Mitchell Center to host talk on training leaders to solve complex societal problems Oct. 3

The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine will host a talk about the internship program it launched this summer to train students to address challenges related to sustainability, conservation, climate change, public health and other complex societal issues at 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3. 

During the talk, titled “Training the next generation of leaders to solve complex societal problems: The important role of internships,” Jessica Jansujwicz, project coordinator for the Mitchell Center’s Internship Program for Sustainability Leaders, will share stories and lessons learned from its inaugural year. She will be joined by interns from the program. The Internship Program for Sustainability Leaders provided students with hands-on experiences tackling real-world problems in Maine, such as building GIS tools to help strengthen community resilience, tackling a town’s unsustainable solid waste stream and assessing training priorities for new fishermen and aquaculture farmers. Key components included co-mentorship of students by internship partners and UMaine faculty, and training in leadership, collaboration and communication. Students gained new skills collaborating with diverse partners and learned the value of connecting different kinds of knowledge and know-how in solving complex problems. Emerging outcomes from this new effort highlight the value of internships in supporting the professional development of future leaders.

Jansujwicz also is the assistant director of research at Maine Sea Grant. As an applied social scientist with a focus on the human dimensions of natural resources, she works at the interface between science and policy focusing on the connection between humans and natural resources.

All talks in the Mitchell Center’s Sustainability Talks series are free and will be offered both remotely via Zoom and in person at 107 Norman Smith Hall on the UMaine campus in Orono. Registration is required to attend remotely via Zoom. Visit the event webpage to register and receive connection information.

Please note that face coverings are required for all persons attending Mitchell Center Sustainability Talks. For the latest UMaine health and safety guidance, please see

Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth, 207.581.3196;