The Sustainability Institute is looking to hire two Americorps members to work from August 2018 to August 2019! The positions are open to community members, alumni and current students.

One position will focus on food security, garden education and local food systems, and the other position will focus on environmental education, energy and design. See below for more information and detailed job descriptions.


Food security, garden education and local food systems:

Sustainable Food Systems Program (SFSP) at Penn State enables hands-on learning and service across the food system. The SFSP includes a one-acre Student Farm, course-client collaborative projects, a Student Farm Club, and diverse community partnerships.

Sustainable Food Systems Program AmeriCorps

The SFSP is seeking a full-term AmeriCorps member to build capacity in support of our community wellness goals to 1) educate people about food system sustainability and health, and 2) strengthen the local community through growing and donating local foods. Under supervision of the SFSP Associate Director, the AmeriCorps member will collaborate with students, faculty, community organizations and volunteers to design, implement and evaluate programs that support local food security, economic development and personal engagement with our food system.

AmeriCorps responsibilities include:

  1. Collaborate with community partners, students and faculty to develop and sustain SFSP programming.
  2. Develop and coordinate partnerships between university faculty and courses, and local food and agriculture systems organizations, such as area food banks, local food coops and local farms.
  3. Recruit, train and provide support to volunteers serving with the SFSP and community partners, including harvest of surplus produce for donation to area food banks and pantries
  4. Coordinate and lead tours of the Student Farm for students, youth, community members and others.
  5. Assist and support student leaders with farm and program tasks, trainings and events.
  6. Research, develop and conduct educational and outreach initiatives on topics such as food security, gardening, nutrition and healthy food access.
  7. Coordinate with the Centre County Food Alliance and partners to plan and carry out county-wide events and activities focused on enhancing the food system.
  8. Develop and implement tools for continuously tracking program outcomes. Present program outcomes and data to university, governmental and community stakeholders.
  9. Complete various other projects that help to develop and sustain the SFSP.


  1. Must meet all Penn State clearance and background check requirements.
  2. Superb written, interpersonal and oral communication skills.
  3. Able to learn quickly, prioritize multiple projects, manage schedule independently, meet deadlines and enjoy a fast-paced work environment.
  4. Relevant ability working with underserved and/or underrepresented populations.
  5. Able to work with diverse groups and individuals in indoor and outdoor settings.
  6. An interest in and knowledge about food systems concepts and/or community organizing preferred.
  7. Valid driver’s license, own transportation.
  8. Bachelor’s degree preferred. Current Penn State students are eligible as well.

Position location: Penn State University in State College, PA

Service term: August 22, 2018-August 9, 2019; avg. 35-40 hours per week (1700 hours total)

AmeriCorps stipend: $654 distributed biweekly over the term, and a $5920 education award upon service term completion. Office space provided at University Park campus. Please see for additional information about AmeriCorps service.

To apply: Submit a resume, cover letter and two references’ contact info with the subject line 2018 SFSP AmeriCorps Application to Leslie Pillen at Interviews will begin July 9, 2018. 

For environmental education, energy and design: The Sustainability Experience Center (SEC) is a 9 acre site at the edge of campus that comprises the Morning Star Solar House, an electric vehicle charging station, windmill, a plant-based water purification system, a community garden, and a research forest.  The site will be the eventual permanent home of the Penn State Student Farm.  These assets are used to educate students of all ages and the general public about sustainability issues related to food, energy and water.

The AmeriCorps volunteer will assist with building capacity in support of our goals to 1) increase access to the assets of the Sustainability Experience Center Site for Penn State faculty and students, to K-12 educators and their students, and to the general public and 2) educate individuals about the food, energy and water sustainability.  Under the supervision of the SI Assistant Director for Outreach and Engagement, the AmeriCorps volunteer will develop guided tours, programs and activities for a variety of audiences. This could entail developing a training manual, training student volunteers to give tours, developing outreach materials, creating a calendar of events, and maintaining records of the number and type of visitors. The AmeriCorps volunteer will be part of a larger team at Penn State working to add new amenities and transition the Student Farm to the site.  In this capacity, the AmeriCorps volunteer may assist with the organization and facilitation of stakeholder meetings and engage in the site planning process.

AmeriCorps responsibilities include:

  1. Collaborate with Penn State faculty to develop one or more curriculum modules based on SEC assets and increase student exposure to the SEC.
  2. Collaborate with Community Partners such as area school districts to increase use of the SEC by area teachers and k-12 students.
  3. Coordinate with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and area non-profits to develop programs for the public.
  4. Research, develop and conduct education and outreach activities on food, energy and water sustainability.
  5. Schedule and lead tours at the SEC.
  6. Develop a training manual for student volunteers and docents.
  7. Maintain records of the number and types of visitors to the SEC.
  8. Collect feedback/data to evaluate programs and activities.
  9. Assist with coordination of site development and planning meetings.
  10. Complete projects that help to develop and sustain the SEC.


  1. Must meet all Penn State clearance and background check requirements.
  2. Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills.
  3. Ability to manage multiple projects, establish priorities, and meet deadlines.
  4. Interest in and knowledgeable about sustainability concepts.
  5. Experience with developing and delivering educational activities.
  6. Bachelor’s degree preferred.

Position Location:  Penn State University, State College, PA

Service Term:  1700 hours from August 22, 2018 – August 9, 2019 (35-40 hours per week)

AmeriCorps Stipend: $654 paid biweekly, and a $5920 education award upon completion of service.  Please see for additional information about AmeriCorps service.

Office space provided at University Park Campus.

To apply:  Submit resume, cover letter and three references with the subject line 2018-19 SEC AmeriCorps Application to Diana Malcom, Interviews will begin July 9, 2018.


Become part of our team!