F&M Stories

Rising Sophomore Puts Passion for Environment to Work at Summer Internship

Rising sophomore Anna Atticks is digging deep on environmental issues during her summer internship, funded by the Schapiro-Cadwell Internship Endowment. A policy analyst at the Maryland Department of Environment, Atticks is gaining hands-on experience with each step of the policymaking process. Whether she’s conducting research or tackling the logistics of implementing solutions, Atticks is passionate about preserving her home state’s natural resources. Read more about her experience below.

Anna Atticks

Major: Intended Environmental Studies and Public Policy Joint Major
Hometown: Baltimore
Activities on Campus: Board Member of the Diplomatic Congress Sustainability Committee, Diplomat Corps (Tour Guide), Women's Cross Country and Track & Field Team Representative for the Student-Athlete Leadership Conference (SALC), Animal Caretaker at the F&M Vivarium

Describe your summer experience. What is a typical day like?

As a policy analyst at the Maryland Department of Environment, my role focuses on developing and reviewing environmental policies and regulations. I conduct research, collect and interpret data and contribute to the implementation of effective environmental strategies. I collaborate with those within my department, participate in conferences and support the legislative process at large. In a typical day, I attend department meetings and larger conferences as well as review policies in various stages of production.

What inspired you to take on this particular experience?

My early passion for the environment and an interest in the politics surrounding it led me to become a policy analyst at the Maryland Department of Environment. I saw the need for more effective policies in Maryland to address environmental challenges and promote sustainability. By merging my analytical skills with my commitment to environmental preservation, I aim to contribute to the development of impactful policies that protect Maryland's natural resources for future generations.

What skills have you been able to learn or practice through this experience?

I have had the opportunity to learn and practice several skills through this experience, including policy analysis, data collection and interpretation, critical thinking, and collaboration.

What have you found the most interesting or surprising about this experience?

The amount of collaborative efforts that take place behind the scenes, as well as the complexity of recommending, producing and implementing a policy, have stuck with me the most. It is easy to look at environmental issues and make simple suggestions; recycle more, waste less, etc. It is not until you begin to dive deeply into the logistics behind each individual environmental issue, as well as the suggested efforts, that you will realize how difficult it becomes to produce a viable solution.

Mandating electric vehicles, for example, would be a simple step to reducing pollution. You now must consider the logistics of this; if this is mandated, can everyone afford it? Likely not. And if everyone now has an electric vehicle, is the electrical grid large enough to support charging stations for these vehicles? No, again. We must build from the ground up, addressing each small issue and possible obstacle before tackling those at large.

"By merging my analytical skills with my commitment to environmental preservation, I aim to contribute to the development of impactful policies that protect Maryland's natural resources for future generations." -Anna Atticks '26

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