Summer Centered: Nina Angileri ’19 PLANs for the Future
The archaeology major will intern at the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) in Philadelphia this summer.
Archaeology major and museum studies and German double minor Nina Angileri ’19 has long sought out some intersection between her academic interests and her passion for social justice. This past fall, however, her search was proving especially fruitless, and she was beginning to seriously reflect on the potential of her chosen field of study to effect the kind of positive change she wanted to see in the world. “My confidence in the discipline wavered,” Angileri says.
But “Nature/Culture,” a course in environmental anthropology she took this past spring that focused on both individual and institutional responses to climate change, left her newly inspired. “Since then, I’ve been interested in mindset change relating to climate and waste: how to inspire people to reach the conclusion that alternatives to the linear consumption economy are both possible and desirable," Angileri says. “I realized that archaeology, if it actively becomes more political, is in a unique position to change the present and the future by showing that alternative modes of being have existed in the past and can exist again in new forms. As a result, my confidence in the discipline has been renewed.”
This summer, Angileri is parlaying that revelation into a Center for Career and Professional Advising (CCPA)-funded internship with the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), a national organization that dedicates itself to the student-led zero-waste movement. There, she’ll work to design a guide that will detail how colleges across the country can minimize their carbon footprint—specifically, by partnering up with thrift stores to promote creative reuse projects as varied as hosting “fix-it” fairs and establishing permanent campus repair centers. “Most of the research involves conducting interviews with students, campus officials, and Goodwill contacts,” she says. “By learning how PLAN is cultivating the student-led zero-waste movement across campuses, and is working to make it more accessible, I can explore both my budding passion for climate and waste issues and my rethinking of archaeology.”
Angileri plans to apply the skills she’ll pick up at PLAN—like research techniques, leadership experience, and a working knowledge of “how nonprofits/startups function on a macro and micro level”— to life at Haverford when she returns in the fall. “Personally, I want to acquire a zero-waste skill-set and knowledge base, as well as improve my leadership skills, in order to bring tangible change back to Haverford,” she says. “I would like to... think about how Haverford’s newly initiated move-out program can really get off the ground and be more comprehensively organized for next year.”
Most of all, though, the rising senior wants to reassure students who find themselves in situations similar to her own this past fall that their changing interests are valid, and that they shouldn’t be discouraged from exploring them further. “If I had to give a piece of advice to other students,” Angileri says, “it would be that if you suddenly become passionate about a field outside your major and want to explore it further through an internship, don’t be afraid to try and apply, even if you think that you don’t necessarily have relevant past experience! At Haverford, [we’re lucky to] have the chance to cultivate deep research and writing skills while exploring things we care about. Regardless of the discipline in which you build those skills, you can apply them to other fields of interest, even if they seem unrelated at first."
"Summer Centered" is a series exploring our students’ Center-funded summer work.