP, the event programmer for Garden Club, and is an officer for Ramapo Green, assisting with social media and promotion for events. She is also a member of Ramapo’s chapter of the Sunrise Movement as well as the Empower NJ Coalition and NJ Food & Water Action, where she works towards stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure development in New Jersey. Olivia interned for AMAST (online wholesale construction marketplace) where she helped develop a sustainability roadmap for vendors and contractors, and assessed their commercial products using the LEED sustainability rating system. Olivia loves working with children and is excited for her internship at The New Weis Center, as it will provide her with experience in environmental education for youth. Her post-graduate plans are to obtain a Ph.D. in Sustainability and become a college professor.
Mikayla Bivona (2021-2022 Intern Educator/Camp Counselor)
Mikayla graduated from Ramapo College of NJ as an Environmental Science major at Ramapo College. Her previous work experience includes positions as a soccer coach, a sous chef, and a photo editor and photographer. During the pandemic she founded her own business, working as a commissioned artist and photographer focusing on natural portraits, wildlife, and landscapes. She is on the College's Women's Soccer Team, and is also active in community organizations including Pass It Along, Rivers Edge Horse Rescue & Sanctuary, Challenger Soccer, and Tap into Sparta. Mikayla feels her education in Environmental Science has revolutionized the way she enjoy the outdoors, and helped her learn to note small details while gaining a basic understanding of what's happening around her. She is certified in First Aid & CPR/AED, and served as a lead camp counselor and environmental educator during her year-long internship at our Center, and later as one of our part-time environmental educators.
Reflections: I’m very thankful for the ability to work outdoors and expand my love for nature to other peoples' lives through the New Weis Center!
Charlene Trippeda (2021-2022 Intern Educator/Camp Counselor)
Charlene graduated from Ramapo College of NJ as an Environmental Science/Plant Studies major at Ramapo College where she maintained a 3.74 average. Her previous work experience includes positions as a Teacher's Aid with Bergen County Special Services and as a sales associate for Athleta. She was active in many clubs and organizations at the college, including Ramapo Admissions Student Ambassador, Ramapo Leaders in Service Peer Mentor, Garden Club and 1STEP. She also finds time for volunteer work, which has included assisting at MEVO Farms, tutoring, and cleanups with Hackensack Riverkeepers. Charlene feels that her internship exposed her to new situations and experiences, and helped her grow as a person and define her future career path. She is certified in First Aid & CPR/AED, and served as a lead camp counselor and environmental educator during her year-long internship at our Center. Charlene currently works as a substitute teacher and continues as one of our part-time educators.
Annie Ortlieb (2020-2021 Intern Educator/Camp Counselor)
Annie graduated from Ramapo College with a degree in Environmental Science. She has previous experience working at Secor Farms in Mahwah, NJ and as a summer camp counselor for 5 years at the Mahwah, NJ Summer Rec program. After graduating from Ramapo, she worked at a vertical farm in research and development, before becoming an ISA certified arborist and moving to her current position as a consulting utility forester for JCP&L. She found her passion for nature, agriculture and sustainability through her previous work, her journey through environmental college courses, and her internship at The New Weis Center. In her free time she enjoys hiking, cooking and spending lots of time outdoors.
Allie Hapunik (2020-2021 Intern Educator/Camp Counselor)
Allie graduated from Ramapo College with a degree in Environmental Studies. She is an experienced ocean lifeguard and interned as a gardener at the NJ Botanical Gardens in Ringwood. In summer 2019, Allie spent a semester studying marine ecosystems in Turks and Caicos islands. Her future career goals include coral restoration and environmental education, and she hopes to contribute to the fight against environmental injustices. During her free time Allie enjoys boating, working out and being at the beach.
Scott Campbell (2019-2020 Intern Educator/2019 Camp Counselor)
Scott was a volunteer intern at Weis in summer 2018, and was then chosen to receive the May H. Weis Award, which includes an internship at Weis and a scholarship at Ramapo College, where he graduated with a degree in Environmental Science, and a minor in Plant Studies. After he completed his internships, he worked at our Center as a part-time environmental educator. Scott's additional past work experience includes positions at Eden Farms and Rohslers Nursery, and he currently works for Passaic County NJ Parks and Recreation as a Park Ranger! Scott's interests include hiking, mushroom foraging and fishing, as well as edible/medicinal plants, entomology and herpetology. Aside from all his nature related hobbies and interests, Scott is a guitarist and enjoys writing music.
Cory Fichtenbaum (2019-2020 Intern Educator/2019 Camp Counselor)
Cory graduated from Ramapo College of NJ with a degree in Environmental Studies, and was chosen to receive the May H. Weis Award, which includes an internship at Weis and a scholarship. He is dedicated to environmental preservation and sustainability and is passionate about the outdoors, fishing and cars. Cory held previous positions at Greens Do Good Farm and the Meadowlands Environmental Center, and was a Counselor at NJ Y overnight camp. Cory's community service positions include a spring break trip to New Orleans for a wetland restoration project and a summer in Costa Rica working with Habitat for Humanity. During his year-long internship at Weis, he became certified in First Aid & CPR/AED as well as in Mental Health First Aid.
Jazmine Garcia (2018-2019 Intern Educator/2018 Camp Counselor)
Jazmine is an Environmental Studies graduate (minor in Plant Studies) from Ramapo College of NJ. She was President of the Garden Club at Ramapo College as well as the Ramapo Green gardener for the summer of 2018. She previously interned at the MEVO farm (Mahwah Environmental Volunteer Organization) in Mahwah, NJ, where she experienced farm life and helped educate new volunteers about the farm. Jazmine loves being part of a welcoming community with a strong passion for sustainability and environmental protection. During her time at Weis she enjoyed engaging with the community and helping children (of all ages) learn about and connect with nature. The internship helped her strengthen her environmental advocacy skills and learn more about native and invasive plant and animal species. She served as our 2018 Summer Nature Camp Co-Health Director, and is a former member of our Board of Trustees.
Stephen Stella (2018-2019 Intern Educator/2018 Camp Counselor; Environmental Educator)
Stephen graduated from Ramapo College NJ with a Law & Society degree. He was inspired to join our team as the recipient of the May H. Weis Environmental Award (internship and scholarship) after reading about our educational programs that teach young people about the beauty and importance of our natural environment. He believes these programs are vital for an environmentally responsible society, and feels if more youth were exposed to the natural world, then surely the next generation will cherish nature for the wonder that it is. As an Eagle Scout, Stephen believes in the principles of protecting and preserving our environment, and hopes to develop a career in property and environmental law, to help conserve our outdoor spaces. In his free time he is an avid hiker, and has reared the Eastern Hercules Beetles (Dynastes Tityus) and the Hermit Flower Beetle (Osmoderma Eremita) which he finds fascinating. After finishing his year-long internship at Weis, he continued to work with us as a part-time educator for several seasons. He moved to MA and worked in forestry for a year, and is now back in NJ where he is currently enrolled at NY Law School and is expected to graduate in 2026.
Liam Hickey (2017-2018 Intern Educator/2017 Camp Counselor)
Liam Hickey interned at Weis as an Environmental Science major at Ramapo College, with previous experience as a Counselor and Head Counselor for 5 summers at the Dumont, NJ Summer Rec program, where he supervised campers and other Counselors, and planned activities and events. He also worked as a Land Surveyor and Theater Assistant. Liam is active in community service and was a member of Ramapo’s 1Step club, which works to help further the 'Ramapo Green' initiative. An avid hiker and backpacker, Liam enjoys photography and says being in nature is his favorite thing, Liam enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm for nature with others during his year at Weis. He is First Aid and CPR certified.
James O'Neil (2017-2018 Intern Educator/2017 Camp Counselor)
James O’Neill interned at Weis as an Environmental Studies/Biology major at Ramapo College. His previous experience included working at Camp Bernie as an overnight counselor and wilderness survival instructor. He also worked for Clean Water Action, was a teacher's assistant at the Meadowlands Environment Center, and managed Ramapo’s on-campus gardens and greenhouse. James has always been passionately interested in nature, and enjoys connecting with younger generations and learning from them as they learn from him.
Andrew Herrera (2016-2017 Intern Educator/2016 Co-Camp Director)
Andrew interned at Weis while pursuing an Environmental Studies degree at Ramapo College. He is first aid certified and served as a Weis Co-Camp Director in summer 2016. Andrew volunteered at an animal sanctuary in Costa Rica in January 2015, and participates in Big Brothers Big Sisters at Ramapo College. Andrew's previous experience included working at summer camps, including the Parsippany Recreation Department's summer "Tot Time" program (2010-2014). He was happy to have an opportunity to share his enthusiasm for wildlife and the environment with campers and students while at Weis. In the future, he hopes to study abroad to augment his education in environmental science and stewardship.
John Curnyn (2016-2017 Intern Educator/2016 Co-Camp Director)
John interned at Weis while pursuing an Environmental Studies degree at Ramapo College, and served as Weis Co-Camp Director in summer 2016. Upon graduation he joined us as a part-time educator before moving to the west coast. During his time at Weis, John worked to pass on his many outdoor skills and environmental studies knowledge to campers and visitors. He worked at Spring Lake Day Camp as an adventure specialist, and attended the the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Utah and Wyoming, learning to lead outdoor activities including backpacking, white water kayaking, climbing and horse packing. He says that experience at NOLS helped him see outdoor education as a viable career option, and inspired him to work towards that goal. John worked at Teton Valley Ranch Camp in WY, where he was a backpacking trip leader throughout the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, and moved on to be an outdoor educator at Teton Science School. John is scheduled to finish his Master Degree in Environmental Studies and Natural Resource Conflict Resolution at the Univ of Montana in spring 2023.
Read more about some of the people behind the success of The New Weis Center!
Jazmine Garcia, Stephen Stella
The New Weis Center accepts applications from college students and graduates seeking a meaningful internship position in order to fulfill a field internship requirement, gain nonprofit experience, prepare for a career, and make important connections. Also suitable to anyone seeking to gain experience in the field.
Interns are involved in many aspects of our organization, and we strive to ensure they have a rewarding and productive experience. Seasonal Education interns will assist with outdoor nature-based programs, including field trips, seasonal day camps, public programs (all ages), scout badges, volunteer days and special events. Conservation interns may assist with gardens and grounds (invasive species management and maintaining our teaching gardens), special projects, and volunteer days, in addition to special projects. Interns may also assist with nonprofit outreach and administration.
TO APPLY: Email a current resume and cover letter to the Director Anne Siebecker's attention: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annie Ortlieb & Allie Hapunik