URI Interns



Summer 2013 Greenspace Interns


Born and raised in Nepal, Sumana Serchan came to the United States aspiring to be a dentist. However, her close encounter with trees and beavers while volunteering with the local park district in Burlington, Vermont motivated her desire to learn more in depth about the natural world and ecology. With these aspirations, she did her undergraduate studies in resources ecology at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. After finishing her undergraduate studies and working with the Smithsonian Institution in Virginia and Panama as field assistant, she wanted to know how conservation of natural resources and community development and building could be accomplished together. This brought her to Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where her focus has primarily been on natural resources management, community forests and non-timber forest products management. Her work with URI has allowed her to pursue her dreams- working closely with community members in natural resources management. In the future, she hopes to bring the successful working framework of URI in the most urbanized city of her birth country.




Jancy Langley

Angela Hui is a rising senior in Yale College majoring in Environmental Studies.  She was first drawn to URI as a volunteer with the organization her freshman year and is excited to spend the summer bringing more of that impact to New Haven.  In addition to learning about tree species, Angela enjoys reading, playing tennis, and travelling.  After graduation, she hopes to continue her study of the natural environment in a Master's program at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.



Bailey Johansen


Bailey Johansen moved out of the state of Iowa for the first time when she moved to Connecticut. Here she has found the drivers to be wilder, the landscape to be more colorful, and the winters to be just as strong! Recently Bailey completed the first year of her Master of Forestry at F&ES focusing on the field of urban forestry. During this first year she worked for URI Greenskills with both the high school and adult crews, but is excited to start working directly with community members on their own projects! She looks forward to planting countless numbers of trees and hostas, while also discovering hidden treasures throughout New Haven—mainly delicious places to eat!


Yiwen Gong

Yiwen Gong is a first year MEM student with interests in urban ecology, green infrastructure, and city sustainability. Her passion for the beauty of nature and the art of landscape design was nurtured under the influence of her mother who founded her own landscape design and urban planning company in a small city in southwest China, where the city has experienced rapid economic development for the past 20 years. At the same time, she realized that China’s fast urbanization accompanied by serious damage of urban ecological environment has largely reduced urban capacity and healthy development of society. Yiwen believes that the creation of sustainable city landscapes and urban green spaces should be the rescue strategy of many developing countries. Yiwen had a great summer working with URI; the work-study internship provides her better understanding of urban landscapes, urban environmental issues, and community-based land stewardship.





 Summer 2012 Greenspace Interns

Jancy Langley

Jancy Langley came to URI directly after a two year stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in northern Morocco where she served as a community-based environmental educator. She plans to continue her study of Moroccan environmental and cultural themes in her masters thesis at F&ES beginning this fall. Jancy grew up in Austin, Texas—where trees are short and boots are tall—was educated at Barnard College, Columbia University, and loves her first taste of life in Connecticut—where trees are tall and second person plural pronouns don’t exist.


Kanchan Shrestha

Kanchan Shrestha recently graduated with a Master's in Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Before coming to Yale she worked at an environmental NGO in Nepal as a Program Coordinator and at United Nations Mission in Nepal over the period of three years while exploring central and eastern Nepal. She was working with the Bureau of Land Management in Battle Mountain, Nevada where she discovered her interest in rivers and forests. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Texas, Arlington.


Bridget Teevan

Bridget Teevan from Newington, Connecticut, graduated from the University of Connecticut in May 2011 where she majored in environmental science concentrating in environmental health sciences. She recently completed her first year at the Yale School of Public Health where she is studying environmental health. She is excited to be working with URI this summer to have a chance to apply public health concepts to the environment of New Haven and to build on her existing knowledge and skills. In her free time, she enjoys geocaching, running, reading, riding her bike, playing soccer, and spending time with friends and family. She is looking forward to getting to work alongside members of the New Haven community and getting to know the city better!


Alisa May

Alisa May was born in Odessa, Ukraine and raised in Los Angeles, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture. As a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, she studied relationships between buildings, cities and ecology. She now holds a Master of Environmental Management and one of her current projects is designing an orphanage in Haiti. Alisa brings her passion for urban, social, and environmental causes to her work for the Urban Resources Initiative.



Jaimini Parekh

Jaimini Parekh recently graduated from the Master of Environmental Management Program at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is interested in how human rights can be used as a policy instrument for promoting greater human dignity and sustainability. Prior to coming to Yale, she worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer with the Program for Torture Victims in Los Angeles where she focused on resource development. She has also worked on urban forestry and community building in Oakland, CA and human rights issues in New Delhi, India. She holds a B.S. in Society and Environment from the University of California, Berkeley.


Katherine Romans

Katherine Romans recently finished her first year at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she is pursuing a masters in environmental management. Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Katherine moved to New Haven from Washington, D.C. where she worked for a member of the House of Representatives. In addition to watching urban street trees grow, Katherine loves music, travel and cooking. She is excited to spend the summer working outdoors, and is hoping for a Connecticut summer that is as mild as the most recent Connecticut winter.


Brian Tang

Brian Tang has been an urban forester since high school when he volunteered as a neighborhood trees crew leader in Portland, OR.  He began volunteering with Community Greenspace three weeks after moving to New Haven. He continued volunteering with both the SoHu and Upper State Street planting groups and now serves on the boards of two New Haven non-profits.  Brian graduated with a B.A. in environmental studies in May and has no plans to move away from New Haven. 



2011 URI Greenspace Interns

Amy Zvonar, Greenspace 2011
Amy Zvonar
(New Haven, CT)

Cathy Le, Greenspace 2011
Cathy Le

Gillian Baine, Greenspace 2011
Gillian Baine
 (New Haven, CT)

Nike Adeyeye, Greenspace 2011
Adenike Adeyeye
Research and Policy Analyst, Earthjustice (Oakland, California)

Lara Browning, Greenspace 2011
Lara Browning

MacKenzie Brown, Greenspace 2011
Mackenzie Brown