Internship with the Fayette County Cultural Trust: Intro

Hello everyone! I am Jenna Vangellow, a senior studying Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, and pursuing the Sustainability and Global Health certificates here at Pitt.

This semester, I am participating in an internship with the Fayette County Cultural Trust. This is a continuation of my work with the Appalachian Teaching Project from last semester (you can find a post about that on here as well). In continuation of that project, I will be supporting the FCCT in developing new ideas, assembling research, and discovering solutions to multiple projects located in Connellsville, PA, and introduced to us by the individuals we are working with at the FCCT. Along with myself, there are two other interns working with the FCCT this semester. Their focuses differ slightly from mine, but all three of us will be working on researching and planning for a building redevelopment project in Connellsville.

My focuses include figuring out the logistics of using solar energy in Connellsville, PA, developing ideas on how to beautify the city, and as mentioned before, planning for a redevelopment project for the old PNC building in the city.

I believe my work in researching solar energy and its viability in Connellsville will help the FCCT push the city into utilizing the natural location and resources of the city to further sustainable energy initiatives. Also, I hope that my work will make it much easier for our partners at the FCCT to move forward with this solar energy initiative, since they work tirelessly and do so much beneficial work every day for Fayette County and Connellsville.

Through my research on beautification efforts and what could be applied in Connellsville, I hope to utilize my creativity to develop ideas on how to spice up the downtown area with murals, lights, and art created by Connellsville residents. I hope that this work will connect the city’s community on a deeper level by utilizing the many talents of the residents to beautify their space.

During this semester, I most look forward to reaching out to and speaking with (in-person or virtually) the community of Connellsville to see what beautification initiatives they would like to see most. I plan to reach out to my list of Connellsville residents and business owners and schedule interviews within the week.

Special thanks to the other interns, Edwin Coffman and Gabrielle Payne, as well as our faculty mentor, Bryan Schultz, and our partners/supervisors at the FCCT, Michael Edwards and Daniel Cocks!

Thank you for reading, and look forward to my next update in March!

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