Meet the new HELSUS trainees!

Two new trainees started their internships with HELSUS at the beginning of January. Read their introductions below to get to know them better.


My name is Kaisa Penttinen and I am a new HELSUS trainee for the spring 2023. My responsibilities at HELSUS mostly focus on developing and organizing the Sustainability Course but I am also looking forward to work on various other tasks with my new co-workers. My first experience at HELSUS was attending the Global South Encounters Webinars, which deepened my knowledge about sustainability.  

I am a Master student in the Environmental Change and Global Sustainability program in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences and starting my master’s thesis in autumn. I have a Bachelor’s degree from Environmental and Food Economics and during my studies I have focused on different sustainability aspects varying from forestry to food industry and economics. In the future I want to be part of creating more sustainable methods for land-use, urban cities and citizens for the next generations. In my free time I love to spend time outdoors in the nature and especially enjoy kayaking, hiking and running. I am very excited to work at HELSUS this spring and to be part of this team and the community. I am looking forward to learn more about sustainability and taking part in creating a more sustainable future.  


I’m Emma Penttinen, this spring’s new communications trainee at HELSUS. I will be working with HELSUS seminars (click here to check them out!), keeping HELSUS social media platforms and the website updated, which means I get to create content as well. In addition, one of the main focuses will be in May as we are going to have a Sustainability Science Day conference, which you will hear more about a bit later! So stay tuned. 😉

I am a student in Food Economy and Consumption, and I am passionate about environmentally sustainable food (sector/system/industry). I am really excited to be working at HELSUS towards more sustainable future and get to know all the delightful colleagues. 😊

As for my free-time activities, I have always been really into photographing, and cooking – I am an enthusiastic sourdough baker and love making kimchi myself! I am curious finding and trying out new vegetarian options to replace meat, so if you have good recipes, let me know! Last year I got introduced to weightlifting and I’m still quite into it. It’s a good way to balance out sitting in front of the computer!

Meet the new project planner at HELSUS!

This January, Pinja started her role as a project planner at HELSUS. Read her introduction below to get to know her better.

Hi everyone! My name is Pinja Tolvanen and I’m a new project planner here at HELSUS. My main responsibility is developing the self-study version of the Sustainability Course, but I’ll be working on other projects as well with our HELSUS team. I got my Master’s degree in Physical Geography in June 2022. In addition to my degree, I have studied General and Adult Education and environmental studies, providing me with a good understanding on the interactions between human and the rest of nature and how to educate people on environmental issues. I’ve also worked in University of Helsinki’s science education for three years focusing on geography education but also various multidisciplinary projects and academic outreach activities.

When it comes to topical sustainability issues it is easy to feel worried and anxious. I believe that the force that drives people forward in solving these issues is hope which promotes agency. This is something that I wish to learn more about as well as how to make learning inspiring and engaging even when covering difficult topics.
In my free time, I enjoy climbing and nature photography, which are not only hobbies but also a way to relax and escape from all the hustle and bustle of city life. I also get easily passionate about new things and two of my new areas of interest are Arduino programming and scents/perfume making. Overall, I´m very happy to start working here at HELSUS, meeting new people and growing my knowledge on sustainability.