Back to Top

Meet the Interns: MacKenzie Whitener

CEES is lucky to have several undergraduate interns on staff. Over the last couple of years, CEES interns have been working hard creating and executing science lessons to at-risk youth in the Indianapolis area. Through programming at the Felege Hiwot Center, to working in Indianapolis Public Schools 51 and 69, to Service Learning at IUPUI,  the interns have been able to gain a unique, hands-on experience with environmental science in an outdoor classroom setting.

Duties of a CEES intern include, but are not limited to, creating new lesson plans according to state standards, successfully executing these lessons, working with the CEES educational trailer, assisting in the CEES lab with research, participating in and leading IUPUI's Service Learning activites, organizing offices and storage units, and completing paperwork.

Intern programming has included lessons and experiments in environmental and physical sciences. Topics covered include watershed, the solar system, ecosystems, electric circuitry, the human body, robotics, plate tectonics, introductory mineralogy, aviation, and some topics in chemistry.

Each week, tune in to learn more about our interns and their time with CEES and at IUPUI. 

This week, we are featuring intern MacKenzie Whitener. 


Full name: MacKenzie Whitener

Major: Psychology

Year in school: Senior

Hometown: Salem, IN

IUPUI/Community Extracurriculars: Kenzie is heavily involved with Phi Mu Fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and Psychology Club.

CEES hire date: 5/2014


MacKenzie’s post-graduate plans: I will be attending Ball State University Fall 2016 to obtain my Masters Degree in ABA Psychology. I will also be working as a Behavioral Therapist for Integrity Behavioral Solutions.


MacKenzie reflects on her time with CEES:

I have really enjoyed working for CEES over the last couple of years. One of our summer projects was working at the Felege Hiwot Center. Working at Felege was such a great experience. I loved the staff there and the kids that came to the summer camps were always so excited and eager to learn. Whether we were teaching lessons over ecology, chemistry, biology, geology, or a combination, it was great seeing the kids become really engaged in their learning. We had several opportunities daily to take them outdoors and have a lot of hand-on learning experiences that they hadn’t been able to do before. Working with IPS 51 and IPS 69 could sometimes be challenging, but creating lesson plans and getting the kids and teachers involved was great. I think that I got as much, if not more, out of my time there as the kids did.

How did Kenzie come to learn about CEES/this internship?

 Fellow intern Kevin Powell recruited me to join the CEES team, so I applied and have been with CEES ever since!

kenzie_whitener's picture