Morgan Whittington

Morgan Whittington
Binghamton, NY
Year of Graduation

Having grown up in a household that valued environmental sustainability, Morgan Whittington came to SUNY Oneonta with one of her two majors already in mind. From camping trips to traveling across the United States visiting national parks, Whittington has been an “advocate for the planet” ever since she was a child.

In addition to being an intern with the Office of Sustainability on campus, Whittington is president of the Environmental Science Club, a member of the University Advisory Council on Sustainability and has a part-time job as the City of Oneonta’s Climate Smart Communities coordinator.

Morgan Whittington Group Cleanup
Morgan Whittington Group Cleanup

Why SUNY Oneonta?

I like that SUNY Oneonta is a day trip away from Binghamton because I knew I didn’t want to stay home. I wanted to check out a different place, and I fell in love with the cute town here. I love the food shops on Main Street, and small towns in general.

Why Environmental Sustainability and Sociology?

I came to SUNY Oneonta as an Environmental Sustainability major and then added Sociology after I took Environmental Sociology for my sustainability coursework and loved it. I didn’t know anything about Sociology before, so I never considered it – but then I saw a lot of overlaps and thought it would be more beneficial to switch.

My Sociology major has a concentration in Community and Environment. I get to learn about a lot of different issues going on in the world, and I think they’re important topics that can help work on the world. For both majors, they’re very interconnected with society and how humans have an impact on the planet and what we can do about it.

Morgan Whittington Group Cleanup
Morgan Whittington Group Cleanup

Best Experiences

Definitely joining the Environmental Science Club my sophomore year as the secretary. Now I’m the president, and I’ve gotten to meet a lot of great people. I’ve made friends from it, and it has been a fantastic opportunity for me to have a leadership role and stay really involved on campus with sustainability.

Our club organizes activities like tree plantings and trash cleanups. Each meeting we do a sustainability-related activity, and I usually try to show some educational video about climate change or a small presentation on a sustainability-related topic. We work with a lot of local environmental organizations like the Otsego County Conservation Association.

I’m also the food and food waste intern with the Office of Sustainability. I've been maintaining the composter outside of Wilsbach Dining Hall every week and adding food scraps to it. I bring students from sustainability classes to the composter, and we've done food waste audits in the dining hall. I'm really doing anything that has to do with sustainability, food and activism on campus – including holding a position on the University Advisory Council on Sustainability from fall 2022 until I graduate in the spring.

Morgan Whittington in Wilsbach
Morgan Whittington in Wilsbach

Working for the City

I started interning with the City of Oneonta last semester through Professor Gregory Fulkerson, the head of the Sociology Department. I was taking his Community Development and Change class in the fall 2022 semester, which was a requirement for my community concentration. Dr. Fulkerson sent out an email saying that there was an opportunity to do an internship for community development with Oneonta. I was really interested. Community development is very fascinating, and it mixes well with sustainability - so I let him know I was interested.

The internship was set up for the 2023 spring semester and I earned credits for completing it. My supervisor asked me what my interests are, so I talked about my interest in sustainability. He said that was perfect because Climate Smart Communities is a program that helps cities become greener, and there was no one working on it at that time. After my internship finished, I stayed here over the summer working for City Hall instead of heading home to Binghamton and continued working on the program.

As an employee of the city, I’m still doing the same work now that I was during my internship, but I have access to more resources. Right now, I'm working on a greenhouse gas inventory for the city, which has been taking a long time because I'm teaching myself how to do it, so I'm still learning while working.

Advice For New Students

The best thing is just getting involved wherever you can, especially if you're new to this campus. Joining clubs is important to meeting people and finding out what kind of things are going on around campus that you're interested in.

Making relationships with professors is also important. It's not going to be all of them, but if you find one that you click with or really like, it's good to go to office hours or speak up during class. Part of the reason I got the internship with the City of Oneonta was because I knew the professor and would go to office hours and stuff like that. So, actively working on connections and just talking to people is good.

Morgan Whittington Student Profile

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