Office of Student Success | Colin Powell School

Office of Student Success

Climate Policy Fellows Program

The Climate Policy Fellows Program is designed to support CCNY undergraduate students from the sciences, social sciences, architecture, and engineering degree programs with training, professional development, and internship opportunities that link climate-related science, engineering, and economics to public policy. Fellows participate in four intensive workshops led by a range of senior national and international climate policy leaders. The workshops prepare fellows to understand how science, engineering, and economics research affects public policy, and how policy-making shapes these fields of research.

Consider applying if you are interested in how cities, states, and countries are addressing the challenges associated with climate change!

Led by Trevor Houser, a 2006 CCNY alum who is an international climate and policy leader, the program involves workshops, a paid summer internship, and a network of students, alumni, and professionals working on climate policy.

The fellowship starts in the Fall semester each year. 

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2024-2025 Climate Policy Fellows Program. 2025-2026 fellowship applications will open in Spring 2025.

Program Contact

Christine Garmendiz Headshot

Fellowships and Student Success Program Coordinator

Christine Garmendiz

Program Contact

Director of Fellowship Programs & Office of Student Success

Debbie Cheng

Support

Fellows will receive a $1,000 stipend per semester for two semesters.

An additional $5,500 Summer Internship Stipend is available for approved summer internships.

Summer Internship

Fellows have the option to intern at think tanks and nonprofit organizations in New York City, Washington DC, or San Francisco that are working on climate change policy. In addition to providing internship stipends, the program pays for your housing if you go to DC or San Francisco.

Past fellows have interned at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Rhodium Group, Environmental Defense Fund, Council on Environmental Quality, Center for Strategic and International Studies, and more!

Workshops

Four intensive workshops prepare fellows to understand how science, engineering, and economics research affect public policy, and how policymaking shapes these fields of research. They include a range of senior national and international climate policy leaders, as well as leadership and professional development. Each workshop takes place over two days, with the dates announced at the start of each semester. Some workshops include brief writing assignments that prepare fellows for their summer internships. These may include summaries of public events or analyses of climate legislation.

Eligibility

Applicants for the 2025-2026 fellowship:

  • must be full-time undergraduate students at CCNY from Fall 2025 to Spring 2026
  • can be from any school/major
  • have no GPA or citizenship requirement
  • must demonstrate interest in a climate and sustainability policy work

Application Questions

Please upload responses to the following questions through the application form. Write your name on all application materials.

1. How do your educational and professional experiences so far shape your long-term interest in working at a senior level in the climate and sustainability fields? Upload an essay that is between 250 and 500 words.

2. How would you like to see your career develop over the next decade or two? Upload an essay that is between 250 and 500 words.

3. What are three questions you would like to see addressed as part of the program?

2024-2025 Climate Policy Fellows

Aislinn Bass-Adams

 Ash is a senior-year Macaulay student majoring in Psychology and Anthropology. They were born in the Western Australian desert where climate change is an increasing threat, like many locations worldwide. They spent several years in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have been a New Yorker for ten years. Nowadays they love the city as much as their hometown. Ash has spent the past year conducting research with the CCNY Psychology department on the mental health effects of climate change and hopes to find a way to physically and mentally protect victims of climate change. Outside of CCNY, Ash is an avid reader and reptile enthusiast.

Angie Guerrero

Angie Guerrero is a third-year undergraduate student at City College, majoring in Urban Planning with a concentration in disability. Her goal is to work in collaboration with local communities, advocacy groups, and government officials to design urban environments that are inclusive and accessible.

Angie understands the importance of how climate policy helps protect the places that she loves to explore outdoors. Therefore, as a climate policy fellow, she is excited to learn about the policy-making process and how climate policy intersects with urban planning to create sustainable and inclusive cities that benefit all, including people with different abilities.

From a very early age, Angie has frequently spent time outdoors, which has nurtured her appreciation for nature. She enjoys hiking, gardening, and taking long casual walks with her Dachshund Labrador mix, named Pepper. 

Anna Garcia

Anna Garcia is an ambitious sophomore at CCNY studying Psychology. She is a first-generation student and the first and only child of Mexican and Peruvian Immigrants. Her interest in climate policy has grown immensely throughout the years, with specific interests in sustainability and energy efficiency. Anna has a great desire to make a positive impact on not only the environment but various communities that tend to be overlooked.

She hopes to fight for environmental justice and aid in providing a safe and healthy environment for all. As well as taking part in advocacy and planning for much-needed environmental change and sustainability. Anna is thrilled to embark on this new and exciting journey at CPS and looks forward to the meaningful insight and experience that’s to be gained from it.

Arihant Tiwari

Arihant Tiwari is a junior majoring in Computer Science. he has a passion for utilizing technology to tackle environmental challenges. Born and raised in India, Arihant witnessed the detrimental effects of pollution and climate change firsthand. This exposure led to his interest in environmental preservation, leading him to conduct extensive research on air pollution under the guidance of a research mentor. Through this research, Arihant uncovered significant insights into the causes and impacts of air pollution, fueling his ambition to develop innovative ML-powered tech solutions that reduce air pollution.
Arihant’s academic and research pursuits have honed his various skills in Software Engineering, Machine learning, and backend development. By integrating his technical expertise with his environmental concerns, Arihant aspires to create technology that addresses problems of air pollution and broader environmental issues. Outside of academics, Arihant enjoys playing chess and tennis. 

Daniel Ugo-Omenukwa

Daniel Ugo-Omenukwa is a third-year student in the Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program at CCNY/CUNY School of Medicine. Growing up in the Bronx, he saw firsthand the human health crisis arising from environmental degradation and climate change. In pursuing a career as a physician and environmental health scientist, Daniel hopes to be part of the solution. Outside of school, Daniel enjoys reading, playing basketball, and solving crossword puzzles.

Fatoumata Drammeh

Fatoumata is a 4th-year Computer Science major studying to one day become a great Data Scientist. She’s also minoring in mathematics and public policy. She has many interests including the fresh water crisis and global warming. With the skills she will learn, she aspires to contribute to resolving those issues one day. Fatoumata comes from Gambian parents and was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. As the first in her family to attend college, Fatoumata hopes to be someone her younger siblings could consider a role model. She likes to read books and owns over a hundred of them. She’s also interested in learning to paint and wants to write a book one day.

Fiha Farin

Fiha Farin is a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Management and Administration. Her passion for Climate Policy ignited through her involvement with the Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability and Equity (RISE). She gained invaluable insights into environmental conservation and played an integral role in a compelling documentary showcasing pandemic-era efforts toward sustainability. At the Queens Public Library, Fiha shines as a STEAM ambassador, channeling her enthusiasm for environmental science through a blend of captivating workshops and initiatives. Her efforts inspire a widespread sense of community responsibility toward environmental sustainability.

As a Climate Policy Fellow, she hopes to learn how science, engineering, economics, and policy come together to tackle climate change. She will also be improving her skills and helping find solutions to the problem. In her free time, she enjoys doing arts and crafts, traveling, and trying something new every day. She believes collaboration is essential to safeguard and maintain our earth.

Gisela Hernandez

Gisela Hernandez is a fourth-year student at the Colin Powell School majoring in Psychology and minoring in Management and Administration. She is Mexican-American and grew up in the South Bronx. In the future, she hopes to work alongside non-profit organizations advocating and helping to take care of the city’s green spaces. As a Climate Policy Fellow, she is excited to connect with other students who have similar career aspirations and to hear from leaders in the industry.

In her free time, she enjoys going to coffee and bakery shops in the city, painting, and spending time with family and friends

Izel Rueda-Sierra

Izel Rueda-Sierra is a senior at The City College of New York, majoring in Political Science and Anthropology, with a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies. Izel is a first-generation Mexican-American college student, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is interested in public service and in the advocacy of community members. She hopes to one day do influential policy work surrounding immigration, youth advocacy, and environmental justice. Aside from their studies, Izel enjoys reading, making beaded jewelry, and listening to podcasts.

Jeremie Laveau

Jeremie is a third-year Mechanical Engineering student at the Grove School of Engineering. He was born in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to New York in 2018. Growing up in a country that relies heavily on the exportation of oil and natural gas for national income sparked Jeremie’s passion for sustainability and change within the energy sector. Outside of his professional and academic career, Jeremie enjoys skateboarding, weightlifting, and videography. In the future, Jeremie intends to find new ways for mechanical engineers to provide their technical expertise to the sustainable engineering industry, propelling the interdisciplinary field and consequently contributing to an even greater positive environmental impact.

Julianne Villar

Julianne Villar (she/her/hers) is a student at the City College of New York majoring in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Sociology. With a deep passion for social justice and environmental sustainability, which is expressed through her extensive research and community engagement experiences. As a Research Assistant at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, Julianne engages in the design and execution of experiments aimed at investigating water-responsive nanomaterials’ potential as a renewable energy source. Widening the scope of her research, she is also a Youth Fellow at the CUNY School for Professional Studies’ Intergenerational Change Initiative (ICI), where she collaborates in community outreach and policy analysis, with a focus on climate change and social equity. 

As a Climate Fellow, Julianne wishes to integrate engineering coursework with transformative social justice through professional experiences. She is committed to creating scalable policies that transcend national boundaries, aiming to address global challenges such as climate change and social inequality through innovative, culturally sensitive, and universally applicable approaches. Outside of her studies, Julianne enjoys crocheting, weightlifting, and spending time with her family.

Kelly Rivera

Kelly Rivera is an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science with a minor in Human Rights. As a Mexican native and first-generation student, her immigrant background and commitment to environmental justice have provided her with a unique perspective. Kelly understands that resilience, determination, and community support are essential for driving meaningful policy change. 

Her journey as a climate advocate began in 2019 when she attended a protest organized by Fridays for Future at the United Nations Climate Summit, demanding stronger actions to tackle climate change. In 2022, she furthered her commitment by serving as a Campus Organizer. During her sophomore year, Kelly interned with NYPIRG’s Environmental Campaign and, this spring, she interned with the School of Education at CCNY as a Sustainability and Public Engagement Intern. In this role, she collaborated with fellow interns to promote recycling and foster grounds for a greener campus. These experiences have taught her the importance of advocating for the public good. Kelly is thrilled to join this Fellowship, eager to translate her advocacy skills into effective policy work. Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school, specializing in environmental law, with the goal of revising climate and environmental regulations to close corporate loopholes. She is also excited to raise awareness and collaborate with her cohort on initiatives like the “NYC Better Bottle Bill” to support disadvantaged communities. Beyond her professional aspirations, Kelly continues to nurture her personal interests, such as her renewed passion for scrapbooking and her newly found love for concerts.

Kyle Lam

Kyle Lam is currently a sophomore studying economics at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. Born and raised in New York, he is a first-generation college student in his family. Kyle has always been interested in the environment and policy work. He hopes to combine his interests in aviation and the environment to help create more environmentally friendly solutions for aircraft operations. He is delighted to be in this program and looks forward to engaging in educated discussions about climate policy.

Muktadir Khan

Muktadir is a senior, majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. Born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, he has been a firsthand witness to the challenges posed by climate change. This early exposure has shaped his ambitions and career path. Muktadir aspires to be a structural engineer who not only excels in his field but also works in sustainable practices. His goal is to innovate and design structures that minimize environmental impact, blending his technical expertise with his commitment to the planet. Through his work, Muktadir aims to contribute to a future where development and sustainability go hand in hand, ensuring a healthier planet for generations to come.

Naila Hassan

Naila Hassan is a senior at CCNY dual majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Jewish Studies. She is a child of Bangladeshi-immigrants and was born and raised in the Bronx. Her background in Jewish Studies has helped her form values in social responsibility and discipline, steering her toward community-driven work. This influence has led to her developing focus on sustainable design within mechanical engineering and emboldens her to work on incorporating sustainability and energy efficiency within the NYC neighborhoods she grew up in. In her free time, Naila enjoys painting, reading, playing around with CAD software, and spending time with friends.

Prophet Davison

Prophet is a senior with a major in Science Education & Public Engagement and a minor in biology. She is a native New Yorker and resides in her hometown borough Brooklyn. After graduation, she wants to work in sustainability because helping the environment for the next generation is a passion of hers. She loves animals including her Yorkie she rescued and loves to spend her free time anywhere near water!

Rachel Ioffe

Rachel, a senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering and minoring in Community Change Studies in the Macaulay Honors Program, is dedicated to crafting technology that addresses community needs. She has worked on various projects that echo her passion for sustainability, community health, and combating climate change. At the CIPASS apprenticeship, Rachel collaborated on a team project developing a deployable water biosensor aligned with EPA guidelines, supporting sustainability objectives. Furthermore, she developed an independent research question investigating the relationship between environmental temperature and asthma rates in NYC, shedding light on crucial social issues. As a Climate Policy Fellow, Rachel eagerly anticipates delving deeper into the intersection of engineering and policy, aiming to influence decisions for the betterment of society.

Raquel Romero

Raquel Romero is a junior undergraduate student at CCNY, pursuing a degree in political science with a passion for addressing social and economic disparities, particularly those she witnessed growing up in the Bronx. She is deeply troubled by the environmental pollution plaguing her community streets, recognizing its detrimental impact on the public’s health and well-being. Raquel’s interest in government was sparked during her high school’s U.S. history class, where she was introduced to the structure of governmental systems. She has been determined to apply her academic knowledge to real-world situations, especially in improving the lives of disadvantaged communities. As a climate policy fellow, Raquel aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice in addressing environmental challenges. She is eager and hopes to make a meaningful impact in combating climate change and advancing environmental justice. In her leisure time, Raquel enjoys immersing herself in books and playing the flute.

Ruth Caraballo

Ruth Caraballo is a senior at The City College of New York pursuing a major in International Studies and a minor in Portuguese Language and Lusophone Cultures. Ruth was born in the Dominican Republic, migrating with her mom and sister to the United States of America at the young age of thirteen. As an intellectual, she aspires to work proactively in the global policy-making field. This long-term aspiration is driven by her desire to end environmental inequality around the world. Her main goal is to promote a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Ruth is an avid reader. She has a special place in her heart dedicated to fiction novels, more than a hobby, it is a passion. She’s also curious about different cultures and their understanding of life.

Sage Arias Vargas

Sage Arias Vargas is a senior at City College majoring in Financial Economics and minoring in Studio Art. She found a community at The Colin Powell School which since her enrollment has helped nurture her growth both personally and professionally by giving her the confidence and tools to pursue a place in society to help those around her. She is passionate about understanding the impact of economic policies on the environment and one’s health. Growing up in an immigrant household has taught her to be resilient and determined. “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it”, this ambition is fueled by her desire to create a better future for her family and community.

Samantha Kohn

Samantha Kohn, Class of 2025, is a Civil Engineering major concentrating in Environmental Engineering at City College. She is strongly interested in mitigating the effects of climate change in urban environments with sustainable infrastructure. Her past experiences working at an Environmental Engineering lab and working on the construction of a wastewater treatment plant have furthered her interest in understanding failing urban infrastructure, climate change, and how to help the local communities who are impacted the most.

Shamima Ruhi

Shamima Ruhi is a third-year Earth and Environmental Systems Science major. Shamima was born in Sylhet, Bangladesh, and raised in East Harlem since she was five years old. One study that interests Shamima is water pollution, especially in under-resourced communities and developing countries. She hopes to do research regarding water contamination in the future and is interested in creating technology to allow the purification of water in different communities. She is also interested in how big cities regulate policies regarding environmental and humanitarian issues, primarily in big cities like NYC. Shamima enjoys taking new classes, and during her free time, spending time with her family and going on walks.

Sumaya Tasnim

Sumaya is a Junior majoring in computer science at City College. Sumaya is from Bangladesh. She is a dynamic and passionate individual driven by an insatiable curiosity and boundless energy for learning. With her positive energy and charisma, she captivates those around her, inspiring a collaborative and vibrant academic environment. As a dedicated student, Sumaya explores a diverse array of subjects with equal fervor. From the sciences to the humanities, she approaches each discipline with an open mind and a thirst for knowledge. Her versatility and adaptability allow her to excel in various academic pursuits, constantly pushing the boundaries of her intellectual horizons.

Driven by a vision of a brighter, more sustainable future, Sumaya embodies the spirit of innovation and resilience. With her boundless enthusiasm and unwavering commitment, she is poised to leave a lasting impact on both academia and the fight against climate change.

Taz Hasan

Taz is a third-year student at Macaulay Honors and the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. They’ve been interested in sustainable practices since their middle school’s hydroponics club, and their passion has only continued in architecture school. Their interests now lie in bettering urban planning policy to shape more resilient and empowered communities. They hope to be a part of the change that the field of architecture needs to see, and they’re open to figuring out what that might look like. Outside of school, Taz enjoys gardening, going to concerts, and failing to practice self-restraint at bookstores.

Tram Tran

Tram is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Science Learning and Public Engagement with a major in Environment. Her family is from Vietnam, specifically from the province of Phú Yên in South Central Vietnam, known for its rural charm with wheat fields and majestic mountains. She is keen on understanding sustainability conservation and global efforts to support it. Tram aspires to contribute to this cause by helping people comprehend these issues for impactful change through education. Her interests extend to outdoor activities like trail walks, hiking, and cooking. Tram also works at the study abroad office, assisting those who wish to explore the world and broaden their understanding. 

Additionally, she serves as the secretary of the CCNY Outdoor Club, where she fosters outdoor experiences for students, encouraging them to explore beyond the city limits. She organizes activities such as hiking, along with other e-board members, and the Outdoor Project initiated by the Office of the President. Tram’s dedication to nature’s gifts drives her to give back as much as she can.